PJ Library Picture Book Program for Diverse Voices

The PJ Library Picture Book Program for Diverse Voices at The Highlights Foundation

PJ LibraryPJ Library seeks to represent the diversity of North American Jewish communities through books that share Jewish narratives, values, holidays, and life events.

PJ Library is actively soliciting manuscripts that show and celebrate:

  • Racial diversity, particularly Black, Latinx, and other Jews of color.
  • Ethnic and cultural diversity, particularly Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews.
  • Jewish families, including interfaith and adoptive families, as well as different family structures and compositions.
  • Representation of Jewish LGBTQ people.
  • A diverse array of disabled characters.

To that end, PJ Library is partnering with the Highlights Foundation to offer an overview to picture book fellowship for aspiring authors who have stories that help broaden the cannon of Jewish children’s literature.

The course, a four-week online experience, will include sessions on the craft of writing picture books, Jewish learning, one-on-one manuscript critiques, and meetings with PJ Library. Heidi Stemple, author of more 20 children’s books and a Highlights mentor, will be the main faculty for four seminars focused on the craft of writing. Other faculty will include teachers who speak about the content needs from an #ownvoices perspective.

The program is fully funded by PJ Library to 5-10 participants in the first cohort. The Highlights Foundation will provide administration support as well as share their offerings for further courses. Applicants will be asked to submit a paragraph about themselves, why they are interested in this opportunity and a family story or short idea to workshop.