Photo by Heather Gallagher

For the second time in three years, I’ve just turned down a good-paying conference/festival gig because my participation would have meant an all-white lineup of children’s book creators.

In turning down that gig, I provided a list of 15 authors/illustrators who are women of color for the event organizer to consider for that spot I won’t be taking. I’ll be watching to see what happens.

I’m glad that, upon receiving the invitation, I looked at the event’s lineups for the past several years. That‘s how I learned that, apparently, it had been nearly a decade since a non-white creator was included on the roster.

I urge my fellow white-guy creators of children’s books to do all of the above when getting invited to a conference or festival. And I urge the children’s literature/literacy community as a whole to expect that from us.