Diversity & Children’s Literature

Diversity in the U.S. Literary Landscape

  • Data from 2021 indicates the industry of writers and authors is composed of 59% women and 41% men in the U.S. However, higher-level positions, full-time employment, and pay equity do not reflect this distribution.
  • The U.S. book industry is primarily white (92.5%) and only 7.5% Hispanic. Whereas, Black (6.3%), Asian (3.9%), and mixed-race (5.4%) writers and authors make up small fractions of the workforce.
  • Fiction writers are relatively equally distributed among men (52%) and women (48%). However, only 20 women (80 men) have won the prestigious National Book Award for fiction since its inception in 1950.
  • Over the next 10 years, job growth for writers and authors in the U.S. is expected to shrink despite the rise in overall jobs nationally.

Children's and Young Adult Authors

Women writers of the Rio Grande Valley contribute to the diversity of children's literature, including representation and language.

Photograph of Rossy Evelin Lima posing with her books

Photograph of Rossy Evelin Lima-Padilla posing with her books.

Photograph of Vanesa Salinas-Diaz with her daughter Palomita and their book.

Photograph of Vanessa and Palomita Salinas-Diaz and their book.

Photograph of Anne Estevis

Photograph of Anne Estevis.

Rossy Evelin Lima-Padilla

Rossy Evelin Lima-Padilla was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and at age 13 her family emigrated to Texas. Lima-Padilla graduated from PSJA Memorial High School, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literature from UTPA, and eventually earned her doctoral degree in linguistics from UTRGV.

Lima-Padilla is a distinguished writer, scholar, and translator. Her books include Migrare, mutare/Migrate, Mutate, Aguacamino/Waterpath, and Ecos de Barro as well as two children’s books written in Spanish and Náhuatl: Nawi: A different dog / Nawi: Se siwachichitóntli in ájmo nenéuki and Animals of My Land/ Animales de Mi Tierra/ Noyolkanyolkej.

She has also shared her experience as an undocumented writer in the U.S., speaking openly in 2015 about her situation in her TEDXMcAllen appearance titled, “Undocumented Dream.” Lima-Padilla currently serves as the director of the Spanish Heritage Language Program at Texas Tech University.

Vanessa Salinas-Diaz

Vanessa Salinas-Diaz is a native of Brownsville, who resides in Dallas. She began writing as an intern at The Brownsville Herald and later as a reporter for The Valley Morning Star. Salinas-Diaz eventually relocated to Dallas, and began working for the Spanish publication of The Dallas Morning News, Al Dia.

Recognizing the need for bilingual Spanish/English books for children, she published two books for her children's books series "Palomita's Cravings," based on conversations between her mother and, her daughter, Palomita.

Anne Estevis

Anne Estevis is a native South Texan and a retired educator, residing in Edinburg since 1974. She earned a master’s degree in special education from PAU and a doctorate in Special Education/Visually Impaired & Deafblindness from Texas Tech. Estevis taught at UTPA until she retired in 2000.

She is a published fiction writer who writes poetry for pleasure and is a published author of bilingual children's and young adult books, including Chicken Foot Farm and Down Garrapata Road.

Women Writers & Poets
Diversity & Children’s Literature