Black Writing Resources in the UK Award 2021
In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have compiled the following lists of publishers, organisations and resources for black writing in the UK, including submission windows currently open to Black writers.
Knights Of is an inclusive publisher of children’s fiction. They are currently fundraising to keep inclusive Indies afloat through the coronavirus crisis – donate before the 10th June. Read their #booksmadebetter blog.
Jacaranda is a diversity-led publisher of fiction and non-fiction. They are currently fundraising to keep inclusive Indies afloat through the coronavirus crisis – donate before the 10th June. Find their titles here.
Peepal Tree Press
Peepal Tree Press is home of the best in Caribbean and Black British fiction, poetry, literary criticism, memoirs and historical studies. Find their titles here.
Verso Books is the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world and publishes a large selection of black authors. Find their titles here.
Cassava Republic Press
Cassava Republic was founded in Nigeria and expanded to London with the aim of bringing high quality African fiction and non-fiction for adults and children alike to a global audience. Find their titles here.
Dialogue Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and shines a spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and BAME communities. Find their titles here.
New Beacon Books
New Beacon Books was founded in 1966 and was the UK’s first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor. For over 50 years New Beacon Books has made available to Britain and its communities poetry, literature, non –fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African America, Europe, South America and Britain. Find out more here.
Curated by Stormzy, #Merky Books is committed to publishing a new generation of voices in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The imprint launched with Rise Up (2018), followed by Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi in summer 2019 and That Reminds Me, a novel in verse by Derek Owusu in November 2019. Their programme also includes the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize, an open submission competition to find news works across a range of genres.
Organisations and resources
First awarded in March 2017, the Jhalak Prize, seeks to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers. The prize is unique in that it accepts entries published in the UK by writers of colour. These include (and not limited to) fiction, non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels, poetry, children’s books, YA, teen and all other genres. The prize is also open to self-published writers. Find out more.
The Good Literary Agency
The Good Literary Agency is a new social enterprise literary agency from the team behind the award-winning book The Good Immigrant. Inspired by a desire to increase opportunities for representation for all writers under-represented in mainstream publishing, they are focused on discovering, developing and launching the careers of writers of colour, disability, working class, LGBTQ+ and anyone who feels their story is not being told in the mainstream. Find out more.
Speaking Volumes is a live literature organisation specialising in getting underrepresented voices heard, reaching diverse audiences and finding exciting ways to present the work of writers. Their Breaking New Ground project is a vital new resource – a catalogue profiling 104 British children’s writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers of colour – which will help young people, teachers, librarians and literature promoters find out about some of the very best authors working in the UK today.
A Quick Ting On
A special non-fiction book series of black British history that will explore subjects from Afrobeats to the power movement. Launching October 2020. Read more here.
Black Ballad is a UK based lifestyle platform that seeks to tell the human experience through eyes of black British women. Find them here.
Black Cultural Archives
Based in London, the BCA is the UK’s first and only national Black heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Find out more here.
Slay In Your Lane
A bestselling guide to life for Black British women by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, published by 4th Estate. Now also a podcast (on Apple Podcasts) and as a newsletter. Find out more here.
An online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour. They’re addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the industry through platforming the creative and editorial work of their community across essays, opinion, news, arts, music, politics and lifestyle content. Find out more here.
Britain’s leading black newspaper bringing readers news, sport and entertainment with an African and Caribbean perspective. Read it here.
Literary Native is a platform for writers of colour in London and beyond. They produce events and workshops for writers of colour and connect aspiring writers to the publishing industry. Find them here.
Commonword is Manchester’s Black and working-class led writing development organisation. Find them here.
The following opportunities are currently open to Black and Minority Ethnic writers:
Literary agent Gemma Cooper has opened submissions to Black writers of children’s fiction and graphic novels.
One More Chapter have opened submissions to Black writers.
The FAB Prize is open to new writes and illustrators from BAME backgrounds.
Blood Bath Horror zine have extended their deadline for submissions for Black people only.
See a full thread from Jericho Writers here.
Ways You Can Help the Black Lives Matter Movement
Minnesota Freedom Fund
The Minnesota Freedom Fund pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing, which forms part of Minnesota‘s unjust bail system. Donate here.
Black Visions Collective
BLVC believes in a future where all Black people have autonomy and where safety is community-led. Donate here.
Reclaim the Block
Reclaim the Block’s mission is to protect and expand current investment in community-led health and safety strategies, instead of investing in police. Donate here.
Listen to Race Traitor, a podcast series by The Heart
Listen to Good Ancestor, a podcast by the author of Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad