L.L. McKinney

The publishing industry is on the front lines of the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion—for good reason. The industry has a known race problem, but has been slow to do anything about it. Enter 2020. Today’s show dives into one of many of the stories making headlines this year that are calling publishing out and holding the industry to account. Guest L.L. McKinney started the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag—and talks with Grant and Brooke about advances, disparities in the publishing industry, and what’s at stake for BIPOC authors.


L.L. McKinney is a writer, a poet, and an active member of the kidlit community. She is the author of A Blade So Black, A Dream So Dark, and A Crown So Cursed. She’s also an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWOCWritersHear—and most recently the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe, which we’ll talk about. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and by participating as a judge in various online writing contests. She’s also a gamer girl and an adamant Hei Hei stan.

Takeaway: Online Advocacy

Advocacy is part of being a good literary citizen, so start following publishing hashtags and getting involved in these conversations on Twitter. Some important recent ones recent ones worth following:


While hashtags are not activism in and of themselves, they are conversation-starters, and they are often calls to action. You can learn a lot -—and be galvanized—just by reading the posts. If you want to be in the conversation, Twitter and Bookstagram are both great places to wade into.

Connect with Our Communities

Never miss an episode

Subscribe to Write-minded on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.