BookTrust Represents

BookTrust Represents is a three-year project created to promote children’s authors and illustrators of colour. 

Illustration: "Tiles" by Shirin Adl

Books play an important role as mirrors for children: these stories and characters will affect how they see themselves and the world around them, their motivation to read, and their aspirations to become authors and illustrators of the future.

However, finding books that truly reflect the diversity of families in the UK is challenging. Over the past 11 years, fewer than 2% of all authors and/or illustrators of children’s books published in the UK were British people of colour. This is why we’ve launched BookTrust Represents.

This project will:

  • support and subsidise authors and illustrators of colour to promote their work and to reach more readers through events in bookshops, festivals and schools
  • offer training and mentoring
  • launch an online community to support the next generation of great authors and illustrators of colour

Read the Breaking New Ground brochure

The Breaking New Ground brochure is the product of a joint initiative by Speaking Volumes, BookTrust and Pop Up Projects that showcases over 100 contemporary British writers and illustrators of colour, all creating quality literature, stories and images for children and young adults.

In this section

Research into representation of people of colour among children’s book authors and illustrators

We know from years of experience that representational voices in children’s books are important for all children from all backgrounds. That’s why we have initiated this far-reaching research project with University College London.

Resources for writers and illustrators of colour

If you’re a writer or illustrator looking for support and opportunities to spotlight your work, look no further...

BookTrust Represents support form: get in touch

Whether you’re at the beginning of your writer/ illustrator journey, you’ve recently published a book, or you’re about to, the BookTrust Represents project is here to support your next steps.

Discover new authors and illustrators

Onjali Q Raúf

Onjali Q Raúf is the founder of Making Herstory, an organisation mobilising men, women and children from all walks of life to tackle the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in the UK and beyond. In her spare time, she delivers emergency aid convoys for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk, and supports interfaith projects. She specialised in…

Read more about Onjali Q Raúf

Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian and Trinidadian household. Her first book for young adults, Orangeboy, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstone’s Prize for Older Children's Fiction. Indigo Donut, her second book for teenagers, won the Crimefest YA Prize. Both books h…

Read more about Patrice Lawrence

Alex Wheatle

Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents, Wheatle grew up in Brixton, South London. At 16 he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system; his DJ name was Yardman Irie. He wrote lyrics about everyday Brixton life. By 1980 Wheatle was living in a social services hostel in Brixton, South London, and he participated in the 1981 Brixton riots and aftermath. W…

Read more about Alex Wheatle


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More about BookTrust and what we do

Books can change lives

Our programmes

Find out more about how we support families and practitioners to get children reading for fun.

Why reading matters

Getting children and families reading for pleasure

Find out about the impact of our work and read testimonials to discover how it has made a real difference to practitioners, parents, carers and children.

Bookmark: books and disability

Information on disability and children's books

Find advice and book recommendations for families, teachers, librarians, authors and publishers.