Beth Cox – Inclusion Consultant and Editor
You know that inclusion in books is essential and you've made sure that the characters in your books are ethnically diverse, and perhaps you've included some wheelchair users. But you know, deep down, that there's still more to be done.
You feel excited by the possibilities, but dampening the excitement of this opportunity is trepidation. You’re not sure where to start, you’re worried about being tokenistic or perpetuating stereotypes, and, most importantly, you’re scared of getting it wrong.
Diversity isn’t just about ethnicity, but encompasses many different facets, including (but not limited to) disability, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation and family set-up – that’s a lot to think about.
I get that. I’ve been there. I’ve been working in this area for 15 years, so I can help you overcome that fear and seize the opportunity to represent a diverse range of characters with confidence. Diversity and inclusion may be the current buzzwords in children's publishing, but making books authentically inclusive takes time and knowledge. My experience can save you starting from scratch – I’ve made the mistakes and learned from them, so you don’t have to.
"I've worked closely with Beth on a number of different projects. Her input has been invaluable, not only providing me with young modern picture references that are fully researched and reliable, but also giving me the support to be fully confident at showing situations and experiences I'm not familiar with.
Having Beth alongside has become a must-have. An essential part of the process, saving me time and money, but also lifting the work and taking it to a different, and better, level – Without Exception!"
Jess Stockham, Illustrator
I've seen the impact of inclusion in real life and this is what motivates my work. I’ve worked with disabled children in various roles and I'm also a solo mum to a donor-conceived child, so have a non-traditional family set-up myself. I grew up in rural Dorset, so my exposure to difference was limited, and that’s one of the things that drives me now. I'm also the co-founder of Inclusive Minds, an organisation championing inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s books. Read my story to find out more.
Are you ready to transform your list? If so, the Inclusion Incubator is for you.
I'm also an editor, and work with children's trade and educational publishers in a range of capacities, from copy-editing and proofreading, to developmental editing, commissioning and editorial management, with inclusion at the forefront of everything I do.
"Beth is everything you could ask of an Editorial Manager - and more. She is incredibly well-organised, has excellent communication skills - going out of her way to develop and maintain good relationships with everyone.
She has a great deal of editorial experience, and can see a project from many perspectives, which ensures she is thorough, thoughtful and dynamic; she is not afraid to make decisions for the benefit of the product and its audience. Beth will get involved in every aspect of a project in order to ensure its successful delivery, and I would not hesitate to recommend her!"
Kate de Villiers, Director, Little Grey Cells Publishing Services