National Author's Day

November 1st was National Author’s Day–and what better way to celebrate than by reading a good book. Though the day has already passed, it’s not too late to learn about some great authors that are worth a read. I have noticed though, through my countless hours of scrolling through TikTok (and specifically “booktok”), that many female authors aren’t talked about, and especially not female authors of color. So, in order to truly show my appreciation for National Author’s Day, I have decided to compile a short list of authors who are women of color that you should check out! Fair warning though, these are all fantasy fiction writers since that is my favorite genre.

  1. 1. Rebecca Roanhorse

    If you like the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, I definitely recommend reading something by Rebecca Roanhorse. She is a biracial author, with both Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo tribe heritage and African American heritage. Her novels heavily focus on Native American storylines and mythology, which is something I really appreciate in a Eurocentric world. I’ve recently read her novel Race to the Sun, which I really enjoyed and highly recommend!

  2. 2. Renée Ahdieh

    If you are also on booktok like I am then you’ve probably heard of Renée Ahdieh’s book The Wrath and the Dawn. It’s an amazing book that centers around middle eastern characters and a great romance. Though Renée is Korean, she writes amazing characters with realistic names that I appreciate as a middle eastern woman. She is definitely worth all the hype that she gets.

  3. 3. Malinda Lo

    pile of books

    I got the recommendation for Malinda Lo from my amazing editor Emily Albretcht and I have to say I’m very impressed. Malinda is a Chinese-American author who has written many YA fantasy novels. Not only does she incorporate different aspects of Asian cultures into her writing, she also has a lot of LGBT representation in it. In her novel Ash, she writes a reimagined tale of Cinderella but as a lesbian woman which sounds amazing! She also heavily advocates for all types of diversity in writing, from including more racial and ethnic representation to LGBT representation to representing people with disabilities.

  4. 4. Tomi Adeyemi

    As a Nigerian-American author, Tomi writes novels filled with magic and adventure that are centered around Nigerian culture. She has been writing a series with magic and adventure and royalty called Legacy of Orisha that has gotten awards and ravings from all over. Though she didn’t grow up with a lot of knowledge of her culture because she grew up in Chicago, she made an effort to learn about it later on in life and incorporate it into her writing.

  5. 5. R. F. Kuang

    Mug of black coffee next to woman reading a book

    Rebecca Kuang is also a Chinese-American author who immigrated her when she was a child. Fantasy readers love her novel, The Poppy War, which she released just a couple years ago as her first book, and for good reason. It’s focused on some of the aspects of the Second Sino-Japanese War between Japan and China, but with a mystical aspect to it. Concepts like colorism, misogyny, and poverty are all brought up in a way that fantasy novels usually don’t address. Fans of the book say it’s like an Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra reimagining so if you’re a fan of the shows you should definitely give it a read!

  6. 6. Roseanne A. Brown

    An immigrant from Ghana, Roseanne just recently released her debut book, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, which is filled with magic and romance. West African folklore is the focus of her books so if you enjoy mythology and are looking for a new book to read this is a good bet! It’s an enemy to lovers storyline too which is always a plus in my book. The sequel to it will be released in 2021 so keep an eye out for that too if you want more West African folklore.

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are so many more authors who are women of color that I didn’t mention that are worth a read. But at least for now you have several options to read if you didn’t know about them. Books with diversity in them aren’t frequently talked about which is upsetting since people like to relate to characters in novels (at least I do). It’s great to hear of author’s out there who do give their readers something to relate to, and maybe one of these books will help you feel that way! If not, then they are still great books that you should read and support. Happy National Author’s Day to all the amazing author’s out there!