FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Need Diverse Books Launches New Internship Grants For Adult Publishing
March 4, 2020
Washington, DC — We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is pleased to announce the launch of two new internship grants that will support interns from diverse backgrounds working in adult publishing, thanks to a generous donation from award-winning author Celeste Ng. Beginning in summer 2021, two interns will be awarded a $2,500 grant to support their internship with a publishing house or literary agency. In addition to the $2,500 grant, each intern will receive a two-month public transportation stipend. The grants for interns in adult publishing will continue annually for a minimum of five years.
“As a writer of color as well as a mother of a young multiracial child, I’m grateful for all that We Need Diverse Books does to promote inclusion in publishing,” said Celeste Ng, who is the author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere. “I’ve been wanting to find a way to give back for a long time. I’m proud to partner with WNDB to make an internship in publishing feasible for more diverse applicants through these grants.”
The WNDB Internship Grant program was inaugurated in 2015 and has given 44 internship grants to interns at publishing houses and literary agencies, and 30 eligible interns have been hired into full-time positions in the publishing industry. The program currently supports interns working in children’s publishing, and the addition of the new grants will expand the program to support diverse applicants working toward a career in adult publishing.
WNDB executive director Nicole Johnson said, “We’re incredibly grateful for Celeste Ng’s donation and excited to launch this new initiative, which will support the same meaningful change in adult publishing that the internship grant has made in children’s publishing.”
According to Lee & Low’s 2019 Diversity in Publishing Baseline Survey, there is a major diversity gap—only 24 percent of people working in publishing are people of color, 3 percent are trans and nonbinary, 19 percent are LGBTQ+, and 11 percent are disabled. The WNDB Internship Grants aim to change that, and Lee & Low’s survey shows that interns are already significantly more diverse than the industry as a whole.
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.diversebooks.org.
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