July 04, 2013

Links on Diversity, and Such

Happy Independence Day!
As Tanita mentioned not long ago, we are both in a bit of a work-related mire this month, so instead of this Thursday's toon I have a few links I've been saving up for just such an occasion:
  • Hurrah for UCLA's Mixed Student Union! Read more about it in this LA Times article (hat tip to Judy Okamura, mom of one of my best friends since grade school--a friend who also happens to be mixed race). It's an amazing article, and I really wish there had been a club like this when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley. There was a Hapa Student Union--and that was the closest thing. And, of course, I'm only a hapa in the absolute most general sense of the term possible (half-Asian--and South Asian at that). It was interesting to read that the UC application form is still the same with respect to race/ethnicity as it was when I applied over 20 years ago (ACK!!): "The form currently allows applicants to check several boxes for race or ethnicity but does not include specific "mixed" or "biracial" ones." Methinks perhaps an update is in order...
  • My friend, writer Kristin Johnson, sent me a link to a PW article about diversity in children's books--or the lack thereof. It's really about First Book's Stories for All Program: "The Stories for All Project builds on First Book’s purchase this past spring of $1 million worth of culturally diverse books and other content from HarperCollins and Lee & Low." But it's also got a lot of interesting stats on culturally diverse kids' books.
  • Via the SCBWI Expression Online newsletter comes this piece from the UK newspaper the Telegraph addressing the question "Why don't we take children's books seriously?" written by their current children's laureate. A good question indeed...
  • Lastly, since I'm currently rewriting, I found this article on revision by Dianne Warren interesting and encouraging (via Writers Digest newsletter). Revise like you mean it, she says: "Don’t despair that you have a lot more work ahead of you because you’ll learn things that you can learn no other way, and you’ll love it, and you won’t want the writing to end." 
Really, my current issue is not that I want it to end or not; it's the deadline looming overhead like a sword of Damocles. But instead of decapitation, it's the publishing delays that would result if I somehow don't manage to meet my deadline. And you really can't always predict how long a rewrite will take. It takes as long as it takes. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to it...

Happy Fourth, and Happy Weekend!

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