Some of you may know that I have been working with The Word, and am specifically working on the [margins.] conference.
The only of its kind in the U.S., the bi-annual [margins.] conference for writers, teachers, students, publishers, and literary artists from marginalized backgrounds provides a platform for voices in all writing genres to be heard beyond social, cultural, political, and economic barriers. [margins.] creates a new space, where communities are brought from the margins, recognized at the center. I have the honor and privilege of being the 2022 Conference Director, and I am inviting you to join our mission with your support.
[margins.] is a biannual space where the dream of an inclusive literary future is made into a micro-reality. The conference exists to connect people to each other and build intentional community among other diverse people, connect publishing industry leaders to talent, and share practical and substantive knowledge with attendees. The conference also includes the presentation of three literary awards, and a book fair where writers from the margins gather together to support the growth and development of healthy careers and writing communities that welcome and embrace voices from all races, colors, genders, sexual orientations, lifestyles, classes, national origins, religions, ethnicities, ages, and abilities.
As of 2020, 53% of children in the US identify as BIPOC. However, works by BIPOC authors represent less than 11% of published works across adult fiction. Only 24% of those working in publishing are BIPOC, 9% are disabled, 1% are gender expansive and 18% are members of the LGBQ+ community. These statistics exemplify that what is written, published, and reviewed is limited by a lack of diversity within the publishing industry. Underrepresented writers have unique paths: writing to share their stories with communities outside of their own and learning how to best represent those communities from within. We serve as a point of entry and connection to nurture a creative community and build professional networks.
The conference will be held August 5-7, 2020 at the McNichols Civic Center in Denver, CO, with virtual options as well, with the possibility that the entire conference will be virtual, depending on public health guidelines and the needs of our community. [margins.] is about learning and celebrating. Attendees will learn from agents, publishers, authors, educators, and publishing industry experts through panels, workshops, and one-on-one meetings–all promoting voices from underrepresented communities and diverse backgrounds. The celebration includes a public bookfair, showcasing diverse authors and titles through exhibit booths, industry panels, author signings, and open mics, as well as a Saturday evening party.
[margins.] creates a new space, where communities are brought from the margins, recognized at the center. Underrepresented writers have unique paths: writing to share their stories with communities outside of their own and learning how to best represent those communities from within.
As you plan ahead for 2022, we would love for you to plan your support for the 2022 [margins.] conference. I would love the opportunity to talk with you more about how to get involved!