Write Now Live Initiative by Penguin Random House for BAME, LGBTQ & Disabled writers Oct 1st 2016
I was privileged to be selected for this initiative for a mentorship programme for BAME, LGBTQ and disabled writers by one of the world’s largest publishing house in the world. Fifty people were selected out of a thousand applicants for their London day. They have two more days in Birmingham and Manchester. Ten writers will be selected out of the hundred and fifty to get onto their mentoring programme with a possible publishing contract at the end of this selection procedure in February 2017. I am writing this as I hope writers will think of applying for the next round when it comes next year. It was a wonderfully inspiring, informative day with plenty of opportunity to network with the Penguin Random House team, published authors and agents. We met in their plush offices at 80, The Strand at 12 pm after a lunch of sandwiches and coffee that gave us time to mingle and introduce ourselves we were given an extremely informative talk from the Penguin team on ‘Publishing Demystified.’ This was followed by a panel of authors that included Kit De Waal, Nikesh Shukla, Abir Mukerjee, Satnam Sangera and Matthew Todd
on how they got published. After a short break we were asked our own views on what steps need to be taken by the industry to encourage BAME and LBQT writers to submit their work. Ideas flowed on more diverse books representing all sections of society, including class, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexual proclivities should be the future aim for the publishing industry at large. It was a thoroughly worthwhile day ending with the all-important one to one session with one of their editors going over 6000 words of the manuscript that we had all submitted. The day ended with a goody bag of exceptionally wonderful books to take home. I would encourage writers in our area to look out for this or similar initiatives as the book publishing industry is getting aware of the need for inclusivity.