The Mo Siewcharran Fund has dealt out its first grants since it was founded, rewarding two publishing houses - Faber & Faber and Granta Books - with £5,000 each to subsidise internships for young people pursuing a career in the Arts.
Set up in honour of the late Nielsen Books director Mo Siewcharran (pictured), who died suddenly in June 2017, the remit of the memorial fund is to support four BAME candidates a year with an internship lasting at least six months and paying at least the Living Wage. Those chosen for the scheme will be allocated a senior-level mentor, attend induction training and monthly masterclasses with Creative Access and graduate on to the Creative Access Development programme after their internship, too. The hope is it will "help transform lives and inspire young BAME candidates".
The first three grants, worth £5,000 each, have been awarded to: Faber & Faber, to support a publishing trainee; Granta Books, also to support a publishing trainee; and The King’s Head Theatre, to support an executive assistant.
John Seaton, Siewcharran's husband who founded the fund, remarked on the enthusiastic response the initiative had received. "Mo was passionate about both theatre and publishing and felt strongly about supporting people from non-white backgrounds. We were thrilled with the level of interest from organisations in this first round of applications and are looking forward to supporting many more young BAME candidates to pursue their careers over the coming years," he said.
Belinda Matthews and Nigel Marsh from Faber said the grant would provide "a wonderful stepping stone towards a first role in publishing" while Fiona English, executive director, Kings Head Theatre, said such gateways and development opportunities "enable us to have more exciting and creative teams while training up leaders for the future". Anne Meadows, commissioning editor, Granta Books, added in gratitude: "We are so glad to be partnering with Creative Access to offer a bright and talented lover of literature their first role in publishing, and immensely grateful to the late Mo Siewcharran and her husband John Seaton for their generous support."
Two more rounds of grants are scheduled for 2019. Interested companies (with less than £15m turnover) should apply for round one by 10th March 2019 and for round two by 10th July 2019. For more information, contact: Josie Dobrin on firstname.lastname@example.org.