LGBTQ+ people are all but invisible in literature for children. Which means that many young readers struggle to encounter the true breadth of our diverse society in the books they read.
So we’re going to change that!
The Rainbow Library is an ambitious international project that sees some of our favourite children’s authors – writers, illustrators, poets, comics artists – developing stories for young readers that will feature LGBTQ+ identities, perspectives, stories and histories. Uniquely, they’re going to devise these stories through immersive workshops with young LGBTQ+ people across the UK and Ireland.
Around 100 young people will be involved, taking part in London, Manchester, Inverness, Dumfries, Belfast, Derry and Dublin. The eight works of literature that the authors produce will be authored by them, but they’ll incorporate ideas, insights and contributions from the groups. There won’t be any requirement for the stories to be ‘issue based’ – we’re just as interested in magic and mystery, fable or history, as we are in true-life tales – and they’ll cover a range of forms including picture books, illustrated non-fiction, novella, poetry and comics.
Between 2021 and 2022 we’ll work with commercial publishers to publish the eight stories in The Rainbow Library, launching the collection to coincide with Pride in all four nations, working with advocacy organisations, teaching unions, librarians, booksellers and festivals to help ensure that every child has an opportunity to access this rich, vital literature.