Today we’re announcing an open call for children’s fiction submissions from debut BAME writers.
Earlier this week, writer and journalist Nikesh Shukla made headlines for his comments on a lack of diversity in the publishing industry, and in particular, the fact that the list of books announced for the 2016 World Book Night do not include any titles by BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) writers.
Nikesh has since announced a fantastic project with crowd-funding publisher Unbound – The Good Immigrant, featuring essays about race and immigration by fifteen BAME writers, poets, journalists and artists. You can pledge to help fund the project here.
And Nikesh’s comments prompted me to think about our own efforts to publish writers from a diverse set of backgrounds.
I think that it’s incredibly important that our industry represents a wide range of voices, not only so that children from every background can recognise their own lives and experiences in the books that they read, but also simply to enrich the body of children’s literature that we publish, by moving out of a monoculture and embracing a wider world of ideas.
It’s an area in which we could definitely do better, which is why today I’m posting this open call for children’s fiction submissions (so, anything in the 5 – 12 age range, but I’d be especially interested in 9 – 12, aka “middle grade”) from BAME writers. I’m very happy to receive submissions from agented and un-agented authors – and although I’d particularly like to see children’s fiction submissions from debut writers, if you’ve already been published, I’d still be very pleased to hear from you!
I’m happy to consider writing in any genre. If you’d like to submit something, you can email me at [email protected] – ideally with a synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. I’ll reply to everyone who submits something, but it might take a week or so before you hear from me, so please don’t be discouraged if it takes a while!
If you have any questions, please do send me a message. And if you’ve written something, please send it in!