UNDER-REPRESENTED WRITERS: Are you the next Malorie Blackman or Alex Wheatle?
A NATIONWIDE campaign to find, mentor and publish new writers from under-represented communities has been launched by the UK's book publisher.
Penguin Random House's WriteNow project aims to find exceptional unpublished writers that are under-represented in books and publishing.
This includes writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, writers who come from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ) communities or writers with a disability.
It will offer them one-to-one time with editors and access to literary agents, booksellers and published authors at regional events in London, Birmingham and Manchester, with the ultimate ambition of publishing new writers.
Penguin Random House has joined forces with writer development charities Spread the Word, Writing West Midlands and Commonword to launch WriteNow.
Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK, said: “Books and publishing simply do not reflect the society we live in. Not only is that bad for the future of books, reading and culture, but it’s also a commercial imperative for us to change. If we don’t, we will become increasingly irrelevant.
“One of the many joys of reading is being able to make a personal connection with an author’s distinctive voice, but we know some voices aren’t yet being heard. Our job at Penguin Random House is to connect the world with the stories, ideas and writing that matter. So if you are sitting on a fantastic manuscript, we want to hear from you.”
Unpublished, up-and-coming writers across the UK can apply to attend one of the WriteNow regional events online by submitting a sample of their work. 150 writers will then be invited to attend one of the events. Ten exceptional writers will go on to benefit from a year of mentoring with the goal of having their book published.