Patrice Lawrence, Chitra Soundar and more stars join BookTrust Represents' first training events
Published on: 14 August 2019 Author: Catriona Wightman
Patrice Lawrence, Chitra Soundar, Candy Gourlay and Bali Rai are among the stars who have signed up to take part in BookTrust Represents' first ever training events.
The free one-day workshops will be taking place in Bradford on 21 September and in London on 28 September, to support writers and illustrators of colour to break into the publishing industry.
Alongside the writers, industry experts including agents, PR gurus and members of the Society of Authors will be on hand to offer their top tips and advice.
Sessions include guidance on funding opportunities, how to grow your profile, what it's like to work with an agent and how to make the most of school visits.
Helping the next generation of talent
Author Patrice Lawrence
BookTrust's director of children's books Jill Coleman promised that the events are 'just the start' for BookTrust Represents.
'There is a host of untapped emerging talent out there that we want to help harness and grow,' she added.
'We want aspiring authors and illustrators to learn and develop, and what better way to do that than from those who have come before them. These training and mentoring sessions will give them a much-needed insight into the industry and a taster of the in-depth workshops we will be offering over the next two years.'
Author Chitra Soundar
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Bananuka, BME PR Pros founder and one of the workshop mentors, said: 'BookTrust's research earlier this year highlighted the shocking lack of published authors and illustrators of colour in the UK, which isn't to say they don't exist, just that they don't necessarily have access to the industry.
'In fact, we're overflowing with an enormous amount of homegrown talent in Britain which BookTrust's training workshops will help to harness; offering aspiring and established creatives practical, tangible tips and advice for building connections, sourcing funding and developing and sustaining their careers as the children's book creators of the future.
'I'm incredibly excited to be leading one of the sessions to help get them started on their next chapter.'
BookTrust Represents was launched in April 2019 to support authors and illustrators of colour to promote their work and reach more readers through events in bookshops, festivals and schools, as well as offering training and mentoring for less experienced authors and illustrators.
BookTrust's aim is that by 2022, the number of authors and illustrators of colour in the UK will have increased from less than 6% to 10%.