Welcome! Southern Breeze is a region of wonderfully diverse creators and translators. Like SCBWI, our region strives to create an environment where all of us are welcomed and supported to create Kid Lit that accurately reflects the world we live in.
At SCBWI, we recognize that publicly committing to equity and inclusion is crucial to our membership and the readers we serve. Words, stories, and images are powerful: They define who we are for ourselves and for others. Historically, content creation that reaches a wide audience of children and teens has been intertwined with a legacy of privilege, oppression, bias, and racism. We acknowledge that, as part of the children’s publishing industry, we share in that legacy.
SCBWI’s Equity and Inclusion page is jam packed with information, so please check it out here.
Support the creation and availability of quality books for every young reader championing equity and inclusion.
–Expand inclusivity in our membership and create a welcoming and safe environment for all members
–Provide learning opportunities to increase social consciousness
–Increase inclusive programming, events, and community outreach
Agent Saba Sulaiman Critique Opportunity
Saba Sulaiman, agent with Talcott Notch Literary, has generously agreed to do three critiques for our region, with the goal of helping to “level an uneven playing field and support the writers whose voices we as an industry need the most to hear and uplift.”
So, April 16-May 3, Southern Breeze’s Equity & Inclusion Team will be accepting submissions for this incredible opportunity!
Who May Apply?
Writers in the Southern Breeze region, who belong to underrepresented groups. You do not have to be a member of SCBWI to apply for these critiques (spread the word!)
What to Send?
Saba is offering to critique any of the following: picture book (complete manuscript), middle grade or young adult novel (10 pages plus optional synopsis), nonfiction, biographies, or book dummies (no graphic novels). You may submit only one for consideration for this opportunity.
Send your submission to Southernbreeze.EITeam@gmail.com no later than May 3.
The best manuscripts will be selected and forwarded to Saba no later than May 20!
Fine Print . . .
There is no fee to submit. This opportunity is not limited to current SCBWI members. share this information on your social media platforms and with your friends as we would like to send Saba the best work possible.
Equity and Inclusion Resources:
(with thanks in part to the Arizona SCBWI chapter for this list)
Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell – As part of SCBWI’s Equity and Inclusion Initiative, the Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell video is available free to members and the general public and focuses on how ten BIPOC creators turned racism into art.
Access the video here: Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell Digital Workshop
How to outsmart your own unconscious bias A TEDX talk by Valerie Alexander
Straight Talk on Race, by Mitali Perkins: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids’ Books: “Here are five questions that’ll help you and your students discern messages about race in stories.”
We Need Diverse Books: Resources for individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing
Cooperative Children’s Book Center: Children’s Books by and about People of Color Published in the United States.
School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers, by Allie Bruce: A librarian discusses how a question from a student led to a series of conversations about the representation of race on book covers.
We need more diverse YA book covers, by Annie Schutte: A discussion with examples of books that do not show the diverse characters on the cover.
The Danger of a Single Story, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A Ted Talk on why no culture can be represented by one story.
Reading While White—Allies for Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Books for Childrens and Teens.
Celebrating Our Diversity:
- Inclusion on the Bookshelf, By Camille Jackson: “The lives of children with disabilities are adventurous, funny, romantic and active. There are many books available that contain characters with disabilities, but few that truly embrace social inclusion.”
- Seeing Ourselves and Seeing Others in the Pages of the Books we Read, by Jess Lifshitz: “[E]very single child that walks through my classroom door deserves to see himself or herself in a book in my library. And every single child that walks through my classroom door deserves a chance to learn about others in this world from the books in my library.”
- Suggested Reading for the ALSC Day of Diversity http://dia.ala.org/dayofdiversity
- American Indians in Children’s Literature (book reviews and recommendations): “provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.”
- February is African American History Month by Sandy Brehl: African American characters and themes should be shared all year long, not just during February as part of Black History Month activities.
- Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made, by Barbara Bader: Diverse creators Maurice Sendak, Arnold Lobel, James Marshall, Remy Charlip, and Tomie dePaola whose brilliance and prodigy status shaped the direction of kid lit- for the better. http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/choosing-books/horn-book-magazine/five-gay-picture-book-prodigies-and-the-difference-theyve-made/
- Writing inclusion isn’t about representing as many different things as possible, it is about readers finding a space for themselves in our stories, by Cory Silverberg: “Inclusion creates a space for them to explore not only multiple parts of their experience but also how those experiences are woven together in their bodies and lives.”
- Writing With Color: A blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity. We share writing advice, guides, book recs. and more.
- Describing Skin Tone, by WriteWorld: A discussion and list of resources. http://writeworld.org/post/55657925946/describing-skin-tone
- Ableism/Language, by Lydia X. Z. Brown: A glossary of Ableist Phrases http://www.autistichoya.com/p/ableist-words-and-terms-to-avoid.html
- Racism Begins in our imagination: by Grisel Y Acosta : “We’d like to imagine that racism is only created with extreme acts, like bombs or chains. The truth is racism begins in our imagination. It begins with our stories.”
- We Write Diversely. We Fail. We Write Again. By Katherine Memmel: An author’s discussion about writing diversely and how she did it wrong.