Little, Brown and Orion staff have joined Hachette’s Future Bookshelf scheme to help and discover unpublished authors from underrepresented backgrounds.
The Future Bookshelf, which will be taking submissions again from May, has expanded this year to include staff from Little, Brown and Orion who will be involved in the submission process and be included in the potential acquisition of successful submissions for their lists.
Open to authors of fiction or non-fiction who reside in the UK and Ireland, submissions can be made from 24th May to 2nd June. Alongside their work, applicants must provide a personal statement about why they feel underrepresented in the publishing industry in terms of race, sexual orientation, age, disability, socio-economic status, geographical location or religion.
The scheme was first launched in 2016 as part of Hachette’s Changing the Story diversity project, providing a year’s worth of tips and exercises on writing a book and to help demystify the business of publishing.
Last year, three authors were selected from a total of more than 750 submissions and eventually landed contracts with publishers. Eleni Kyriacou, Elizabeth Okoh and Robert Hamberger, had works acquired by Cicely Aspinall, editor at Hodder & Stoughton, Francine Toon, commissioning editor at Hodder & Stoughton, and Kate Craigie, editor at John Murray respectively.
Emma Petfield, marketing manager at John Murray Press and one of the founding members of the Future Bookshelf, said: “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the impact that The Future Bookshelf has already made through our year-round online activity, and by our acquiring of the class of 2018 through open submissions. We cannot wait to see this continue as we open again for 2019.
“Greater representation in publishing is close to the hearts of each member of the Future Bookshelf’s committee and being able to include a multitude of departments in the reading process has really shown how dedicated we all are to making diversity an integral part of our publishing. Expanding the initiative to include Little, Brown and Orion will only make this dedication stronger and more pervasive as we continue to make publishing more accessible.”