“There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
– Author Junot Diaz, speaking at Rutgers University
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day right around the corner, now seems like a good moment to set aside some time to think about race and diversity in our own profession. What is the state of publishing like now for minority writers? What books are being published, and how are they being marketed? Whose stories are still underrepresented? And most importantly, how can we, as writers and publishers, help create more mirrors in the world?
To jumpstart the discussion, here is a sampling of articles discussing diversity, race, writing, and publishing.
- Publisher’s Weekly put together a roundtable of editors and agents to talk about what’s being published, finding new authors, marketing, and challenges in “The State of African-American Publishing.”
- Novelist Martha Southgate discusses the publishing world and the careers of African-American literary writers in her essay “Writers Like Me.”
- Roxane Gay dig some digging in 2012 and figured out that nearly 90% of the books reviewed by The New York Times were written by white authors.
- Bernice L. McFadden investigates the problem of lumping all work by African American authors into the “African American Literature” category.
Want to expand your own reading list or get inspiration? Check out these resources:
- 7 Young Black Writers You Should Know on Ebony has great new playwrights, poets, journalists, publishers, and authors to discover.
- Here’s an easy, practical guide to writing diverse fiction.
- The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has a great list of selected African American fiction writers, separated by genre.
- If you’re looking for something to read after finishing the Hunger Games series, here’s a Short List of Great Resources for Racial Diversity in Young Adult Sci-Fi.
At The Masters Review, we want to remind writers that we’re looking for innovation, urgency, and authenticity in the stories we select. We aren’t interested in publishing the status quo – we want stories that take our breath away. Please feel free to submit your work to us! We’re currently accepting submissions for both our New Voices category and the printed anthology.