Developing a charter for inclusion and diversity

February 23, 2015

28 January 2015 saw children’s book publishers coming together with booksellers, teachers, librarians and other key partners to turn discussions around inclusion and diversity into action.  

One of several practical outcomes of this innovative event was the development of a new diversity and inclusion charter, currently open for consultation.

The event (A Place at the Table) was organised by Inclusive Minds, the Publishers Association, the IPG and EQUIP. 

Loosely based on a successful US event run by the Children’s Book Council, through their diversity initiative, CBC Diversity, it took the form of a workshop aimed at helping the children’s book community to agree a clear way forward in terms of achieving real inclusion.

The event was facilitated by a team of children’s book writers and illustrators with particular interest and experience in the subject – James Dawson, Jane Ray, Ken Wilson-Max, Susie Day, Pippa Goodhart and Anna McQuinn.

The artists posed a series of questions to the participants to discuss around tables.  Questions ranged from the importance of access to inclusive and diverse books, to ideas for practical and commercially sound strategies to ensure that more books are produced. The roundtable rather than traditional conference format was key – allowing the participants to truly consider their role in creating a more inclusive book industry. They voiced a vast range of experiences and ideas, and were evidently united in sharing a commitment to ensuring books reflect a more diverse society. 

Organisers and participants alike agreed that the key is now to maintain the momentum. 

So in addition to the round table activity, participants created concrete action points to take away with them and apply within their sector. They also started developing a new ‘Everybody In’ Charter - an inclusion and diversity charter for the children’s publishing industry. 

A final draft of the proposed charter is to be announced in The Bookseller by early March 2015. Versions are also being developed for booksellers, libraries and schools.   All interested parties are encouraged to feed into the process of developing the charters.

Anyone interested should contact Inclusive Minds to see a draft copy.







Are you Inclusively Minded?

January 9, 2015
To tie in with our A Place at the Table event, we've been working on a draft of an 'Everybody In' charter for the publishing industry to which delegate will contribute. Due to popular demand, we've decided to expand on this and create charters for schools, libraries and booksellers as well.

Signatories to the charter will be able to use a 'We're In-clusively Minded' logo on their website, as well have their company name and action points listed on the Inclusive Minds website.

Are you inclusivel...
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National Coming Out Day - Guest blog

October 16, 2014

Saturday 11th October was National Coming Out Day (NCOD), an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender or sexual minority. To celebrate, Cat Crossley from HarperCollins has blogged on books, publishing and coming out. 

What do Oscar Wilde, Radclyffe Hall and animal onesies have in common?  They all came out of the closet long before it was safe to do so. It was National Coming Out Day on Saturday 11th and while it may seem l...

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Gender Alert - BBC Children's TV and the Radio Times

June 2, 2014

Only one in fifty listed BBC TV children's programmes has a female main character.

The Radio Times - 31 May-6 June 2014 is inviting you to Vote for your favourite BBC children's TV character ever from fifty listed programmes, 1950-2013. But only one show, (Sarah and Duck, 2013), has a female main character. Forty-four have male, or mostly male characters; (the remaining five have roughly the same number of females and males).

Even in the most recent category, the '2000s', of eleven pr...

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Survey into young visually impaired people's reading habits

March 25, 2014

Would you like to help with a study about the importance of reading for blind and partially sighted young people?                                                                                     

LISU and The Reading Agency have been asked by RNIB to find out about the difference that reading makes to the lives of blind and partially sighted young people. To do this, they are asking visually impaired 11 to 14 year olds to fill in a short online survey about the reading that...

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Halloween horrors

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! 

To mark the occ
asion, Inclusive Minds and Letterbox Library have put our heads together and concocted a list of just a few of the many horrors we have come across surrounding diversity (or rather the lack of it) in children’s books.

So here they are in no particular order –  some of the most dreadful diversity-related crimes against children’s books over the years, guaranteed to shock and scare this Halloween.

1. Lazy shorthand.  It’s everywhere in book...

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Should children’s book awards be more inclusive?

July 26, 2013

A guest post by Jonathan Emmett

Jonathan Emmett is a children's author. In addition to writing picture books, such as Bringing Down the Moon, Someone Bigger and The Princess and the Pig, he also writes and paper-engineers pop-up books. He has a website at

“Avoid pigs and witches,” — this advice was given to me a few years ago when I was writing fiction for a schools’ reading scheme. Pigs had to be avoided because they could offend Muslim readers and witche...

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Would you like to blog about something?

April 11, 2013
Unfortunately, we don't have enough hours in the day to blog about all the things we'd like, but we've added this section because we thought it might be nice to have a range of people writing or blogging about subjects that interest them. 

If you're interested in diversity, accessibility, inclusion and equality in children's books, and you would like to write something for our website, please get in touch.

Your submission could take the form of a casual blog, or a more formal article, but we'd ...

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