Penguin Random House has joined forces with writer development charities Spread the Word, Writing West Midlands and Commonword to launch a new campaign seaking to find, mentor and publish new writers from under-represented commuinities across the UK.
WriteNow will be looking for talented unpublished writers from BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) or LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) communities, socio-economically marginalised backgrounds and writers with disabilities.
Writers will get one-to-one time with editors and access to literary agents, booksellers and published authors like Abir Mukherjee and Nikesh Shukla.
Kit de Waal, author of the debut novel My Name Is Leon, said: “If you’re from a marginalised community, whatever you’re writing about, your writing will be informed by your experiences. Those experiences need to be out there. They need to be on the shelves so other people can read them. So other people can say: ‘Publishing is about my life. Publishing represents me. I have stake in this. And I have something to say’. That’s why I’m delighted to be involved with 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.”
Apply to attend a Write Now regional event online now at www.write-now.live and submit a sample of your work. 150 writers will be invited to attend one of the events, while ten will go on to benefit from a year of mentoring, working towards getting their book published.