Opportunities for writers and illustrators of colour

If you’re a writer or illustrator looking for resources and support 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 https://issuu.com/speaking_volumes/docs/breaking_ground_final_singles

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 jasmine@storymix.co.uk for more information.

The Catchpole Agency

What is it? A family-run literary agency based in Oxford that specialises in children's books - they're now opening submissions from Black authors and illustrators. 
What's on offer?
 Submissions are currently closed at The Catchpole Agency due to COVID-19, but they're temporarily opening them for Black authors and illustrators. Given the current circumstances, they're unlikely to take on any new clients, but they are offering feedback and guidance.
How do I get involved?
Email james@thecatchpoleagency.co.uk with the subject 'Twitter submission'.


For writers only

Mentoring for picture book writers from Chitra Soundar

What is it? Author and storyteller Chitra Soundar has published over 20 picture books, and is now offering mentoring for picture book writers.
What's on offer? Chitra will offer detailed feedback on three picture book manuscripts followed by a shorter review on the revised manuscripts, as well as support on how to write cover letters for agents and publishers, and where to send them.
How do I get involved? For more information, visit Chitra's website or email her on chitra@chitrasoundar.com.

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.

Megaphone

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. 

REWRITE

What is it? The Leading Platform for Black Women & Women of Colour Writers Around the World.
What's on offer? Creative writing courses, editorial services, book reviews, masterclasses, online literary magazines and more.
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.

Inscribe

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 info@peepaltreepress.com for more information.

Lit Up with ND PR

What is it? ND PR has created a growing series of courses that aim to support writers and illustrators by offering practical advice and assistance to help creatives in their PR and promotion.
What’s on offer? 
A series of virtual courses to help authors and illustrators better understand what would suit their needs and goals in terms of PR and media attention, to take control and take the initiative where necessary, and to provide more useful and focused information when working with their publishers.
How do I get involved?
 Visit the website for more information.

Black Bee Books

What is it? New Welsh publisher Black Bee Books is looking for under-represented voices in Wales. If you write YA (fiction and non-fiction) and think your work fits the bill you can email your work in a PDF format to submissions@blackbeebooks.wales.
What’s on offer? The possibility of having your children’s book published by a new publisher whoaims to work with authors that reflect the wide range of communities in Wales, and publish titles that resonate with a diverse readership.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. 

Word Factory Apprenticeship Award 2021

What is it? This is a national mentoring scheme for short story writers, offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers for unpublished writers of short stories.
What's on offer? To be individually mentored by leading authors, invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event, become a part of the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae and receive a small bursary.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Thursday, February 18 2021.

Northern Writers' Awards 2021

What is it? An award that invites writers from across the North of England to send in their unpublished work-in-progress.
What's on offer? The chance to win a share of cash awards and professional development.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Thursday, February 18 2021.

ELEVATE Mentoring Scheme 2021

What is it? An Arts Council funded scheme that pairs low-income and/or underrepresented writers with specialist editors to develop their work.
What's on offer? If selected, each month, we will offer three hours of mentoring with a specialist editor to two writers (we will select the best-suited editor from either our Core, Market, or Industry tier), supporting a total of twenty-four writers.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Sunday, February 21 2021.

Adda magazine

What is it? An online magazine celebrating new writing from around the globe is seeking translated work from South and Southeast Asia. It is accepting poetry, non-fiction, and fiction: non-fiction entries – in particular – are strongly encouraged.
What's on offer? To be published on the Adda Stories website and the translator will be remunerated.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Sunday, February 21 2021.

Neema Shah Mentorship opportunity

What is it? Mentorship being offered to an emerging underrepresented writer by an award-winning minority author.
What's on offer? A session to discuss your work, how to achieve your writing goals & to get an insight into the publishing industry from a debut author, review and written feedback of up to 5,000 words of a WIP, plus synopsis and covering letter.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Friday, February 26 2021.

Avon x Mushens Entertainment Prize 2021

What is it? Open to writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are writing a commercial novel. Novels do not need to be complete at the time of submission.
What's on offer? The winner will receive a two-book publishing contract with Avon with an advance against royalties, an additional grant to support their writing, and representation from Mushens Entertainment.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Sunday, February 28 2021.

Owned Voices Novel Award 2021

What is it? An award that aims to give two winners the best possible chance of finding an agent or publisher for their work with an open call to un-agented writers from an underrepresented background to submit a completed manuscript
What's on offer? The winners will also either be paired up with editor Leodora Darlington or agent Katie Fulford for one-to-one feedback on their novel, receive written feedback, followed by a one-to-one virtual mentoring meeting with their partnered publishing professional and guidance on how to secure a publishing deal.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information. The deadline is Sunday, February 28 2021.


For illustrators only

Pathways Forum

What is it? A selection of opportunities specifically for illustrators or those looking to learn more about children's illustration.
How do I find out more? Visit the Pathways Forum website.

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.

Women Who Draw

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

BookTrust Represents

Our 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