Ethnic diversity in books: Is it black and white?


I have been feeling especially empowered by my race recently. The #BlackandBritish season on the BBC has served to teach me things about black history that I wasn't aware of as well as set free feelings of pride of being both black and British. Alongside this, Alex Wheatle, the first black author I ever read, became the 50th winner of the Guardian's Children's Fiction Prize. As a young girl growing up, I was always struck by the lack of characters...

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The problem with book recommendations

couple smiling behind books

I always hate recommending things to people. What if the person hates the thing? Will they judge me? Will they no longer rate my opinion? Even worse, what if they ignore my recommendation? I spent three seasons extolling friends about the virtues of Game of Thrones only for them to say things like they hated trolls. Suddenly when the media decided GoT was popular, the same friends were asking if I had watched it. Sigh. I'm also not very keen...

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Learning to write engaging dialogue

I am currently sitting in a cafe listening to a group of men's discussion. I often do this, earwig on people's conversations. You may think this is rude and it probably is; I don't know how I would feel knowing a complete random was sitting listening to everything I say. But I am a writer, I am allowed to as this is research. Ok, I am naturally nosy but that is beside the point. Taking liberties with other people's privacy...

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YA Elitism: Why you should read whatever you want to read

Teenager reading, YA fiction

A couple of weeks ago, Joe Nutt, an educational consultant and author, wrote an article that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Interestingly, the article, published in TES, was originally titled 'Today's young adult fiction is robbing our teenagers of a chance to become literate adults' but this (likely due to the furore it caused) was later changed to 'Why young-adult fiction is a dangerous fantasy' . I can see why they changed it, 'robbing teenagers of a...

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