An opportunity that may be of interest – deadline June 22nd:
The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is a new initiative arising out of the cultural partnership between Lancaster University and The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster; it is supported by Lucy Briers, Tamasha Theatre Company and Arts Council England. In this inaugural year, the Prize is focused on BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) playwrights. The aim is not just to discover new voices, but to empower playwrights from culturally diverse backgrounds in general by building skills, confidence and networks.
All longlisted scripts will be read in full. Up to five shortlisted finalists will have their script workshopped with professional actors and directors, and see extracts performed at a public showcase event held at The Dukes, Lancaster.
The winner will receive £1500 and will be invited to become part of the Tamasha Playwrights group for 2018/19, receiving tailored training and mentoring as they develop their careers (http://www.tamasha.org.uk/tamasha-playwrights/). The winner will also receive travel support to attend weekly Tamasha Playwrights workshops in London from October 2018 to July 2019. Two of the other shortlisted writers will receive writer on attachment bursaries at The Dukes of £500 each (with further support to cover travel costs); these postings will entail mentorship opportunities and the chance to observe the development of two shows at the theatre.
- The window for scripts opens on 23rd April 2018. Scripts must be emailed by noon 22nd June 2018.
- The competition is open to any BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) writers who are originally from, resident or work in the North West of England. For the purposes of this prize, the North West consists of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.
- Writers must be over 16.
- The play must be an original, unpublished and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have had a professional production anywhere in the world. For the purposes of this prize, development performances (such as rehearsed readings and workshops) do not constitute full productions; amateur productions also do not count as full productions under these criteria.
- Adaptations of existing works of musical theatre, radio, television or other media are not eligible; translations of said works are also excluded.
- Musical theatre scripts are not eligible.
- Scripts must be a minimum of 40 minutes long and all pages must be numbered.
- For more details on how to enter and our criteria, please go to www.lancaster.ac.uk/playwriting or email email@example.com
Calling all aspiring picture book authors or illustrators! Discover has an event coming up called Drawing Stories on Thursday 17th May, which aims to bring professionals from the picture book publishing industry together with those people who are trying to make their way in. All levels and experience welcome and it is completely free.
Drawing Stories – Join Discover Children’s Story Centre on Thursday 17th May for an evening of illustrator and author workshops ranging from portfolio consultations to discussing the process of writing and insights on publishing. This will be followed by an open format Q & A discussion led by a diverse panel of self-published authors, experienced illustrators, and literary agents with inside knowledge of getting your picture book out there. There will be an opportunity to ask our panelists any questions about getting into the industry. Stay on to enjoy drinks, networking and live performances.
Discover aims to nurture new diverse voices and better reflect our visitors’ backgrounds/experience. We particularly welcome attendance from people currently underrepresented in children’s publishing.
To book: http://www.discover.org.uk/drawing-stories-2/
The well-known literary agency Blake Friedmann have re-opened applications for the Carole Blake Open Doors Project – a two week, all-expenses-paid work shadowing scheme for candidates from backgrounds that are under-represented in publishing. There are more details here:
http://blakefriedmann.co.uk/carole-blake-open-doors-project/ . The deadline for applications is 18th May.
More about the scheme from Hattie Grunewald at the agency:
The Carole Blake Open Doors Project, is a programme specifically aimed at encouraging candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds to enter the publishing industry. Carole Blake was born in south London, and grew up in a house which did not have many books. When she left school at the age of sixteen with hopes of becoming a librarian, she found a job as secretary at George Rainbird Publishing. The experience kick-started her love of art, broadened her education, and introduced her to the classics. She moved to Michael Joseph in 1970, becoming the publisher’s first Rights Manager, and in 1975 joined Sphere Publishing to run their rights, contracts and publicity teams. After founding her own literary agency with some of the authors she’d come to know and love, Carole merged agencies with Julian Friedmann in 1982 to create the Blake Friedmann Agency.
The Carole Blake Open Doors Project will offer ten days of work shadowing to a selected applicant over a two-week period, including funding for travel and up to twelve nights’ accommodation in London. The programme, which will run twice a year, will include close mentorship with Blake Friedmann’s book agents, the opportunity to attend selected meetings with editors and clients, and the chance to be involved in every aspect of day-to-day life as an agent. It is intended that candidates will come away from the project with varied knowledge of working for a leading literary agency, the beginnings of new and essential relationships in the publishing industry, and some excellent experience to include on their CVs.
“Carole offered me my first internship in publishing at Blake Friedman. She was a formidable figure, yet warm and funny. She was deeply encouraging to me as one from a diverse background based on my age, class and race – though it was our mutual love of a great pair of shoes that really sealed the deal! An unforgettable, truly phenomenal woman.” – Valerie Brandes, Founder & Publisher, Jacaranda Books, and former BFA intern
Carole Blake and the Blake Friedmann team have always placed great value on diversity and openness, in the company’s client list as well as its hiring practices. We aim to build on this foundation and be proactive about drawing from a wider pool of talented applicants who are passionate about books and ambitious about getting a job in publishing.
You can read an account of taking part in the project from our first Open Doors intern Ada Igwebu here.
Skylark Literary are generously sponsoring a place on the Book Bound Writers’ Retreat in order to advance and support inclusivity within children’s publishing.
Amber and Jo of Skylark say, ‘We firmly believe that children’s publishing would be all the richer for the inclusion of more diverse voices. We’ve long been considering what we can do to help achieve a more even playing field for all aspiring children’s writers, no matter their background or financial position. The Book Bound team are experts in giving authors the skills to strengthen their craft and, hopefully, develop writing careers. We are excited to give that Book Bound opportunity to someone who might otherwise not have had the chance.’
For full details and how-to-apply, click here: https://bookboundretreat.com/grant/
De-Colonising Children’s Literature – an evening of discussion about diversity in YA Fiction (including the launch of the Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize)
Thu, March 29, 2018 | 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM | International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY
Join authors, Jamila Gavin (Blackberry Blue, Coram Boy), Catherine Johnson (Sawbones and The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo), Pete Kalu (Silent Striker, Zombie XI), Bali Rai (City of Ghosts) and Alex Wheatle (Crongton Knights and Liccle Bit) for an evening of discussion about the (under) representation of black and minority ethnic characters in Children’s and Young Adult Fiction and the role of the Gothic in confronting the traumas from Britain’s history. Featuring readings and panel discussions chaired by Youth Libraries Group Jake Hope and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Chloe Germaine Buckley and devised in partnership with Commonword, this promises to be a vibrant and interesting event.
The event will also feature the launch of the Commonword Diversity Young Adult Fiction Prize, with judge Alex Wheatle and Artistic Director of Commonword, Pete Kalu. See http://www.cultureword.org.uk/commonword-diversity-young-adult-fiction-prize-2018/ for more details.
Scheduled to coincide with the start of the Easter break, this will be a fantastic opportunity for teachers, librarians, writers and readers to relax over a glass of wine, listen to fascinating discussion and stock up on some holiday reading.
Register for a free ticket on Eventbrite.
Our funder, the Publishers’ Association, now has a Megaphone page on their website. You can read my brief report on the project, and Avantika’s blog about her experience, there: https://www.publishers.org.uk/activities/campaigns/inclusivity/megaphone-writers-project/
And a reminder to meet the Megaphone writers, and some of the authors featured in the groundbreaking A Change is Gonna Come anthology , at the Birmingham Literature Festival on 8th October 2017: http://www.birmingham-box.co.uk/event/making-change-shaking-up-writing-for-young-adults/
Super brief update on everything: Events coming up in 2017:
LIVERPOOL: We’ll be at the Bluecoat on 30th September for a panel in conjunction with their Abacus exhibition, about alternative education. http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/events/3735
BIRMINGHAM: We’ve joined forces with Little Tiger, publishers of the new BAME-authored YA anthology. A Change is Gonna Come, for a writer networking day which will be packed full of energy and ideas. Join us on 8th October at the Birmingham Book Festival for Making Change.
YORK/National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE): Leila Rasheed will be presenting a paper on Megaphone at the NAWE conference in November in York.
We’ve got together with Stripes and their exciting new anthology: A Change is Gonna Come, to create an afternoon of networking, talks and panels as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival 2017. This is a fantastic chance to meet the Megaphone mentees and the new writers published in A Change is Gonna Come – plus it will be hosted by one of the funniest authors around, bestselling Ayisha Malik. You will get to hear what it’s like to be published (from the anthology authors), how to hook an agent (from our Megaphone mentees), and how to turn your passion into a project that can secure funding and make change (from Leila). There will be such a range of expertise here, from writers to publishers to people working in various roles in publishing, that you won’t be able to help leaving without learning something you didn’t know before, and maybe meeting someone who’ll change your writing life… Click the link for tickets. See you there!