Major UK publisher wants to support new writers from under-represented communities
Penguin Random House UK – yep, when I said major I meant major – wants to find, mentor, and hopefully publish new writers from communities that are under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves – including writers from BAME and LGBTQ communities, and economically marginalised writers.
The project is calledWriteNow and it will give 150 writers across the UK the opportunity to attend one of three insight days in London, Birmingham and Manchester (that’s 50 at each location). This will give unpublished writers one-to-one time with editors and access to literary agents, booksellers and published authors. Ten exceptional writers will go on to benefit from a year of mentoring with the ultimate goal of having their book published.
Interested? As part of your application you’ll have to give a brief summary of what your book is about and answer the question: what makes it special? You also need send in an extract of up 1,000 words – it could be the opening chapter, or a later section of your book which you’re particularly proud of. It doesn’t have to be polished and ready to be sent out into the world. The requirement is flexible: “Don’t worry if you’re still making changes, editing, or writing the final few chapters.”
You also have to explain in 500 words why you write and why you feel your voice is under-represented.
You can’t have published a book in the last 10 years through a commercial publishing house. You also won’t have a literary agent or publishing contract at the moment.
You’ll come from a background that is currently under-represented in books and publishing and what this means for you. For example, you could be a writer from a socio-economically marginalised background, be a writer from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, or have a disability.
You’ll also be at least 18 years old and resident in the UK.
Penguin are keen to get applications from writers in the following genres: commercial fiction, women’s fiction, crime and thriller, romance, science fiction, children’s and young adult.
They will also accept applications from non-fiction writers. “…we’d love to see books that help change people’s lives for the better.” This could be in personal development, business, or health and fitness; writing that promotes an understanding of the world through history, social commentary or politics, or enhances happiness by exploring the natural world, philosophy or creativity.
By the way, they don’t want: cookery writers, graphic novelists or poets “this time around.” Sorry….
DEADLINE: Fri 2 Sep 2016
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