Announcement

Hey everyone! We want to start by thanking everyone who has embarked on this journey with us. It’s been bumpy but exciting, and we’ve learned a few things that have led us to making this announcement:

  1. The climate in this community for diverse books is cold, and until that climate changes, there will always be barrier to entry for diverse authors/books to enter the market.
  2. Publishing and the reading community as a whole still have trouble processing the importance of diverse books and continue to see them as second rate literature.
  3. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to better promote diverse books, and this involves giving diverse books the same opportunity that non-diverse books currently have in the market.

We originally started the Little Voices Diverse Book Box as a way to promote established diverse voices and introduce previously undiscovered writers to the community. We now realize that the book community at large has yet to prioritize diverse books, which has, unfortunately, led our endeavor to fail.

After much consideration, and due to a lack of authorial and community interest, we’ve decided to close the Little Voices Diverse Book Box. We’ve come to the conclusion that change will have to happen elsewhere, and our time would be better spent creating a warmer climate where a box like ours would be better utilized.

If the news of our closing saddens you, we urge you to support joyful reads, mirror book box  and other diverse book boxes that are still out there. As a community, we need to show more appreciation for the diversity that already exists and celebrate it however possible.

Three Little Books Co. will remain open and continue to bolster diverse books. We’ll also be updating our selection of bookish goodies to better contribute to diversity in the community. If you’re the author of a diverse book and would like to work with us on creating bookish goodies to promo your work, email us at inquiry@threelittlebooks.co.

Once again, we want to thank everyone who’s supported us and wish you the best of luck in your diverse adventures. We won’t be giving up the fight for diversity and we hope you won’t either.

C.T. Callahan & Three Little Books Co. Present: the Little Voices Diverse Book Box

What is it?

The Little Books Diverse Book Box basically consists of two separate parts: a diverse book box and a diverse short story anthology. Each month, we’ll release a box featuring a diverse novel, a previously unpublished diverse short story, and some bookish goodies. At the end of the year, we’ll compile all of our short story publications as well as a few others into a diverse anthology.

 

How does it work?

Each month, we’ll have a new, diverse novel as the central point of our book boxes. Inspired by these novels, we’ll release themes to help guide authors toward diverse short stories. We’ll accept previously unpublished short stories from around the world, promote them beside already published diverse novels, and eventually compile them all for our anthology. Submissions are paid, and we’ll accept any work so long as it hasn’t been officially published before (blogs don’t count!) so feel free to send us whatever you’ve been working on. While we’ll be giving special priority to stories that fit our monthly theme, we’ll accept any diverse story each month, and even if your story doesn’t win, you’ll still be in the running to be included in the final anthology.

 

Who will we publish?

Anyone! We welcome experienced writers and amateurs alike. Every piece we receive will be answered with a formal acceptance/rejection, and any piece received prior to the 10th of the month will receive feedback and a chance to resubmit.

 

You said paid?

Indeed we did! All winners will be awarded:

  • Publication as a standalone story and in the final anthology
  • A copy of your standalone story
  • Monetary compensation at $.01 USD/word.

Anyone chosen for the final anthology will receive monetary compensation at $.01 USD/word.

 

Where can I submit?

Email us at INQUIRY@THREELITTLEBOOKS.CO with subject line: LITTLE VOICES [CURRENT MONTH] SUBMISSIONS. Ex. “LITTLE VOICES DECEMBER SUBMISSIONS”. Please compile your story into a word document and include a short personal bio. If your story is own voices, please include that too!

 

Is there any way I can help out?

Spread the word! Follow us on social media! Donate here! Anything you can contribute will help us a ton and is greatly appreciated!

 

I’m still a little confused…?

Send any questions to INQUIRY@THREELITTLEBOOKS.CO and we’ll be happy to answer!

Writing Marginalizations: Why “Tan Skin” Isn’t Enough

I’ve been meaning to write series of posts talking about how to write marginalized characters. With everything that’s happened recently, now feels like an excellent time. For anyone wondering what qualifications I have to give you writing advice about marginalized characters, I’m a queer, neurodivergent, non-binary POC finishing off a degree in Creative Writing and working as an editor for two lit mags. My #ownvoices book comes out in a week.

(P.S. I chose the image above because it’s one of the worst/most offensive descriptions of skin tone I’ve ever seen. If you want to start with what you shouldn’t do, see above. The image is from Skin Renews Skincare on Pinterest.)

So, tan skin. I can’t even detail the number of times I’ve heard, “but it says they have tan skin. That means their a POC.” If you’re wondering why this doesn’t make sense, take a second and think about summer and beaches and yacht parties. Really, just think of an basic white movie. Remember all the people talking about how they want to get tan. It’s so wild! It’s almost like “tan” is a super ambiguous, rather subjective word that means different things to different people and can very frequently be used to describe white people!

So, without further ado, here’s a little “How To” when it comes to writing skin-tones for POCs.

Continue reading “Writing Marginalizations: Why “Tan Skin” Isn’t Enough”

Moving Forward

Yesterday. I woke up at about 2:30 am to check the election results. I’d gone to bed the night before knowing very well who would win the election, but even then, I had to know for sure. I had to be completely certain because there was so much hinging on the result. I’d taken three times the dose of melatonin I’d usually take to knock myself out cold, and still I woke up two hours into the night because my anxiety was through the roof.

I barely wrote yesterday. I distanced myself from social media. I skipped class because I couldn’t bare to be face-to-face with a professor who’d so casually dismissed a Klan member’s racism some classes before. I’ve avoided using “certain names” in my posts because I just got over a bout of trolls and am not in the mood to do it again.

But in all of this, I think the thing I hated the most was the sudden, desperate need to end it all. I haven’t had the urge in a while, and definitely not like this, but it was there because for the first time since I left home, I honestly couldn’t see an out. This was it. It was over.

Continue reading “Moving Forward”

On Tim Burton

Have you ever been so angry you just had to be productive?

 

I think it’s been going around long enough for most of us to be aware of what happened with Tim Burton. For anyone who isn’t, long story short, another celebrity just had to stand up to say how unnecessary diversity is. Not only did Mr. Burton feel the need to point out that diversity just isn’t important, he even felt it necessary to share how he had to spend his childhood watching black movies without ever demanding there be white actors in them. The poor soul.

If you’re anything like me and you grew up with a sick fascination toward the dark, gruesome, and disturbing, then you probably spent a lot of hours appreciation the work of Tim Burton. It’s honestly heartbreaking to look at someone and think, “You used to be one of my biggest inspirations, and now I can’t even stomach the thought of you.”

Continue reading “On Tim Burton”

But Why POCs?

So I’m winding down the final edits on my first novel, and there are a ton of insecurities and concerns running through my mind. It’s never easy to release your life’s work to the world, and with so many different things that people could possibly harp on, it’s really hard for me to figure out which decisions are the best ones.

That being said, one big concern my betas have expressed is the setting of my story. Originally, I wrote the entire thing in a sort of dystopian future in which everyone was a POC because I felt like the idea of POC being the majority in a couple hundred years wasn’t too unrealistic. I’ve gotten a whole horde of comments about how I need to explain the world, explain what happened that led the world to being mostly POC, and explain how this new world works.

I started brainstorming different ideas, different government rulings and cultural changes and all these different reasons why there would be so few white people in my story, and honestly, I’m kind of annoyed that I had to do that in the first place.

Walk into a bookstore right now and pick up a book. If you have a bestseller on your shelf, maybe start with that. Unless you were specifically looking for own voices books or books with characters of color, odds are, every character or the vast majority of characters in that book will be white. If you ask the author why they wrote all/mostly white characters, they’ll probably just say that they wrote what they know. My question is, then why is it wrong for me, a biracial author, to write what I know and create a world that has mostly POC characters, especially a world that involves man-eating angels in a fairly distant future?

I hate this idea that all-white characters is the default, and having mostly POC characters better come with an explanation. It makes no sense for there to be mostly POC characters unless its the result of some authoritarian government or weird plague or something. Why is that? Is it because there’s no way that POC could reasonably be the majority at some point in time? Or is it the fact that, despite POC already existing in droves on every continent on the planet, people still think of us as ‘other’, as a rare exception to the white norm?

I’m writing in my POC characters. Why are they there? Decide for yourself.