April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Sherman Alexie and Jacqueline Woodson to Speak at BookCon 2015

WoodsonAlexieA year after being heavily criticized for only featuring white authors on panels, BookCon is teaming with the advocacy group We Need Diverse Books to host two gatherings that spotlight authors of various backgrounds, including National Book Award winners Sherman Alexie and Jacqueline Woodson, at BookCon 2015.

ReedPOP, the producer of BookCon, announced on December 11 that one discussion will focus on science fiction and fantasy, and the other will cover children’s literature.

Read the full press release from ReedPOP.


Jacqueline Woodson, Sherman Alexie and other Bestselling Authors Take the Stage to Shine a Light on Diversity in Publishing May 30-31

NORWALK, CT – December 11, 2014 – ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, is proud to announce a partnership that will bring a pair of panels curated and moderated by We Need Diverse Books to BookCon 2015. Intended to shine a light on authors of diverse backgrounds and the need for more diverse characters in today’s books, the panels will feature some of the leading names taking on this cause. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature and is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy and ultimately equality.The first panel will take place on Saturday, May 30 and showcase the best and brightest in Science Fiction and Fantasy when Hugo Award winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper) and Joe Monti (Executive Editor of Saga Press) join together for a moderated conversation about the role diversity plays in the genre, their works and their influences.Sunday, May 31 will bring together five New York Times bestselling authors for a discussion of children’s literature. This blockbuster panel will feature the 2014 National Book Award winner for Young People’s Literature, Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Sherman Alexie (Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian), Libba Bray (The Diviners), David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing) and Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass).We Need Diverse Books was part of last year’s inaugural BookCon playing host to a standing room only panel full of thought-provoking conversation and enthusiastic readers. The overwhelming response from fans and the rapid ascent of We Need Diverse Books, which grew from a social media awareness campaign into a global movement, set the stage for the partnership to expand at this year’s show.“We’re thrilled that BookCon and We Need Diverse Books are teaming up once again to connect fans with a broader range of voices in the publishing industry,” said Brien McDonald, Show Manager of BookCon. “These panels will once again move the conversation of diversity in books forward and highlight authors who are addressing this head on with their fantastic work.””WNDB started with a handful of people and quickly spread through the world,” said Aisha Saeed, VP of Strategy for We Need Diverse Books. “At BookCon this past May we were touched by the outpouring of support, thanks to this we are where we are today: launching initiatives to help change the face of children’s literature.”When asked about his thoughts on the importance of diversity in literature and conversations like these, best-selling author Sherman Alexie emphasized, “There is no moment in your childhood more important than when you recognize yourself in a book. Diverse literature teaches diverse kids that their lives matter.”

Tickets for BookCon are now available. Additional exciting details about BookCon exhibitors, guests and sponsors will be revealed in the coming weeks. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.TheBookCon.com or BookCon’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

In order to accomplish our mission, we reach out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including (but not limited to) publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students.

ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime, East, South and Australia, Star Wars Celebration, New York Super Week, Special Edition: NYC,  Oz Comic-Con, BookCon, Comic Con India and the UFC Fan Expo. In 2013 ReedPOP added Star Wars Celebration Europe and PAX Australia to its rapidly expanding portfolio of international events. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific including Australia and India. (www.reedpop.com)



  1. Jane Steele,MA Educator says:

    This is nice. As the adult child of a history teacher and also a school librarian in a combination Elementary/Secondary school I am all for your selection. My mom the late Jimmie Tabor Steele was of Cherokee/English/African-American descendt and my dad the late AR Steele was of African-American/Senagal descendt and they both encouraged me and my two brothers to read for both pleasure and information. Also my dad’s dad the late Forest Mckinley Steele was a teacher in a one room school. He let me know not just to take someone’s word for something as the truth but to look it up for more answers. And I have been doing this ever since. I hope that this conference works well and wakes all in attendence up to the fact that there is more in formation out there than the same old thing.

  2. I adore your animation.