My new granddaughter from Park City, Utah, left last night after a week long staycation with us, meeting her extended family at our cottage. In her eleventh week, Rosemary is heart stoppingly precious, but what I grew to find most endearing was that she began to coo and talk only after we shut up and actually gave her the space to say something.
I’m doing my best to take this small lesson to heart with the current and very important diversity crisis we’re facing in publishing. As a new board member at IBPA, I joined the newly created Diversity, Equity & Inclusion task force, and am plunging myself into every opportunity to listen to the concerns our BIPOC peers in the industry have to share. One such digital venue was the AUP Annual Conference, held afternoons for the past two weeks, which did an excellent job giving Indigenous voices from the Pacific Northwest (the physical event was supposed to be held in Seattle) a chance to share their stories and frustrations about getting their work published.
Last Thursday evening, I took time out of my vacation to be a part of a powerful virtual meeting, The People’s Townhall: A Movement of Radical Change, moderated by the (white) founder of Subway Book Review, Uli Buetter Cohen. She asked the “white allies” in the room to simply be spectators to the conversation: “If you feel uncomfortable or defensive at any point, we ask that you lean into that discomfort, take note, and revisit it.” As it turned out, I was mortified and ashamed to hear the stories of the BIPOC speakers related to their professional experiences in our publishing community, within both large and small presses. Our industry has much work to do.
There is no doubt the times are especially challenging right now with Covid-19 and the economy. But this is also an unprecedented chance for us all to help grow the numbers of Black Indigenous People of Color in our ranks. To that end, I’m leaning in to my new motto: shut up, listen, and then seek out opportunities to help people of people of color thrive in publishing.
Love one another, and our country, this week. We’ve all earned a big hug this Fourth of July.
Victoria Sutherland, Publisher
Foreword deadlines worth noting:
July 15th: Submissions due for our November/December 2020 edition of Foreword Reviews. Features include Nature, Self-help, Literary Fiction, and a spotlight on Children’s Books. Email PDF submissions with a sell sheet to Michelle Anne Schingler, or mail ARC copies to 413 E. Eighth Street, Traverse City, MI 49686. We are an advance review publication, and she is selecting books published November 2020 on. *
July 24th: Ad reservations due for the September/October edition, with features on Body/Mind/Spirit, Translation, Science titles and our University Press Spotlight. Ad materials are due August 6th, with copies in subscribers hands prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend. This issue is also scheduled to be distributed at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October. Our 2021 media kit can be found here.
September 30th: 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Award Early Bird Registration ends at midnight. The current $89 entry fee goes up to $99 September 1. Your registration includes a free one year subscription to Foreword Reviews. Our 2019 winners were recently announced, and you can get an idea of what our bookseller and librarian judges look for when choosing the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention winners here.