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...

For writers and illustrators

Speaking Volumes: Breaking New Ground Brochure

What is it? Over 100 authors and illustrators of colour creating books for children and teenagers.
Where can I find it? Take a look at

Knights Of: open call for submissions

What is it? An open call for children’s story pitches from authors and illustrators to publishers Knights Of.
What’s on offer? Live chat and potential to publish.
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.

Story Mix

What is it? A children's fiction development company with a focus on inclusive representation in the stories we craft.
What’s on offer? Emerging or established writers or illustrators from BAME backgrounds work with Story Mix to create a superior quality, high-concept book series for publishers.
How do I get involved? Visit the website or email for more information.

For writers only

Hashtag Blak

What is it? A new publisher looking for Black British writers of middle grade fiction (8-12 years), YA and Adult Fiction.
What's on offer? An open submission policy, so you do not need to be agented to apply.
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.

Penguin's How to Get Published

What is it? A writer's guide to the world of publishing - a new online resource available now
How do I access it? Visit the website to view the guide.

Quarto Translations/ Golden Egg Academy Diversity Award

What is it? Quarto and The Golden Egg Academy want to encourage more diverse writers and diverse stories for children. This award will be for underrepresented writers, creating stories that will allow children to see themselves in the literature they read, and to meet published writers that they might wish to emulate.
What's on offer? A Golden Egg voucher covering a full year's writing course.
When does it close? 31st July 2019
How do I apply? Contact: with the subject line DIVERSITY AWARDS APPLICATION PACK, or visit the Golden Egg Company website for more information.


What is it? Megaphone is a writer development scheme, giving support to BAME (Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic) writers as they write their first novel for children or teenagers.
How do I apply? Contact Leila and visit the website for further details. 

Not So Normal Narrators 2019 

What is it? Not So Normal Narrators are seeking short stories told through underrepresented and unusual teen voices. We're hoping to see central characters of different ethnic, cultural and class backgrounds, characters who identify as LGBTQ+, characters with disabilities or mental health issues, or just any young character with circumstances or a perspective outside of the mainstream. Think about the YA heroes you've not seen yet, and be the strange you wish to see in the world!
What's on offer? Ten finalists will feature in an anthology collection that will be made available in ebook and print editions. The winning entry will also receive a £200 cash prize; 2nd and 3rd place will receive £100 and £50 respectively. All ten finalists will also be invited to read extracts from their stories at OvO's launch anniversary party, either in person or via Skype live link-up.
When does it close? 31st August 2019
How do I apply? To enter, visit the Odd Voice Out website.


What is it? A non-profit organisation formed to support and champion Black Women and Women of Colour writers; providing the tools, space and confidence they need to achieve their writing goals.
What’s on offer? Courses, book reviews, and REWRITE Live!
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information

Regional literature development agencies

  1. Literature Works
  2. New Writing North 
  3. New Writing South
  4. Spread the Word (London) 
  5. Writing East Midlands 
  6. Writing West Midlands 

Literary Natives

What is it? A network of writers of colour from every corner of the industry, including fiction, poetry, screenwriting, journalism, spoken word and theatre.
What’s on offer? Tailored events to network with other writers of colour and get advice from publishing industry professionals.
How can I get involved? Join their mailing list, by going to their website, to stay updated on events. 

The Future Bookshelf

What is it? As part of Hachette, one of the UK’s biggest publishers, they aim to demystify publishing and guide you through the process of writing, editing, submitting and publishing, so you know what to expect and how to succeed.
What’s on offer? Advice from authors and publishing opportunities.
How do I get involved? Visit the website.


What is it? A writer development programme and imprint of Peepal Tree Press, supporting Black British writers of African and Asian descent in England.
What’s on offer? Coaching, mentoring, workshops, residentials, training, newsletters, publications and general advice.
How do I get involved? Visit the website or email for more information.


What is it? Untitled is a new kind of writer’s night: a platform for underrepresented writers to come and share their stories in a safe and intimate space.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information or email

The Floella Benjamin Trophy

What is it? A writing competition for all UK writers aged 18+: write a short story, essay, article, poem, letter, interview, monologue or play with the theme 'Children are our future.'
What's on offer? £200, plus one year's membership to the Society of Women's Writers and Journalists, and a trophy
When does it close? 31st August 2019
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.


What is it? A new (online) writing conference for writers of children’s fiction!
When is it? Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September 2019.
How do I sign up? Visit the website for more information.

Inscribe Fiction Anthology

What is it? A call for original short stories for their next anthology of 'speculative fiction' - anything goes, as long as it's good. What they're looking for is the weird and the unusual from Black British writers. Their broad definition of 'Black British' is simply one of self-identification: i.e., if you are a writer 'of colour' born, raised, living, or have lived in Britain and self-identify as Black British, then they welcome your submission.
What's on offer? The anthology will be published by Peepal Tree Press in Spring 2022.
When does it close? 1 December 2019
How do I apply? Visit their website for guidelines and more information

For illustrators only

Art Moves Festival 

What is it? A Billboard competition for visual artists responding to the theme: Impending disaster or chance to save yourself and the world?
What's on offer? The ten most interesting works which will be printed and displayed on billboards in the city of Torun, Poland during the Art Moves Festival in September/October 2019.
When does it close? Submissions close Tuesday, 23 July 2019.
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.

NAVS competition

What is it? A competition for illustrators to celebrate 90 years of NAVS with an Art for Animals theme.
What's on offer? Cash prizes will be given to first, second and third place winners, one Youth (age 12 and under) winner, and one Best in Show winner.
When does it close? Submissions close Friday, 26 July 2019.
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.

Pop Up and House of Illustration: Pathways into Children's Publishing

What is it? Pathways is a new two-year illustration programme for talented and ambitious artists from diverse backgrounds who believe they can be the next generation of children's illustrators.
What's on offer? A packed creative programme including residentials, masterclasses, short courses, one-to-one mentoring with illustrators and editors, publisher placements and opportunities to learn education and events practice.
When does it close? 2 September 2019
How do I apply? Visit the website to download an application pack and find out more.

Women Who Draw

What is it? An open directory of female illustrators.
How do I join? Visit the website to sign up.

The Book Illustration Competition

What is it? An annual international competition open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, who have not been previously published by The Folio Society.
What’s on offer? The winner receives a highly sought-after commission and will be paid £5,000 to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which is then published by The Folio Society. Five runners each receive £500.
How do I get involved? Keep an eye on the website for details of the 2020 competition.

Association of Illustrators

What is it? The professional body for illustration in the UK.
What’s on offer? Contract and business information, online resources, social media promotion and much more.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

Derwent Art Prize

What is it? This prize aims to reward excellence by showcasing the very best 2D & 3D artworks created in pencil or coloured pencil, as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite and charcoal by British and International artists.
What’s on offer? Eighty works will be selected for display at the Mall Galleries in central London. In addition, prizes totalling over £12,500 will be awarded in an awards ceremony on the opening night of the exhibition.
When does it close? 17 February 2020
How do I apply? Visit the website for more information.

V&A Illustration Awards

What is it? The UK's most prestigious annual illustration competition.
What’s on offer? The winners will receive £3,000 and the student runner-up will receive £2,000. Works also go on display at the V&A.
How do I apply? Keep an eye on the website for 2020 competition opening times.

The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize

What is it? A prize is open to artists that show significant potential, interesting ideas, a relevant message and skilful execution.
What’s on offer? £3,000 cash prize award, and £500 Cass Art voucher, and an exhibition of a collection of your artworks in the Ashurst Emerging Artists Gallery.
When does it open? September 2019.
How can I find out more? Visit the website

BookTrust Represents

Our three-year project promotes and supports children’s authors and illustrators of colour, so young readers find the books that represent them.

Learn more about BookTrust Represents