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Proportion of UK YA writers of colour doubles since 2017

In the UK, a study has found the proportion of authors of colour writing YA in the UK has more than doubled since 2017, reports the Guardian.

According to research by the University College London’s Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, 19.6% of YA authors published in the UK in 2019 were people of colour, compared with 7.1% in 2017 and 13.25% in 2018.

Ramdarshan Bold, who presented her findings at the Bookseller’s children’s conference earlier this week, also noted it is worrying if British publishers are overlooking British authors in favour of authors from the US. Ramdarshan Bold’s research found just 5.95% of YA authors are British writers of colour—up from 2.43% in 2017, but still behind the total proportion of the UK population of 13.8%.

Ramdarshan Bold said young people in the UK need literature that reflects their own experiences ‘and that not all our culture is viewed through a US filter’.

‘YA books that explore issues of racism, discrimination, prejudice and inequality—the types of books by authors of colour that publishers like to publish—are still vital,’ she said. ‘However, we need more stories, about the different facets of British youth culture, to be truly representative.’


Category: International news