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WNDMG Wednesday – Meet Our New Contributors

We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around
We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around

Illustration by: Aixa Perez-Prado

Meet our New Contributors

At WNDMG Wednesday, we have great news: We’ve added three new exciting voices to the WNDMG team. Each of these amazing writers will bring a thoughtful presence to our mission to center, uplift, and celebrate diverse voices. We’re so excited for you to meet our new contributors!

Welcome to the Team

Kelly Garcia

brunette haired woman smiling wearing blue cardigan holding book

Author Bio

Like Claudia, K.D. Garcia loves a good mystery. However, if she had run away, K.D. would’ve skipped right past the museum of art and dove into the museum of natural history. There, she would’ve focused on something spooky, like a mummy’s curse or the dark corner of the museum that might be haunted. After solving the mystery, K.D. would’ve spent her time studying the vertebrates of the world, because animals hold her entire heart. In real life, K.D. writes Middle Grade stories that are filled with family, friends, and fur babies alongside a mystery that may or may not involve a friendly (or unfriendly) haunting.

Why I’m Excited to Join WNDMG

I’m looking forward to contributing to WNDMG for a bunch of reasons. The opportunity to introduce MG readers to worlds where diverse people reach their full potential tops the list. Lots of middle graders haven’t been exposed to all the stereotypes us older folks have, and I believe that more inclusive books for MG-ers will translate to a more inclusive society—one day.

Shifa Saltagi Safadi

Muslim woman in white head covering smiling at camera

Author Bio

Shifa is always running, but not away from anything…rather to a quiet corner where she can read a good book in peace. When she’s not correcting grammar and teaching ELA to her middle school students or reviewing books on her Muslim bookstagram @muslimmommyblog, you can find her tapping away at her keyboard and inventing her own adventures with Syrian Muslim American main characters like herself and her four kids. Shifa lives near Chicago, and is the author of multiple picture books, and an unannounced MG Novel in Verse coming in 2024!




Why I’m Excited to Join WNDMG

I am hugely looking forward to being a WNDMG member as I am a superfan of all diverse books! As an ELA teacher for middle school students as well as a book blogger, I love seeing kids and parents alike with eyes that light up at seeing someone who looks like them or even has their same name in a book! Growing up as a Syrian Muslim in America, books were the way I made sense of the world, and although I often found myself searching for Muslims or Syrians in books- there truly was no rep besides damaging stereotypes.

Fast forward to when I started my Muslim book blog @muslimmommyblog in 2018, I was so excited to finally start finding Muslim and Arab books- and so I shared them on my instagram- with huge success and so many people constantly contacting me thanking me for letting them know about the diverse book options out there, as even Muslims and Arabs are hugely diverse!

I am so proud and happy to be a part of a community of writers and readers who help amplify marginalized voices, and am honored to be a part of the wonderful WNDMG group at MUF, and get the opportunity to champion and support even more diverse voices!

Ines Lozano

Author hedshot brown haired brown skin woman smiling in camera

Author Bio

Ines Lozano writes children’s fiction, believing that our best stories come from the memories forged during childhood.

A proud latina, nothing drives her more than the chance to prove her family’s sacrifices worthwhile. Her grandparents came to the States from El Salvador and Puerto Rico with the hopes of offering their children and future generations the opportunity to choose their dreams over choosing survival.

Ines was born and raised on Long Island, and she continues to live there now with her husband, daughter, and rising tik-tok-star dog.

When she’s not writing, you can find Ines scrolling through Instagram and TikTok or shopping online for quirky earrings.

Why I’m Excited to Join WNDMG

I’m ecstatic about being a contributing member of From The Mixed Up Files…Of Middle-Grade Authors. I look forward to amplifying BIPOC-centered middle-grade stories.


((Are you new to our once-monthly WNDMG Wednesday series? Welcome! We’re glad to have you. Check here to read our archived posts.))

Fresh Faces on Mixed-Up Files!

The applicant pool that applied to join Mixed-Up Files was absolutely amazing. We were sorry we didn’t have more spaces to fill and were energized by the enthusiasm for our mission. But we are delighted to welcome twelve amazing new contributors to From the Mixed-Up Files!


Although you can read all about them on our Member Bio page, we also asked them for their reading and writing-related resolutions for the new year. Here’s what they had to say:

Patricia Bailey: “My writing resolution is to finish the middle-grade novel I’ve been working on.”

Jenn Brisendine: “I plan to finish my current WIP, then research and draft another by summer. I’ve been focusing on reading MG historicals lately so I want to pick up some new fantasies, contemporaries, and other genres. I also want to re-read my favorite craft books like Anne LaMott’s Bird by Bird.”

Heather Murphy Capps: “My New Year’s resolution is to amplify the voices of our writers of color — We Need Diverse Books!!”

Sean Easley: “I want to read at least twenty new MG books this year. I got a lot of them for Christmas and can’t wait to get started.”

Annabelle Fisher: “My reading goal is to read lots of MUF-member books, so I can get to know you all better. As for writing, I’m aiming to finish the first draft of my next book, which is about life in the library stacks.”

Robyn Gioia: “My goal is to write a graphic novel and read some marvelous new MG books!”

Amber J. Keyser: “My goal is to promote the heck out of the books I have coming out this year.”

S.A. Lawson: “I totally and utterly resolve to finish bk 2 of my MG series, (possibly write a sequel to my YA due out in March), & start a YA novel I’ve had mapped out for a year.”

Beth McMullen: “I want to finish the YA novel I started in 2016.”

Natalie Rompella: “To start from scratch on my mystery MG and complete drafts I and II by end of year. To have social media guide me to the best new books of 2017…and of course read them!”

Julie K. Rubini: “My writing goals are to finish MG bio I’m under contract for within deadline, complete and submit both PB bio and YA novel. I hope to read a work from each of our Claire’s Day authors and Illustrators!”

Suma Subramaniam: “My reading resolution is to add 40 diverse books to my bibliography (pb, mg and ya included), and my writing resolution is to finish the drafts of two MG novels.”

As you can tell by their resolutions, this is an energetic bunch. We are so excited to see what they bring to our Mixed-Up Files family.