We Need Diverse Books Announces the Opening of Applications for the 2021 WNDB Internship Grants

By Suma Subramaniam

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has announced the opening of the application process for the 2021 WNDB Internship Grants. In the program’s successful first six years, fifty-four diverse publishing interns received supplemental grants. Of the fifty-four grantees who have since graduated from their educational institution, thirty-four have gone on to pursue full-time work in publishing.

For the first time, WNDB will award grants this year to diverse interns in adult publishing (up to ten $3000 grants) as well as children’s publishing (up to twenty $3000 grants).

According to the 2019 Publishers Weekly Salary Survey and Lee & Low Books’ Diversity Baseline Survey, the publishing industry is still predominantly white. An internship is an important gateway into positions at publishing houses and agencies, but the expense of living in large metropolitan areas where most of the publishing industry is centered can be a barrier to many well-qualified candidates. The WNDB Internship Grants help those who might otherwise not be able to accept a position in publishing.

Linda Sue Park

“I’m thrilled that the Internship Grant Program continues to grow in both strength and numbers,” said Linda Sue Park, Honorary Chair of the WNDB Children’s Internship Grant Committee. “This year, we’re grateful that we can support more interns than ever before, and our intern alumnx are now affecting genuine change in the industry.”

“We need more diversity in publishing at every level—not just authors, but editors, publicists, and everyone involved in the process of helping readers and stories find one another,” said Celeste Ng, Honorary Chair of the WNDB Adult Internship Grant Committee. “Most often, jobs in publishing start with internships that simply aren’t options for the very people the industry most needs. I’m thrilled to be working with WNDB to help make entry into publishing easier for candidates from diverse backgrounds, and to help them find the community they need to both continue and thrive there.”

Cynsational Notes

We Need Diverse Books is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2014 to address the lack of diverse representation in the children’s publishing industry. The WNDB Internship Grant is one of many initiatives funded or supported by WNDB. More about the organization is available here. More information about the WNDB Internship Grant Program is available here.

Suma Subramaniam

Suma Subramaniam is the contributing author of The Hero Next Door (Penguin Random House, 2019). She is also the author of Centaurs (Capstone, 2021), Fairies (Capstone, 2021), She Sang For India: How MS Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice For Change (Macmillan FSG, 2022), and Namaste Is A Greeting (Candlewick, 2022). She is the Chair of the Children’s Internship Grant Committee at We Need Diverse Books and Mentorship Program Coordinator for SCBWI Western Washington. She hires tech professionals for a leading software company during the day and is a writer by night. Suma has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and degrees in computer science and management. Visit her website at