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 has worked with many writers to help them edit and polish their picture book texts. As part of critique groups and as a mentor one to one, she has given feedback to a number of writers who are dipping their toes into picture books. However at this time, Chitra is unable to take on new clients due to her own writing commitments. 
How do I get involved? If you'd like to discuss a future arrangement or need advice on who else is offering mentoring, please do get in touch via http://www.chitrasoundar.com/writing/picture-book-mentoring/

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. 

The White Review Short Story Prize 2021

What is it? An annual short story competition for emerging writers.
What’s on offer? The prize awards a large cash prize to the best piece of short fiction by a writer resident in Britain & Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal, and it is supported by the RCW Literary Agency.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

The deadline is Monday, 26th April 2021.

Write Beyond Borders 2021

What is it? A British-Council funded project for emerging writers of South Asian background based in the UK, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
What’s on offer? Each successful applicant is paired with one of our author mentors and receives support and advice on writing through a combination of one-to-one sessions and masterclasses.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

The deadline is Friday, 30th April 2021.

Bad Betty Press 2021 Anthology

What is it? These submissions are for Bad Betty Press’ 2021 anthology: The Book of Bad Betties. They are looking for poems that pay tribute to the women who’ve changed our lives.
What’s on offer? If your work’s chosen, you’ll receive a copy of the book and a £50 fee, and be invited to perform at an online launch in September.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

The deadline is Friday, 30th April 2021.

Bristol Short Story Prize 2021

What is it?  The competition is open to all writers worldwide. Stories must be previously unpublished and can be on any theme or subject.
What’s on offer? If your work’s chosen, you’ll receive a copy of the book and a £50 fee, and be invited to perform at an online launch in September.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

The deadline is Wednesday, May 5th 2021.

Writing Our Legacy 

What is it? This opportunity offers 15 bursaries of £500 to Black, Asian or ethnically diverse writers in Sussex, Hampshire or the wider South East.
What’s on offer? The chance to research and develop new writing or project work with a focus on the landscape of South Downs National Park.
How do I get involved? Visit the website for more information.

The deadline is Wednesday, May 5th 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