After seeing much talk and discussion about the 2017 debut group on social media, we wanted to step forward to clarify a few things.
First off, the decision to disband as a debut group has not been made. Rather, the current administrative team is stepping down after it became apparent that there’s a fundamental contradiction between a group that expects a public face of constant uncritical support and a world where, put simply, some books need to be publicly criticized.
While this move came as a shock to many of us, we also see it as an opportunity to reexamine the group’s aims, priorities, standards, and conduct and to build a more supportive community, inclusive and respectful of voices from all walks of life, and particularly of those from marginalized backgrounds.
We realize our actions have caused hurt and anger, both internally and externally, and we sincerely apologize for that. Furthermore, we aim to use critiques of past mistakes as feedback to help make us stronger, not as a reason for us to disband. This process of reevaluation will take some time, during which we may be silent, but please know that we are working diligently to find the best path forward.
We hope the ultimate outcome can set an example of progress for future debut groups, the kidlit community as a whole, and, most importantly, for our readers.