New York, New York – June 9, 2015 – Less than one year after achieving its stretch goals during its Fall 2014 IndieGoGo campaign, We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB™) is thrilled to announce the first five recipients of one of its biggest projects to date – the WNDB™ Publishing Internship Project. Each recipient will receive a supplementary grant and will also have access to a mentor from the WNDB™ team of writing and publishing professionals.
The WNDB™ Internship Committee, an internal group made up of several volunteer team members and headed by award-winning author Linda Sue Park, began accepting applications and essays from hopeful internship applicants earlier this year. By working closely with publishing partners to inform them of the scope and requirements of the grant, the committee wished to encourage the consideration of diverse candidates. Once an applicant was officially offered an internship with a children’s literature imprint, they informed the WNDB™ Internship Committee of their acceptance and were then fully eligible for the grant.
After extensive and careful deliberation by the team, five applicants were ultimately selected as the very first recipients of the grant. Those recipients are:
Julie Jarema of Bard College, who accepted an internship with Simon and Schuster.
Feather Flores of Pomona College, who accepted an internship with HarperCollins.
Kandace Coston of Barnard College and Columbia University, who accepted an internship with Lee & Low Books.
Esther Cajahuaringa of Teachers College and Columbia University, who accepted an internship with Hachette Book Group.
Yananisai Makuwa of Cornell University, who accepted an internship with Macmillan.
Through this program, WNDB™ hopes to allow for greater networking and opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds seeking to enter children’s publishing. They are ecstatic to begin the program with such a promising group of young professionals. Though there are many miles left to go, this is a fantastic start. The WNDB™ Internship Grant Program will return in 2016, and in the meantime, WNDB™ has several other programs rolling out, including Booktalking Kits (recently released), the first Walter Awards (Fall 2015), and the first Diversity Festival in Washington, D.C. (Summer 2016).
WNDB™ would like to thank the Children’s Book Council for providing informational materials and educational opportunities for this year’s WNDB™ grant recipients. Thanks also to all the new publishing interns who will be taking part in the future of children’s publishing.