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Listed below are curated resources to help Pacific Islanders and readers, including organizations, articles and essays, grants and fellowships, and a list of non-PI publishing professionals who are actively looking for Pacific Islander clients. This list is not comprehensive. We are open to additions, and welcome feedback via email. Additionally, any individual, group, or organization's inclusion on this list does not equate to affiliation. 

Recommended Organizations and Resources

"APALA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing leadership opportunities through informed dialogued that addresses the needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander library workers and those who serve these communities." Website

Asian Author Alliance is a group to celebrate Asian Kidlit and the diversity of stories that originate from the Asian Continent. Website

A community for Black and Brown designers to connect, promote, and share their experiences within the publishing industry. Their mission is to see more Black and Brown creatives grow within the publishing industry. In the near future, BBD hope to offer free mentorship circles, portfolio reviews, monthly talks, and creative meetups. Website

Disability in Kidlit is dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature. Website

An annual pitching event for un-agented, self-identifying historically marginalized authors and illustrators. Website

Lee & Low Books is an independent children's book publisher focusing on diversity. Every year since 2015 they've released a Diversity Baseline Survey.  Diversity Baseline Survey | Website

A directory devoted to listing and supporting literary agents of color in publishing. Website

A site dedicated to promoting curated LGBTQIAP+ literature for all ages. Website

Melanin in YA LLC is your resource for all things Black in traditional Young Adult publishing. Melanin in YA's mission is to provide a hub of information to amplify and invest in Black voices. Website

MiP is a podcast discussing diversity (or lack thereof) in the book publishing industry with other professionals working in-house as well as authors and those in the literary scene. Website

The Pasifika Entertainment Advancement Komiti honors the richness and diversity across Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Their mission is to redefine and expand Pasfika entertainment. Website

"We Need Diverse Books is a nonprofit and grassroots organization of children's book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people." Website

Grants, Workshops, Book Awards, and Fellowships

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Past winners have explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice. Website

*Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

The APAALs honor books about Asian/Pacific Americans, their history and culture. Categories have included fiction and non-fiction for adults, picture/illustrated books, and children’s/young adult literature. Website

* Exclusive to residents of the U.S. or Canada; if the co-illustrator is neither, work not eligible

Sponsored by BOA Editions, this series spotlights poetry collections by women of color, including poets who identify as cis, trans, and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers on women's experiences, regardless of publication history. The series has free open submission periods. Website

*Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents.

The Carter G. Woodson Book Award is presented to exemplary books written for children and young people each year at the NCSS Annual Conference. Authors are recognized at the NCSS Annual Conference, which is attended by over 4,000 K-12 and university level educators and other social studies professionals who enjoy interacting with the Woodson Award-winning authors and will be interested in obtaining copies of books for use with their students. Website 

*Also available to non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. residents.

Sponsored by North Dakota State University Press, this series aims to publish the authentic stories, poetry, and scholarly works of Native Americans, First Nations, Māori, Aborigines, Indians, and more to give voice to contemporary Indigenous peoples. Website

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award provides an annual grant of $2,000 for an emerging writer of color. This grant is intended to support the recipient in crime fiction writing and career development activities. The grantee may choose to use the grant for activities that include workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of the work. Website

* Also available to non-U.S. residents but must be born in the U.S.; all authors, editors, and contributors must be African American

Sponsored by PEN America, this fellowship is a five-month immersive mentorship program for early-career writers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the publishing world. The program is committed to cultivating the careers of Black writers, and serves writers who identify as Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers. Website

Sponsored by Epiphany, this year-long fellowship supports one emerging Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian or other writer of color who does not have an MFA and is not currently enrolled in a degree-granting creative writing program. The fellow receives a $2000 stipend, paid publication in Epiphany, and mentorship. Website

This 24-month professional mentorship program is designed for People of Color and Indigenous authors or illustrators who are actively pursuing publication within the children’s publishing industry and includes a robust professional development curriculum, one-on-one professional coaching, and more. Website

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens and residents.

Inkluded Academy is a tuition-free publishing course taught by industry professionals to college graduates from typically excluded groups. Held over the course of seven Saturdays in the summer, the program includes a rigorous curriculum, invested mentoring, and a commitment to job placement. The curriculum covers the foundational aspects of agenting, editorial, publicity, marketing, sales, scouting, production, and subsidiary rights. Each participant will receive career counseling, one-on-one sessions, and guidance from a mentor. Inkluded Academy aims to be a much-needed pipeline between the book business and aspiring professionals from diverse backgrounds. Website

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens and non-residents.

Sponsored by Poetry Northwest, this prize is awarded for two outstanding poems, each written by an Indigenous U.S. poet, and is open to new, emerging, and established poets who are members of tribal nations within the United States and its trust territories (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chamorros, and American Samoans). Only poets who have not published more than one book-length collection are eligible. Website

Sponsored by Kweli, this mentorship program for BIPOC writers of children’s books for children and young adults is affiliated with the Kweli Color of Children’s Literature Conference. The mentorship spans the full year this year beyond this annual conference and webinar series, as mentees attend pre-conference events and participate in a reading series. Website

The Louise Meriwether First Book Prize is open to fiction and narrative nonfiction by women of color and nonbinary writers of color. Winner will be awarded a $5,000 advance and a contract to publish their book with the Feminist Press. Website

Sponsored by Radix Media, this $1,000 prize supports the publication of debut collections from writers of color. Website

The New Voices Award is given annually by children's book publisher Lee & Low Books for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer.

Established in 2000, the New Voices Award encourages writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Website

 *Only available to U.S. residents.

Modeled after Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, this award is for Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Mystery middle grade or YA novels. Website

 *Only available to U.S. residents.

Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund

This fund enables writers of color to attend the Clarion writing workshops where writer Octavia Butler got her start. Website

* Not available to non-U.S. residents/must be in the U.S.

The PEN Open Book Award is given for an exceptional book-length work of any genre by a writer of color. It is open to authors of color who have not, prior to the book's publication, received wide media coverage. Works of fiction, literary nonfiction, biography/memoir, poetry, and other works of literary character are strongly preferred. Website
*Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

Established in 2003 in response to the dismayingly low number of literary translations currently appearing in English, its purpose is to promote the publication and reception of translated international literature in English. Website

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has partnered with the Penguin Random House to manage the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards. The competition recognizes the unique voices of high school seniors across the country by providing scholarship awards in the amount of $10,000 for the following categories: Maya Angelou Award for Spoken Word Poetry; Poetry; Fiction/Drama; Personal Essay/Memoir. One additional award of $10,000 will be awarded to a student from the NYC-area. Website

To provide entry-level POC professionals a personal resource for support, guidance, and encouragement, as they begin to navigate a career in publishing. Website

* No U.S. citizenship requirement, but you do have to be resident.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Past winners have explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice. Website

*Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

Representation Matters connects people who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) who are interested in publishing and literature with publishing professionals who can help their mentees learn about, and get a foothold in, the industry. Under the Mentor Program, two-person teams of editors (one senior and one junior) volunteer to be mentors to self-identified BIPOC who are considering a career in publishing. The program is currently focused on editorial only, but may expand to other areas of publishing in the future. Website

* No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement, but the mentors’ area of expertise is North American publishing (U.S./Canada).

This award is given to two unpublished writers or illustrators from ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in children’s literature in America and who have a ready-to-submit completed work for children. Website

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

Sponsored by Shenandoah, this $1,000 fellowship offers editors the opportunity to curate a selection of published work in a genre of their choosing for a single issue of Shenandoah, working with the Shenandoah staff to guide the work to publication. Website 

This grant is for new works and works in progress. The Diverse Writers Grant focuses on writers from underrepresented and underprivileged backgrounds. Website

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

For this $500 prize, given in the categories of Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction, considers all contributions exploring place—particularly in the context of social, environmental, or climate justice—by writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and/or other marginalized communities. Website

Applicants must identify as diverse and must be unpublished as illustrators and/or authors working toward a career as a children’s author and/or illustrator. This includes but is not limited to: Picture Books, Early Reader Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade Books, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction, Poetry. Website

* Not available to non-U.S. residents. Must be in the U.S.; available to refugees.

The WNDB Internship Grant Program provides supplemental grants to applicants from diverse backgrounds who wish to pursue a career in children’s publishing. Since this program’s inception, WNDB has supported over 40 grantees in their summer internships. Website

* Must be a U.S. citizen or resident.

The writing mentorships are available to diverse writers or any writers or illustrators who have completed a full draft of a manuscript for children or teens featuring a diverse main character or diverse central subject matter. The illustration mentorship is available to any diverse illustrator who has a portfolio and several sample illustrations completed. WNDB is offering fifteen mentorships in total, split among the following categories: Picture Book Text, Middle Grade, Young Adult; and Illustration. The winners will communicate with the mentor for approximately one year in a mentor/mentee custom-defined program. Website
* No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement.

The Word's Editor-Writer Mentorship pairs upcoming writers from underrepresented groups with experienced book publishing editors, who provide substantive feedback on completed manuscripts to prepare them for submission to potential agents and editors. The program is hosted annually, and free of cost. Website
* No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement.

The Write Team Mentorship Program is a sister program to the Write Cohort, focusing on community and support. They strive to provide writers with a support system as they move forward in their writing journey. They offer two programs in alternating years: a four-month mentorship program and an open inbox as well as events for participants to help with queries, critiques, and opening pages. Website

* No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement.

Sponsored by PEN America, this fellowship commissions writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate. The fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration. Website

Launched in 2021 by AETI (Editors’ Association of Mā’ohi Nui), this 2-month paid opportunity aims to host 1 author from French Polynesia and 1 or 2 authors from Oceania (Anglophone and Francophone). Applications are open to writers who have traditionally published at least one book. Apply every year between March and May. Website

Non-Pacific Islander Publishing Professionals Who are Actively Looking to Represent Pacific Islanders

Iwalani is an agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai'i, and "is actively building her client list, focusing on upmarket and literary fiction and select narrative nonfiction, with special attention to stories by and about people of color." Her wishlist specifies stories by Pacific Islander writers. Manuscript Wishlist | Twitter | Website

Noelle is a Filipina literary agent at Transatlantic Agency, prioritizing Oceania and Pacific Islander voices. She works heavily in the Oceania art community in Los Angeles, and is also the editor for UPON SHARED WATERS, a project in collaboration with the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum. Twitter | Website

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