In a series of essays written for The Bookseller and commissioned by HarperCollins’ Natalie Jerome, who sits on the board of directors at Creative Access, people of colour working in the publishing industry talk about their careers and highlights to date, the challenges they have faced and how to encourage the next generation of black, Asian and minority ethnic publishing talent. Additional editing by Sarah Shaffi.
Top row, from left: Verna Wilkins, Natalie Jerome, Kwaku Osei-Afrifa. Middle row, from left: Ama Josephine Budge, Simon Dowson-Collins, Candice Carty-Williams, Tina Persaud. Bottom row, from left: Clarissa Pabi, Perminder Mann, Sam Habib, Margaret Busby.
Natalie Jerome writes a letter to the next generation of black, Asian and minority ethnic publishers.
Verna Wilkins on starting a business at her kitchen table.
Tina Persaud reflects on why so few black and Asian graduates consider publishing as a career.
Clarissa Pabi on how learning from and pioneers and peers across the creative industries has helped her.
Simon Dowson-Collins talks about finding and nurturing new talent.
Perminder Mann on the two key areas the industry should work on to promote ethnic diversity.
Candice Carty-Williams on how BAME people are hiding themselves.
Margaret Busby on whether diversity and inclusivity are just fashionable words.
Kwaku Osei-Afrifa says progress is happening, but congratulations will have to wait.
Ama Josephine Budge on challenging her position as a gatekeeper.
Samar Habib on how social media is a great support structure for BAME people.
Desrie Thomson-George looks at how the Black Ink Collective provided a crucial role in launching a wave of young black writers.
Publishing is a true meritocracy, says Nelle Andrew, so why are there people who think it isn't for them?