#PassThePen returns to highlight up-and-coming authors and illustrators of colour
Published on: 15 February 2023
The popular online campaign sees top authors and illustrators handing over their social media accounts to rising stars.
Beth Suzanna, Rachel Faturoti, and Vikesh Amey Bhatt will be taking part in #PassThePen
Future literary stars will be taking over the social media accounts of some of the UK's bestselling authors with the #PassThePen initiative.
#PassThePen was launched by former Waterstones Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell MBE and BookTrust Represents in 2020 to promote visibility, champion new voices and generate book sales for emerging authors and illustrators of colour.
It sees top authors and illustrators handing over their social media accounts to rising stars. The guest authors and illustrators will be able to use the platform to introduce themselves, showcase their work and share their inspirations.
For a second year, #PassThePen is being run in partnership with World Book Day and all the hosts are previous World Book Day £1 authors/illustrators.
During the celebrations, the following pairs will be taking part:
- Michael Morpurgo will pass the pen to Michael Mann
- Joanna Nadin will pass the pen to Leah Mohammed
- Sarah Horne will pass the pen to Amanda Quartey
- Sharna Jackson will pass the pen to Ellie Clements
- Rikin Parekh will pass the pen to Beth Suzanna
- Rashmi Sirdeshpande will pass the pen to Vikesh Amey Bhatt
- Nathan Bryon will pass the pen to Annemarie Anang
- Nadia Shireen will pass the pen to Erika Meza
- Sophie McKenzie will pass the pen to Ravena Guron
- Katherine Rundell will pass the pen to Rachel Faturoti
Lizzie Catford, Director of Children's Books at BookTrust, said: 'It's wonderful news that #PassThePen is back this year and partnering once again with World Book Day. This unique campaign allows the future of the literary world a unique opportunity to reach new audiences and tell their stories.
'It is through projects like this and the support that we offer to writers and illustrators of colour that BookTrust hopes to create fair and equal opportunities across the industry for everyone.'
'Every child deserves to see themselves in books'
New author Ravena Guron, who will be paired with Sophie McKenzie, said: 'I'm both thrilled and very honoured to be selected! I've seen this project run in previous years and have always admired the work being done to pair up-and-coming authors and illustrators of colour with established names. It's an incredible opportunity and I can't wait to take part!'
Guron added: "It's been said before, but every child deserves to see themselves in the books - and authors - they read.
Projects like #PassthePen shine a spotlight on emerging authors and illustrators of colour and help ensure these stories being told reach their audience.
'It's important work and hopefully projects like these help ensure real, lasting change in the industry.'
Middle grade author Leah Mohammed, who will be paired with Joanna Nadin, said: "I am so excited to have been selected for this year's #PassthePen project and to be given the opportunity to share my stories and reach new readers. I am also very much looking forward to following the #PassThePen campaign and can't wait to discover new books and authors to support.
'Projects like #PassThePen are so important because by generating support and a platform for authors from diverse backgrounds, it in turn helps broaden the choices to be found in our bookshops and libraries and the chance that every single child will be able to pick up a book and find themselves reflected within its pages.'
#PassThePen will run from 20 February on social media.