FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WNDB Announces Mentors for Eighth Year of Mentorship Program
July 21, 2022
Bethesda, MD — The We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Mentorship committee is pleased to announce the program’s eighth consecutive year. Starting September 1, upcoming writers and artists will get the chance to apply for one of 15 year-long mentorships in four different categories. Applications will be open from September 1-30, 2022. Learn more about the Mentorship Program here.
In 2023, the program will include fifteen mentorships across four categories: picture book text, illustration, middle grade, and young adult. The 2023 mentors are an award-winning and bestselling lineup of children’s book creators including Lala Watkins (Illustration), Nicole Neidhardt (Illustration), Jeannette Bradley (Illustration), Anika Aldamuy Denise (Picture Book), Vicky Fang (Picture Book), Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Picture Book), Kao Kalia Yang (Picture Book), A. J. Sass (Middle Grade), Terry Jennings (Middle Grade), Christine Day (Middle Grade), Nicole Melleby (Middle Grade), Victoria Lee (Young Adult), Bethany C. Morrow (Young Adult), H.E. Edgmon (Young Adult), and Aminah Mae Safi (Young Adult). Take a look at the 2023 mentor bios.
Children’s writers and illustrators from diverse backgrounds seeking craft-based mentorships are invited to submit applications between September 1-30, 2022. The applicants will be reviewed for mentorship readiness, and manuscripts will be evaluated on elements such as craft, story, and diversity. WNDB mentorship recipients will be announced publicly in December 2022 or January 2023. The committee will also select a list of finalists with promising applications who become eligible for opportunities and programming from WNDB.
Many of the Mentorship Program’s finalists and mentees have gone on to sign with agents and get book deals, including:
- Shirley Ng-Benitez, a 2020 finalist, signed with Ammi-Joan Paquette;
- 2019 mentee Angeline Boulley sold her middle grade debut novel in a 12-bidder auction;
- 2018 mentee Dane Liu’s forthcoming debut picture book Friends Are Friends, Forever was conceived of and revised during his mentorship with Jim Averbeck;
- 2019 mentee Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, who is also a 2018 Walter Grant recipient, has a debut picture book Abuelita and I Make Flan forthcoming from Charlesbridge in fall 2022;
- and 2019 mentee Diana Ma’s debut YA, Heiress Apparently, released in December 2020 from Amulet Books.
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.
Press Contact: Alaina Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org