Here’s what Cynthia Leitich Smith has to say about creating more diverse characters in kids lit. The woman is not messing around about this at all.
If you live in the world, you’re in this conversation—and, yes, staying quiet is a statement, too. What that silence means may vary from writer to writer, but for far too many, it’s a product of fear.
You, the fearfully silent, I’m talking to you. Have you ever thought “I’ll mess up” or “they’ll reject me,” and then set aside a story or character or plot line?
…I can’t promise that you won’t make a mistake or be unfairly criticized. But all writing stems from courage. If writing for and about all children requires more courage, then hunt it down.
Own your awesomeness and redefine this conversation. We’ve been self-congratulating, self-flagellating, cycling, and choir preaching too long. Make me less bored. Please.
Open your teeth and roar.