Published October 6, 2020

Have you ever seen the hashtag #ownvoices before, but not known what it means? Looking for resources to dive deeper into the genre? If yes, you have come to the right place…

First coined by author Corinne Duyvis on Twitter in 2015, the term #ownvoices has ignited a global conversation about representation in books.

At its core, #ownvoices is a hashtag meant to highlight books with protagonists from a marginalized or under-represented group that are written by authors from the same group. Underlying #ownvoices is the idea that authors from the marginalized groups represented in their novels can speak with more nuance to what it is like to be a member of that group based on their own personal experiences.

As promised, below are just a few educational resources to begin exploring the meaning of #ownvoices and the impact of #ownvoices literature:

Corinne Duyvis’ #ownvoices FAQ webpage

On her website, Corinne Duyvis answers several frequently asked questions about the meaning of #ownvoices and its implications in the literary world.

Alaina Leary Interview with the Young Adult Library Services Association

Publishing professional and writer Alaina Leary discusses the impact of #ownvoices in the publishing industry.

An author’s journey to writing #ownvoices literature

In this March 2019 Swoon Reads blog post, author Melinda Grace discusses her journey towards writing an #ownvoices novel and discovering the significance of the hashtag.

Ownvoices Book List from Goodreads

Looking for more #ownvoices novels? Start by checking out these titles!

You can also check out these past Shelf Life event recordings featuring authors who write #ownvoices fiction:

SHELF LIFE: The Truth Is with NoNieqa Ramos & Amber McBride

One of Remezcla’s “15 Best Books by Latino and Latin American Authors of 2019,” The Truth Is by NoNieqa Ramos is a powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.

SHELF LIFE: Not So Pure and Simple with Lamar Giles & Amber McBride

Two-time Edgar Award finalist and co-founder of #WeNeedDiverseBooks Lamar Giles discusses his first contemporary YA novel, Not So Pure and Simple, an eye-opening story of societal pressures, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality, which Publishers Weekly calls “thoughtful [and] hilarious.”

SHELF LIFE: #OwnVoices Fiction: Yamile Saied Méndez with NoNieqa Ramos

Join Yamile Saied Méndez as she discusses her latest young adult novel, Furia, a powerful, #ownvoices contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter; in conversation with author NoNieqa Ramos.

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