Thursday, March 8, 2018

#KidLitWomen, the Caldecott, and Women in Illustration

Something you should know: 100% of the current contributors at KidLitArtists are illustrators who identify as women/NB. Women have historically made up 84% of the SCBWI mentorship program honorees, the basis of our group.

As many creative industries are examining their role in gender equality (or lack thereof), I’m writing to amplify the relevant and valuable posts being shared during Women’s History Month by #KidLitWomen and #WomeninIllustration.

KidLitWomen’s mission:
Starting March 1st, we’re celebrating Women’s History month with 31 days of posts focused on improving the climate for social and gender equality in the children’s and teens’ industry. Join the conversation on Twitter #kidlitwomen and access all the #KidlitWomen posts this month on our Facebook page

Pie chart by Christine Taylor-Butler, Bar graph by Jeanette Bradley

This School Library Journal article covers the evolution of the #KidLitWomen movement.

Meanwhile, #womeninIllustration is a Twitter hashtag amplifying published books by hard-working (and often under-recognized) women making picture books. Joyce Wan also created this helpful Pinterest board of picture books illustrated by women for librarians, educators, conference organizers, and parents looking for great books being made by women.

Last but not least, We Need Diverse Books continues to be an extraordinary organization seeking to “promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people."

As an author, illustrator, reader, and WOC, I deeply value the solutions-oriented efforts of coalitions like #KidLitWomen, #WomeninIllustration, and #WeNeedDiverseBooks. I encourage everyone who cares about young readers and meaningful, representative library shelves to thoughtfully peruse what these groups are demonstrating and sharing.

Then, join them in their efforts.

Illustration by Grace Lin

Susie Ghahremani is an author and illustrator -- a woman in kid lit whose parents immigrated from Iran. Find her online at or follow at @boygirlparty on instagram, twitter, or Facebook.

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