Author and freelance editor KJ Charles is offering free development edits to two aspiring romance writers in an effort to "help people towards publication and make for a more inclusive publishing landscape", following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
In a blog post, Charles described feeling "pretty down" at the state of British society following the result of the referendum, but was inspired to "do something" by author Nikesh Shukla.
Shukla tweeted: “Whatever happens next is out of our control. Whether the country falls to the Far Right, where article 50 is invoked but listen. You can make a difference. You can do things to ensure the country continues to create amazing future leaders… Mentor a young person from a marginalised background to realise their dreams and potentials. Give them the opportunity and access.”
Charles said: "This is absolutely right. I am a powerful believer in doing something in times of anxiety, unhappiness and anger, as a way to make myself feel better if nothing else."
She added: "I also believe passionately in the importance of fiction, both for a bit of escape and as a way of opening our horizons. To see ourselves and other people reflected in books, to see the world as it should be, to believe for a little while that things will be all right: those are important. Romance is important; diverse romance is doubly important at a time when the worst sort of people are trying to drive out the glorious variety of human experience that makes this country worth living in."
The offer for two free development edits is open to aspiring Black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) romance writers of British identity or living in Britain.
More information can be found on Charles’ blog.
Charles is published by Samhain Publishing. She previously worked as an editor at Harlequin Mills & Boon and Bloomsbury Publishing.