Announcing the 2019 CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

New York, NY – September 28, 2018 – The CBC Diversity Committee is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Awards. These awards will be given annually to professionals or organizations in the children’s publishing industry who have made a significant impact on the publishing and marketing of diverse books, diversity in hiring and mentoring, and efforts that create greater awareness with the public about the importance of diverse voices.

The winners were announced at the CBC Annual Meeting in New York City on September 27, and an official ceremony and conversation with the winners will take place on October 24 at a CBC Forum event. The winners will each select an organization to receive one thousand dollars’ worth of children’s books in their name.

Shifa Kapadwala, the CBC Diversity Committee’s moderator, said: “The committee had the great joy and responsibility of reviewing nominations from across the children’s publishing community. In making their selections, the committee has summarized the accomplishments of these inspiring people and organizations.”

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Industry  Q&A with Literary Agent Beth Phelan

When and where did you start working in publishing, and what was your entry-level position and title?

My very first start was as an intern at Levine Greenberg (Rostan) Literary Agency back in Fall 2010, but my first full-time position was as an Agency Assistant at Scott Waxman Literary (now called Waxman Leavell Literary Agency). I started there in March 2011.

How did you find your first job in publishing?

After I graduated from college, I was living in Brooklyn working as a bookkeeper for an army navy store and finishing up my part-time job at the student center. A friend of mine who worked in a totally separate industry (maybe tech or insurance or something like that, I don’t actually remember!) happened to share a floor in the same building as the Levine Greenberg Agency. He happened to hear about their internships during an elevator ride and encouraged me to apply. After a few months in, I started applying to full-time jobs (using publishersmarketplace.com, bookjobs.com, mediabistro.com, etc), including one with Waxman Agency. One of the LGLA agents was friendly with an agent at Waxman and put in a good word. I started right away!

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#DVpit

Contributed by Beth Phelan, Agent The Bent Agency

#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. It will be held on October 5 and 6th. Visit dvpit.com to learn more.

I have always been a reader. Many times, I would read the last page of a book only to immediately flip back to the beginning and start again. What brought me back to books again and again was the escape, but it still felt like I was escaping into someone else’s story, someone so far removed from my own reality. It never felt like it could be mine, or that my own stories and experiences could be worth sharing.

That needs to change. And it’s starting to, but there’s still so much more to do. Thanks to Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, we have this important concept of mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. And I know there are younger readers out there who were and are, like me, still searching and still deserving of many different reflections and many different windows. 

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