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  1. Thank you for using your platform to affect change. You are the voice that so many POC need. I feel comforted knowing you are advocating for change in the publishing world in support of all. From my experiences querying both agents and editors, there is still much to be done. We need courageous leaders in publishing willing to represent the truths of marginalized people to tell stories that are from the heart. True representations not only versions of the truth that are acceptable or trending.

    Representation is important and necessary. We must continue to do the work until the stories of people of all backgrounds are mainstreamed. All children deserve to know their family stories matter. I look forward to a day when we won’t have to emphasize terms like underrepresented or own voices because it will be normalized as part of American Literature.

  2. Hi Jessica,
    Would you consider doing a survey about the experiences of POC in children’s publishing?

    I think to fully understand the challenges we face, it may be helpful to ask the people who are experiencing them.

    I’ve had my share of challenges both with querying agents and editors about my stories.

    The gatekeepers and publishers say they want OWN VOICES, but sometimes it is a watered down version to meet certain criteria.

    I’ve learned so much on my journey as a writer. I value the feedback I’ve received from mentors, fellow writers, agents and editors. I’ve also learned that it takes so much resolve to keep forging ahead and to share our stories.. I can see why many give up the fight. I won’t because I want my children and all children to know their stories matter.

    Thank you again for your kindness and compassion.

  3. I’m always impressed by your actions, Jessica and the BookEnds team. You are not just talk but follow through with action, which make your words so much stronger.

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