Why we care about diversity in YA fantasy

Posted By on Oct 4, 2013 | 0 comments

If you’ve checked out our Pozible page, you’ve probably already seen our brief statements about why diversity matters to us, and the video testimonials Julia gathered at WorldCon in San Antonio last month.  Those are bite-sized pieces, though. We thought you might like to see a little more in depth examination of the underlying problem.

Mainstream publishing houses simply don’t publish a lot of content with diverse protagonists. If you’re interested in seeing the super detailed and depressing stats breakdown, check out this post by Malinda Lo on the Diversity in YA Tumblr. She’s collected a LOT of data, and put it into pretty graphs for us so we can see very clearly just how little representation there is in YA for people of color, disabled people, and QUILTBAG people.

We love Malinda Lo! She writes awesome YA novels with diverse characters, and she’s also super intelligent and works hard at pointing out just how broken our system is. Diversity in YA is an excellent resource for YA fiction that doesn’t necessarily focus on the default straight, white, cisgendered, able-bodied, neurotypical characters. We wanted to start our Kaleidoscope blog month by calling attention to this group and this particular stats post because it gives a very clear and logical breakdown of the reason we feel the need to see more diverse characters in YA fiction, especially in speculative fiction!

We also wanted to point to the Diversity in YA group because we believe in community. We’re super happy to see the stuff that’s already out there, and we support all the authors and projects that are coming up alongside us. That’s why a lot of our blog month will be devoted to recommendations and guest posts pointing out other awesome diverse YA and speculative fiction. We need your help to make Kaleidoscope happen, but we also want to make sure you’re not short of awesomely diverse things to read while we build it.

To start with, you could do a lot worse than to read one of Malinda’s books!

In case you missed the Why Diversity Matters video, here it is again:

In this video, Vylar Kaftan, Sunil Patel, Kyell Gold, and John Chu share some of their thoughts on why diversity in YA is important. This video has captions if you need them!

We want to see more diversity in YA in general, and we really can’t wait to build this anthology of diverse stories in particular. We need you to help us make that happen. Please visit our Pozible page to learn more about Kaleidoscope. We hope you’ll love the idea enough to become a backer (and collect some great rewards). If you can’t afford to back the project, boosting the signal on social media is also a big help!