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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: robert-brantley-2 on May 10, 2022, 06:54 AM

Title: CRT
Post by: robert-brantley-2 on May 10, 2022, 06:54 AM
Greetings,
I have submitted a PB manuscript to agents and editors. I keep receiving rejections that say, "We read with interest...not the right fit." I know that rejections and the right fit are part of the process. My PB features  a BIPOC main character.  I wonder how has the current political climate and the anti-critical race theory movement affected the publishing industry continuing to publish BIPOC projects.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: dewsanddamps on May 10, 2022, 07:37 AM
Robert, I'm quite certain that publishers are actively looking for mss with BIPOC characters. Keep at it, and good luck!  :clover
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: dkshumaker on May 10, 2022, 02:23 PM
I agree.  I do not think trade publishing will be swayed by what's going on now and will continue to push for diversity. I think most studies show that representation from diverse authors, while increasing, is still quite a small percentage of the overall picture.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 10, 2022, 05:54 PM
If anything, I think publishers are more inclined to put books out that represent our diversity as a nation. You don't combat book bannings by self-censoring.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: robert-brantley-2 on May 11, 2022, 06:48 AM
I truly appreciate the eternal optimism, and I do understand that getting published can be a long process. But when the ant- crt movement and school districts, and states  have flexed their muscles and banned authors like Toni Morrison, publishers may go back to being conservative when publishing BIPOC projects.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: dewsanddamps on May 11, 2022, 07:05 AM
Robert, I'm not being optimistic. I'm reflecting a conversation with a major publisher twelve days ago. I think you're okay.   :goodluck
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: robert-brantley-2 on May 11, 2022, 10:16 AM
Thanks.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: Laurel Gale on May 11, 2022, 05:21 PM
I don't feel qualified to comment on your main question, and you've gotten good responses already, but I want to add something.

"We read with interest" and "not the right fit" sound like the sort of polite phrases you see in form rejections.  If the rejection doesn't say anything very specific about your manuscript, there's a good chance it's a standard rejection, even if it sounds complimentary.

Maybe you've gotten more personalized feedback with your rejections and this doesn't apply, but I'm mentioning it because a lot of writers torture themselves trying to decipher vague rejections.  It's so common it even has a name: rejectomancy.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 11, 2022, 06:55 PM
Oh, yes, that is definitely a form rejection. And I too am basing my comments on what I'm reading and hearing within the industry. Read Children's Bookshelf. It's a free publication by Publisher's Weekly. Look also at Banned Book Week, which has been a thing for a while.  The level of attack may be new, but the attacks are not new.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: robert-brantley-2 on May 12, 2022, 04:42 AM
Laurel, every American is qualified to comment.  Thank you Debbie for your insight.  "The level of attack may be new, but the  attacks are not."
My original post was less about the rejection letters, and more about the current political climate, and the false narrative about CRT and the anti- CRT movement.   
When books like, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Hate U Give are placed on the banned book list, it makes me wonder how  agents, editors, and publishers will react?
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: dinalapomy101 on May 12, 2022, 07:05 AM
I agree with the other responses that if you look at manuscript wishlists for agents and editors, they are actively seeking authentic work by BIPOC and LGBTQIA creators, which is great to see.

But I do get why this is a question. Throughout the recent history of book banning and challenges, the loudest outcries are from library staff and content creators -- not agents and publishers. At least not publicly or on social media the way we hear about it from others. It would be great if there was an organized response, but instead we are working on assumptions based on what they state they want to acquire or represent.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on May 12, 2022, 07:12 PM
It's not just assumptions. Look at the book announcements in places like Children's Bookshelf. That says more than anything else to me. These are the books being acquired.
Title: Re: CRT
Post by: mike-irvine on May 18, 2022, 11:49 AM
I'm just a boring heterosexual white guy and I too have gotten form responses like those.  Form responses are like owls. They don't see color.