It’s been a while.
Much has happened since I unofficially went on hiatus from academia, blogging and writing to take care of my family, only re-posting, or hosting a honorable guest over the past years. For reasons beyond my understanding, this blog has a life of its own: it kept getting visitors from over the world, and to my surprise its membership actually grew to over 3,000 subscribers, well approaching 4,000. This should tell anyone who still doubts it that there is a hunger for cultural diversity and accurate diverse representation in children’s books.
Since a few things have changed, let’s do a little housecleaning:
1. The list of resources has been updated. All the links in the sidebar should be working, and blogs that are defunct or haven’t been active for over a year have been removed.
2. Grants and scholarships for writers of color: It’s hard to be creative, and write or illustrate or otherwise grow as a children’s storyteller when struggling to pay bills. To make it easier to find, there is now a list of available resources focused on helping writers of color thrive. Please help keep the list growing by sharing resources that you know of. Thank you.
3. A separate twitter account: You’re invited to follow @mcrpop. MultiCulturalism Rocks! (MCR) now has a twitter account of its own. I anticipate that it will take some time for past followers to transition over and for its numbers to grow; however the separation from my personal account makes sense since I’m increasingly tweeting about more than just diversity in kid lit, and one day someone else might be tasked to maintain it.
4. A calendar of events. There is a calendar with events centered on cultural diversity in kid lit, and occasionally you might see events (fellowship deadlines) aimed at writers of color in other genres as well, such as screenwriting. I’m currently working on installing a plug-in, which will be a form that would allow readers to add events to the calendar after review.
5. Guest posts: As always, this blog loves hosting fellow bloggers and writers! If there is a piece, an essay or a book review, that you’d like to share, email info (at) multiculturalism dot rocks.
6. Follow me on Medium to read about my personal journey in publishing and in the startup world. Indeed, since I last wrote and posted a blog post here, I’ve launched two businesses (and a grassroots group for my local African diaspora and friends of Africa), revised my first novel with a freelance editor, become active again in a picture book critique group, completed an idea-stage accelerator program for startups with the goal to be equipped to do more to bring culturally diverse stories to mixed families, and anyone looking for multicultural children’s stories. One of my businesses, MultiCulturalism Rocks! Pop-Up, is a mobile bookstore that aims to primarily help connect small presses and independent authors, who are usually not sold in big chain or otherwise traditional bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, with the schools and families that struggle to grow their library. MCR was always meant to celebrate diversity in kid lit and its incredible pool of literary champions, and not myself. On this site you will continue to read all about it, as well as the bookstore’s growth; however I’m also being asked more and more to share my own experiences, so I will give it a try. If anyone is curious about that particular journey, I’m on twitter @nathaliemvondo, and Medium seems like a good platform for longer posts.
I think I’ve covered everything. Is there any resource missing from the sidebar? Please, leave a comment to share it with the community, and if you have any questions you’d like me to answer. I hope that you’re well. Thank you for reading, and for your passion for diversity in children’s literature.