These writers found just *five* (mg) books by non-white authors were published in 2018
By Barfi Culture Team
21st June 2018

The UK's book publishing industry is eager to talk about how it is interested in more diversity.

Meanwhile, commentators in the British right-wing media have been claiming is too much focus on diversity in publishing.

A few weeks ago author Lionel Shriver wrote that Penguin Random House was "drunk on virtue" and putting diversity ahead of literary excellence.

This debate led two writers, Mariam Khan and A M Dassu, to actually look at the data.

In other words, is the focus on diversity actually translating into books by non-white authors? They were taken aback by what they found.

A M Dassu found that in 2018, just five books in the middle-grade category had been solely written by non-white authors.
Just these five:

1. Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay
2. What Lexie Did - Emma Sheveh
3. Freedom - Catherine Johnson
3. The Way Past Winter - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
5. The Dragon's Eye - Sarwat Chadda

Middle-grade authors write for children usually between the age of 8 and 12 years old. It is an important category since those are formative years for many children.

The findings attracted surprise and shock from others in the industry too

Mariam Khan added: "Also unless i'm mistaken there are no Muslim women on the #UKMG (UK Middle Grade) PoC (Person of Colour) writers in this list."

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