In advance of the 2016 Writers of Color Roundtable event at GrubStreet’s Muse and the Marketplace conference they kicked off the conversation with #Muse16 presenters. In this installment is literary agent Ayanna Coleman, who lead a Muse session on The Character of YA Literature.

 

Have you ever felt pressure to be representative of your nationality, culture, ethnicity, or race?

Definitely, yes. More times than not I’ve been in a room where I am the only minority and, even more often, the only African-American. It’s an interesting thing to watch the room get quiet because no one wants to “step in it” when discussing diversity and the inequity minorities in our society face — this happens when discussing characters in books as well as the current state of the industry. It’s frustrating to be perceived as the voice in the room who has authentic experience to share as “the other,” knowing that my experience is still so very different from many others.

 

Read the full piece here!

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