The Bookseller magazine is to bring in a guest editor for the first time, with Marianne Tatepo, the founder of the Black Agents & Editors' Group (BAE), to take the reins for the 9th April issue.
Tatepo, who is commissioning editor for Ebury Press (Lifestyle), where she publishes Guilaine Kinouani and Olivia Remes, is working with and on behalf of BAE to produce an issue of the weekly magazine dedicated to Black writing, publishing and agenting, including interviews and features with Black talent from across the trade, as well as a dedicated preview of Black authors. It is the first time The Bookseller has brought in an external editor to guest-edit an edition.
Tatepo, who worked at Penguin General and Fourth Estate & William Collins before joining PRH division Ebury, said: "BAE members cover various areas of publishing, from commercial non-fiction to literary fiction to serious non-fiction and children’s and YA. We are from across the diaspora – multilingual and from numerous countries, continents, cultures and class backgrounds. These nuances are seldom explored in depth, so this takeover is a unique and momentous opportunity to celebrate a range of perspectives in what we’ve named ‘The Black Issue’. Be it starting a business that fills a gap in the market, how to successfully market books to generation Z readers, or how to nurture authors and employees, in these pages you will find a multitude of conversation-sparking points of view."
BAE is also calling for submissions from people outside the group, with opportunities for two paid-for opinion pieces, as well as several contributions to the issue's features. Suggestions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Monday 8th March.
Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, said: "I'm incredibly excited to see The Bookseller presented from the perspective of a Black editor working with and showcasing Black writing, publishing, agenting, and bookselling. This BAE takeover of the weekly magazine will be a positive influence on the trade as it looks to build on its recent initiatives around diversity and inclusion. Marianne is our first guest editor, and will oversee the whole magazine that week, but she will not be our last as we recognise there is much more to do across our business in terms of representation. In the meantime, look out for this history-making issue coming from Marianne and BAE on 9th April!"
Announced in February, a Black authors' preview will be published in the same issue, written by journalist and former Bookseller reporter Natasha Onwuemezi. The feature will cover books to be published in any format, and any genre, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children's and Young Adult (YA) writing. The aim will be to showcase Black writers and illustrators, and also provide booksellers with key stock information for the year, including ahead of Black History Month in October. Electronic submissions should be sent to The Bookseller by Friday 5th March (see below).
BAE, established last year, is a community and mentoring initiative for current and aspiring agents and editors of African descent working in UK book publishing, and includes, among others: Ellah P Wakatama, editor-at-large at Canongate; Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books; Emma Paterson, literary agent at Aitken Alexander; Joelle Owusu-Sekyere, 2020 Rising Star and commissioning editor at Coronet; Ore Agbaje-Williams, 2020 Rising Star and editor at Borough Press; Natalie Jerome, literary agent at Aevitas Creative Management; and Nelle Andrew, literary agent at Rachel Mills Literary.
Printed books for the preview may be sent to Sasha McMullin at 28 Eastview Avenue, London SE18 2HT, or electronically to Tamsin.Hackett@thebookseller.com. For advertising opportunities, please contact Emma.Lowe@thebookseller.com.
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