What a great way to work towards authenticity of voice in children’s writing! Inclusive Minds has launched a new project connecting young people as ambassadors of diversity with authors and illustrators. The idea is to ensure ‘authentic representation of marginalised young people, as well as giving them a voice in book creation’. Unsurprisingly, a successful pilot project has demonstrated the value to all concerned of such interchange.
Inclusive Minds say:
With your support, we will develop an extensive network of ambassadors for inclusion. Young people with lived experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world.
Authors, illustrators and publishers will be able to contact us with ideas, questions or manuscripts that they wish to discuss with relevant young people. We will share the opportunity with our network and make connections*. Ambassadors may also be available to speak at events and in response to news stories.
* For child protection, under 18s will be contacted via a parent or carer
The added bonus
As well as giving marginalised young people a real voice, involvement in the network will provide insight to and experience of the publishing industry, hopefully making them feel it is a place where they can belong, and in which they can play a valuable part. This in turn should help to diversify the children’s book world of the future.
The benefits to the young people on the ambassador scheme are many and varied, as well as being valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work experience. We’ll encourage those using the network to give back to ambassadors, and some of the benefits they might receive are listed on our website.
If you think this is a good idea too, do take a look at their Young Ambassadors for Inclusion crowd-funding campaign. I myself am hoping for an original Jane Ray illustration (fingers crossed!). And there’s also a bonus draw for an Inclusive Minds tote bag with various goodies, including a signed Malorie Blackman book and a limited edition artwork print (only for early contribitors who donate before midnight (UK time) on 2 March)…