Network of Inclusion Ambassadors

Inclusive Minds has been developing a valuable new resource for the children’s book world. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, we are now recruiting young people to join the network.

The network

This is a team of young people (and some parents and youth workers) who share a real interest in seeing better representation of one or more facets of diversity. These are individuals (generally aged between 8 and 30) with important first-hand knowledge of particular facets of diversity and a genuine interest in sharing their expertise and experience to the benefit of children’s books.

Its value

The potential value of this new network to the publishing sector is vast. If you want to ensure diverse characters are included appropriately and authentically in a forthcoming book, our inclusion ambassadors may be able to help you. Initial ideas can be bounced, a manuscript read, feedback supplied, rough artwork checked, a possible book cover viewed… the list is endless.

Robin Stevens spoke in The Bookseller about how 'invaluable' the network was in ensuring the authenticity of characters in the fifth book in her A Murder Most Unladylike series. 

To get the portrayal of George right, Stevens worked with Inclusive Minds, an “incredible” organisation that promotes diversity and inclusivity in children’s literature and runs a consultation scheme. The company gave Stevens’ manuscript to a group of Indian women, who checked the story for authenticity, something the writer says was “invaluable” in putting the narrative together.'

Becoming an Inclusive Minds Inclusion Ambassador

If you want to join the network, please fill out our ambassador details form. If you'd like more information first, contact us at Inclusive Minds.

Using the network

To access the network, simply send an outline of your enquiry to us at Inclusive Minds and we will share it across our network to see whether anyone can help you.  Since the network is still in its early stages of evolution, we cannot guarantee that we have an inclusion ambassador who can help with every specific request. However, with time and funding, we plan to grown the network.

Signatories of the Everybody In Charter receive the benefit of priority access to the network. Priority access will guarantee a speedy response to enquiries about the network, and means that if we don't currently have an inclusion ambassador with the relevant experience or background, we will do our best to try to recruit one.

Benefits for inclusion ambassadors

As well as giving marginalized young people a real voice, involvement in the network will provide insight to and experience of the publishing industry, hopefully making them feel it is a place where they can belong, and in which they can play a valuable part. This in turn should help to diversify the workforce of the future.

The benefits to the young people in the inclusion ambassador network are many and varied, as well as being valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work experience. 

Some of the benefits that inclusion ambassadors might receive are:

  • References
  • An acknowledgement in the book (wording should be agreed with Inclusive Minds)
  • Mention on book/author/publisher website (wording should be agreed with Inclusive Minds)
  • Invitation to book launch or other promotional events
  • Blog/interview in relation to their involvement in the development of a book or character
  • A signed copy of the book from the author, or the publisher might donate books to the ambassadors school
  • Tickets/passes for events such as London Book Fair

Cost

Those using the network are encouraged to give back to inclusion ambassadors in any way they can, and let us know how they plan to do this (see some suggestions above).

  • For an initial conversation or anything that takes no more than an hour or two, we’d suggest that along with some of the benefits mentioned above, a book token or similar gesture of goodwill would be welcomed.
  • Expenses should be covered for face-to-face meetings.
  • For anything beyond this, the network user (be that publisher, author or illustrator) would be expected to introduce and agree fees with the inclusion ambassador.*
    This might be an hourly rate or a flat fee and can be discussed with Inclusive Minds and the ambassador once they have expressed interest in involvement in a particular project.
  • Inclusive Minds ran a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development and management of the network. Although the campaign has now ended, you can still support the ongoing need for the funding of this by making a donation.
  • A copy of the final book should be sent to any Inclusion Ambassadors worked with, and two copies should be sent to Inclusive Minds.

*If for any reasons this would be financially challenging, please let us know on the enquiry form and we will see if an ambassador is happy to work with you on an altruistic basis. This, however, should be the exception rather than the norm.


Public speaking

Many of our inclusion ambassadors are also willing to represent Inclusive Minds by taking part in media opportunities to talk about the need, provide quotes or talk at events. Inclusion ambassadors have already appeared on national television (such as Newsround), on the radio (including Radio 4), taken part in literary festivals (including Imagine Children's Festival) and been interviewed by national press (including the Guardian.) Again, please contact us if you are interested in inviting one of our ambassadors to take part in an event.

Child protection

Please note that all contact with inclusionambassadors under the age of 18 takes place via a parent or carer.

The scheme was announced in The Bookseller.