December 5, 2016 (New York) —We Need Diverse Books™ is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 WNDB Walter Grants. The following 6 unpublished authors or illustrators have been selected for the grants:
Jennifer De Leon
Maurisa Lynne Thompson
In the program’s first year in 2015, grants of $2000 were awarded to each of five unpublished authors or illustrators from diverse backgrounds working on children’s or young adult literature projects. The 2015 recipients included Yamile Saied Méndez, author of ON THESE MAGIC SHORES and winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award; Shveta Thakrar, featured in the upcoming YA anthologies HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORD and LEGENDARY; and Angie Thomas, author of THE HATE U GIVE, a highly anticipated YA novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which went to a 13-house auction before selling to Balzer + Bray.
This year, thanks to an additional directed donation of $2000, WNDB was able to award six grants for 2016. The Walter Internship Grant Committee was comprised of seven agents and editors who identify as diverse under WNDB’s definition. A spokesperson of the committee, Marietta Zacker, commented, “Our aim is to give voice to the voiceless, to amplify and elevate people who for too long haven’t had fair or equal representation in the world of books for children and young adults. We have a shared vision for a wonderful, diverse world, and we can respectfully and passionately agree on which writers and illustrators can help us create a world in which all children and young adults can see themselves in the pages of a book.”
The committee is happy to present these diverse creatives as the 2016 Walter Grant recipients and look forward to their contributions to the world of children’s and young adult literature.
We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2014 to address the lack of diverse representation in the children’s publishing industry. The WNDB Walter Grant is one of many initiatives funded or supported by WNDB™. More about the organization is available here. More information about the WNDB Walter Grants is available here.
Contact: Marietta Zacker