We Need Diverse Books™, a grassroots organisation dedicated to promoting literature that reflects the lives of all young people, is inviting entries from unpublished writers for its middle grade short fiction contest.
The winning entrant will receive a US$1000 prize and their story will be included the Heroes Next Door Anthology, to be published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. This new book follows WNDB’s first anthology Flying Lessons & Other Stories, published in January 2017, which featured many distinguished and award-winning writers including Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina and Sherman Alexie.
The anthology’s theme, the Heroes Next Doors, aims to feature stories of everyday superheroes in our midst, the ones in plain sight and those yet to be discovered. Stories can be in any genre, from contemporary realistic fiction to steampunk and beyond. The collection will be edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and be published in (the northern hemisphere’s) Fall 2019.
The contest is open to diverse writers aged 18 years or older who have not previously published a short story or a novel-length work. The contest is open to writers worldwide. For the purposes of this contest and its other projects, WNDB defines “diverse” as anyone from a diverse background, including but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities currently marginalised in North America.
To enter the We Need Diverse Books Middle Grade Short Story Contest, writers should supply a story of up to 4000 words suitable for an audience aged between 8 and 12. All entries must be in English and be previously unpublished. Each entry should be accompanied by a short biography and a headshot. There is no entry fee.
Entries will be accepted for two weeks only. Entries open on 15 October and close at 5.00pm EDT on Tuesday 31 October 2017. For further information and to enter visit the We Need Diverse Books website.
In October, We Need Diverse Books is also accepting applications for its Mentorship Program. Eight writers and two illustrators, all from diverse backgrounds or who are working on diverse books, will be selected to receive individual support and feedback from an experienced children’ book creator. Applications are now open and also close on Tuesday 31 October. Visit the website to find out more.