Elevate scheme for underrepresented writers lands ACE funding

Elevate scheme for underrepresented writers lands ACE funding

Cornerstones Literary Consultancy has been awarded Arts Council funding for its Elevate mentoring scheme, following a successful pilot run.

Elevate is aimed at pairing low-income and/or underrepresented writers with specialist editors to develop their manuscripts.

The scheme is due to launch in February 2021, with a second submission window in July, and has initial funding for 12 months. Every month, two writers will receive three hours of mentoring, with a total of 24 writer receiving support. A further 60 mentoring hours are available to allocate to projects that could benefit from additional help. Funding also covers two interns to assist with submissions.

Sarah Rouse, desk editor at Cornerstones (pictured), has driven the scheme this year. Commenting on the funding, she said: "From the inception of Cornerstones, our motto has been 'your story matters'. For years, we’ve been working with (and launching) debut writers, and we recognise that many communities still don’t receive equal access or opportunities in publishing. We hope that these editorial mentorships will enable writers to develop the tools of their trade and raise their manuscripts to the next level, all towards the wider goal of making publishing more representative."

Writers wishing to apply will be invited to send in the opening pages of their book and a synopsis, alongside details of how they are suited to a scheme promoting inclusivity. Writers may be from a low-income background, identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) and/or LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual), and/or have a disability. Those eligible will be writers of adult or children’s fiction and non-fiction, and Cornerstones has said it will only take on manuscripts that are partial drafts or completed works.

Successful candidates will have their work reviewed by editors, be involved in workshop techniques, and be able to ask questions about the writing, editing and submissions process.

The first application window is from 1st–21st February, and the second from 1st–21st July 2021.