UK study finds 8% of YA books written by authors of colour in past decade
In the UK, a new study has shown that 8% of YA books published in the UK between 2006 and 2016 were by authors of colour.
In the study, titled ‘The Eight Percent Problem: Authors of Colour in the British Young Adult Market (2006–2016)’, academic Melanie Ramdarshan Bold looked at the 8593 YA novels published in the UK between 2006 and 2016 (a decade considered the ‘boom period’ for YA fiction).
Drawing from the British Library’s bibliographic data, the study found that only 8% of YA books published in the period were written by authors of colour, and representation had declined over the decade studied. Only 5% of YA authors were writers of colour in 2016, compared to 9% in 2006.
The study’s gender breakdown revealed that, in the 10-year period considered, 59% of YA titles were authored by white female authors and 31% were by white male writers, while 6% of authors were women of colour and 1.7% were men of colour. British men of colour wrote only 0.4% of the young adult books published over the period.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, another recent study found that only 4% of children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) characters.