CBC Diversity: “It’s Complicated” – Join the Discussion

Join the conversation!

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Dear Cynsational Readers:

Please consider yourself encouraged to join in on the conversation at “It’s Complicated!”, a Blog Dialogue, hosted by CBC Diversity.

Peek: “…a blog dialogue addressing a topic that has frequently arisen at the Diversity table — the concept of responsibility and authenticity when writing about diverse characters and how authors, editors, and agents can choose/write stories that reflect the diverse nature of our society. “

Raise your awareness and sound off. Your voices matter.


Introduction & Welcome by CBC Diversity Chair Nancy Mercado, Editor at Roaring Brook. Peek:

“…we think it’s possible and necessary to have a respectful and open forum where we are able to chat about some of the challenges that we face, as well as the opportunities that exist when we come together as a community.”


Read my post & comment.

A Prayer to the Silent by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Peek:

“If you live in the world, you’re in this conversation—and, yes, staying quiet is a statement, too. What that silence means may vary from writer to writer, but for far too many, it’s a product of fear.

“You, the fearfully silent, I’m talking to you. Have you ever thought ‘I’ll mess up’ or ‘they’ll reject me,’ and then set aside a story or character or plot line?”


Agent Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary, LLC. Peek: “Stefanie von Borstel is co-founder of Full Circle Literary. Prior to agenting, she worked in various editorial and marketing positions with Penguin and Harcourt…. Stefanie represents children’s books from baby to teen.” Clients include include Monica Brown, Jennifer Ward, Toni Buzzeo, Rafael Lopez, Carmen Tafolla, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Diana Lopez, Malin Alegria, among others.”


Executive Editor Cheryl Klein, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. Peek: “After attending the Denver Publishing Institute, I moved to New York City and was lucky enough to land my dream job as Arthur Levine’s editorial assistant in the Arthur A. Levine imprint of Scholastic. I’m now the executive editor in the AALB imprint, and it’s still my dream job, working with a terrific, diverse, and very talented group of authors and illustrators on an equally terrific and diverse array of projects. I also served as the continuity editor on the last two Harry Potter books.” See books Cheryl has edited.


Advocate/Reviewer Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature. Peek: “I am tribally enrolled at Nambe Pueblo in northern New Mexico. I’m from the Upper Village (Yates family)…. I’m a founding member of the Native American House and American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois. I’m on the Literature Advisory Board for Reading is Fundamental and the Advisory Board for Reach Out and Read American Indian/Alaska Native.”