Tue 10 October 2006 at 5.00 pm

‘Editorial Reflections: Cultural Expression and Children’s Publishing’: Laura Atkins

Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies

Publishing Research Seminar

Taking Place: Buckley BG11 in Semester 1 2006

With immigration and multiculturalism dominating national debate, it is important to consider the implications of cultural diversity for the children's publishing industry. By 2010, one in five school children in the UK will be from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds, a reality not reflected in the books currently produced. Publishing is a notoriously white, middle class profession, which inevitably affects the acquisition and editorial process for stories written by authors from outside of the dominant culture. In this talk, Laura Atkins will reflect on her experiences editing multicultural picture books, and discuss her research on how the publication process has affected children's books written by non-white authors in the UK.

Laura Atkins worked for seven years in editorial departments in the United States where she helped to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and American Library Association Notable Book selections, amongst others. Her particular focus was producing multicultural picture books. She received an MA in Children's Literature from Roehampton University, and has done postgraduate work in the area of multicultural children's publishing. A steering committee member for the recent Diversity Matters: Growing Markets in Children's Publishing conference, sponsored by Arts Council England, she also runs children's literature conferences at the National Centre for Research in Children's' Literature (NCRCL), and provides consultation services to publishers.  Her website is www.lauraatkins.com.