S186. We Need Diverse Books: Shifting the Narrative Lens

Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


How do you change the (very white) face of children's literature? Through great storytelling. We Need Diverse Books—the AWP edition—focuses on shifting the lens while using classic world-building and storytelling techniques. This WNDB discussion centers on providing tools for creating diverse narratives from the ground up. Learn how to integrate issues of race, class, sexuality, gender, and/or ability, while still emphasizing the import of plot, structure, and, most importantly, character.



Mike Jung writes novels for young readers, including his debut, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, and the forthcoming Unidentified Suburban Object. He's also been known to write the occasional essay. He's proud to be a founding member of We Need Diverse Books.

Sona Charaipotra is an entertainment journalist and the cofounder of CAKE Literary, a diversity-driven boutique book packaging company whose first project, Tiny Pretty Things, is her debut novel with writing partner Dhonielle Clayton.

Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. After practicing law for several years, she took up the pen.

Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Of Fire and Stars is her debut novel. Audrey is a member of SCBWI and she was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow.

Kristy Shen is a practicing computer engineer at a major Canadian bank by day and a children's author by night. She is also a proud senior contributor to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. She just debuted her first novel Little Miss Evil.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center