Logo of Every Story Matters Project, an illustration of an open book where some of the pages are human shaped painted with different colors. Below the logo a heading follows that reads Talent Development Programme. Below the heading, lies the logos of partners Rose Stories, Dutch Foundation for Literature and Creative Europe.

In order to gain experience  in  inclusive  storytelling and contribute to a more inclusive landscape ourselves, Every Story Matters also features a talent development programme intended to coach six emerging authors and illustrators from our partner countries in creating their first inclusive children’s book.

We launched an open call at the end of 2019 and received more than 170 applications. Each partner set up a selection committee with an expert on children’s literature and diversity, and was responsible for selecting one author or illustrator. Each chosen participant was then paired with a mentor who coached them in their own artistic and professional development and the development of their story.

The six new stories developed by the talents are presented to audiences and children in schools and libraries at the Zagreb Book Festival 2022, as well as to publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair later this year. We are tremendously proud to be able to present them, and their work to you: 

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'The Duel'
Inês Viegas Oliveira

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'My Neighbour Is a Ninja!'
Najiba Abdellaoui

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'Confused Much?'
Manaf Alattar

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'The Very Best Invention In The Whole Wide World'
Shamisa Debroey

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'Lana's School'
Mirna Brodanac

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'Sentinels'
Stasa Gucek

Meet the Talents: 

Check out the video below for a sneak peek into the lives of our talented creatives and their experience with our project:

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Inês Viegas Oliveira

Illustrator from Portugal. 

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Manaf Alattar

Illustrator from Germany. 

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Mirna Brođanac

Writer from Croatia. 

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Najiba Abdellaoui

Writer from The Netherlands 

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Shamisa Debroey

Illustrator from Belgium 

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Staša Guček

Illustrator from Slovenia. 

Guided by experts

Alongside mentorship, we offered our group a selection of six online masterclasses that introduced them to various topics of inclusive storytelling, such as the importance of perspective and the impact of children’s stories. Interested in viewing the online masterclasses? Find them through the links below: 

How to tell stories to children

How to tell stories to children

Online Masterclass by Mylo Freeman (Writer and Illustrator of Children's Books)

How perspective shapes your story

How perspective shapes your story

Online Masterclass by Neske Beks (Writer and director),

Inclusive Minds

Inclusive Minds

Online Masterclass By three ambassadors of Inclusive Minds

Online Masterclass   By Winny Ang  (Child and youth psychiatrist, writer)

Online Masterclass By Winny Ang (Child and youth psychiatrist, writer)

Online Masterclass by Winny Ang (Child and youth psychiatrist, writer)

Transmedia storytelling

Transmedia storytelling

Online Masterclass by Špela Frlic (Performance storyteller and artistic pedagog)

The business side of inclusive storytelling

The business side of inclusive storytelling

Online Masterclass by Alice Curry (Founder and CEO of publishing house Lantana)

Find more information in our E-publication 2022.