Friday, August 1, 2014

Diversity Panel: Sharon Flake & Adriana Dominguez

Sharon Flake is the multi-award-winning author including The Skin I'm In, Money Hungry, Begging for Change, and many others.

Sharon went to the library and read a lot as a kid, but she says, "My first books were my parents. My parents told me stories about family and situations and they showed me that I was okay."

Disliked stereotype: That black fathers are absent.

Sharon believes that hopefully with all this discussion about diversity, people will start to come up with different models and ways of doing things.

Sharon has been telling diverse students that they have a seat at the table (in writing, marketing, publishing). She hopes we all help to make sure that comes true.

Adriana Dominguez is an agent with Full Circle Literary agency with a commitment to getting diverse books published.

Adriana hears from readers (at conferences) that they have not read a book with someone like them in it until college. This is the reason Adriana does what she does and is so passionate about it.

There's been a profound change in submissions, though there still are those that approach culture as food, etc. Now, Adriana sees books that approach the culture at a much greater depth in ways they haven't in the past.

Disliked stereotype: That all Latinas move the same.

Adriana likes to tell editors and agents to advertise their interest in diversity in books. She gets a lot of diverse submissions because she advertises her interest in getting them.

Lee & Low Books sponsors the New Voices Award which is given to an author of color with a promising manuscript which has launched many careers and books which have gone on to win awards.

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