Happy holiday message to all Megaphone writers and friends!

Hard to believe, but we’re nearly at the end of 2021! This was always going to be a difficult year, for everyone, but I am so proud of how it has gone. I am glad we took the decision to go wholly online – yes, we missed the lack of face-to-face interaction, but we also became accessible to many more people than before, and the continuing uncertainty around Covid, rising cases etc., means I think it was the right call for this project. A few messages…
CONGRATULATIONS to the seven Megaphone mentees – Zareena Subhani, Abimbola Fashola, Nazima Pathan, Alka Handa, Ten The Gioi, Munira Jannath, Iqbal Hussein for just keeping on writing and producing work that’s been funny, moving, exciting and compelling. I know this year has been full of shocks and challenges, but it has been full of successes too – not least, simply persisting with writing. As we head towards the end of the mentoring scheme, I hope many more people will soon be able to read your wonderful novels.
WELL DONE to the many members of the Community Group – there is some brilliant writing being done here too and many of you are working on books I hope and expect to see in print sooner or later. I’ve loved running the Writers’ Surgeries and meeting many of you (on Zoom!) individually. I feel this is a massive bank of talent for the publishing industry to take note of, but also a community of practice, people working together on something they love doing for the sake of it.
THANK YOU to Stephanie King for making Community happen – for voluntarily organising all the Open Doors and In Conversations so Megaphone writers can find out how the wild world of publishing works and get feedback from the best. Words are insufficient!
THANK YOU to the Megaphone mentors – Danielle Jawando, Maisie Chan, Alexandra Sheppard – for guiding and helping your mentees grow as authors, all while writing your own, stellar books and juggling your careers! NOT EASY.
THANK YOU to every single person – publishing professionals, booksellers, authors -who has given up their time to talk to Megaphone’s writers – you are so generous and it is so appreciated.
THANK YOU to our funders and in kind supporters, both past and present. To Jonathan at https://writingwestmidlands.org/ for constant support, to Arts Council England and players of the National Lottery for making it happen, to https://usborne.com/gb/ for funding and supporting Megaphone throughout the year. And to individuals who have helped, donated and more – you’re amazing.
I have no doubt I’ve forgotten someone – it won’t be because I don’t appreciate you! It will be because by this time in December my brain has its out of office on…
I hope you all enjoy the holiday time (and that you do get some actual holiday…) and I’ll see you in in 2022, hopefully with some exciting news about Megaphone’s future!
Leila Rasheed

Leila Rasheed
See you in 2022!
Arts Council England logo - our funder
Usborne Publishing logo - our funder

Published by Leila from Megaphone

Writer and runs Megaphone: a writer development scheme for people of colour who want to write for children. Tweets @MegaphoneWrite and @LeilaR

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