Hachette launches fiction development programme for BAME authors

Hachette launches fiction development programme for BAME authors

Hachette UK's network for BAME employees, THRIVE, has launched a free fiction development programme for unpublished and unagented writers.

Grow Your Story will start in January 2021 and is now open for applications from BAME writers in the UK and Ireland.

The programme is being run by the THRIVE network in partnership with David Higham Associates, the Future Bookshelf, Spread the Word and Hachette UK’s trade divisions. It will offer 10 selected writers the opportunity develop their manuscript through a series of online workshops to be held in January and February 2021 with industry professionals, including author Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and David Higham agent Niki Chang, alongside Hachette editors Becky Walsh, Ed Wood, Emad Akhtar, Eleanor Dryden, Federico Andornino and Rose Tomaszewka.

Workshops will cover editing, redrafting, finding the core of the story and how to perfect your pitch. The programme will also enable each writer to have one-to-one mentorships with both an editor and agent for up to nine months, fortnightly meet ups with fellow writers, and the opportunity to attend an author Q&A and special guest talks.

Grow Your Story forms part of Hachette's Changing the Story, a diversity and inclusion programme that aims to help improve representation in publishing.

Ella Patel, outreach co-lead of THRIVE, commented: “We're excited to directly reach emerging writers, support them in developing the skills and confidence to make the next steps in their careers as authors and, in turn, take the necessary action to improve representation in publishing.”

David Shelley, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said: says “Our mission at Hachette UK is make it easy for all readers, everywhere, to discover new worlds. So, we want to do all we can to ensure that the authors we publish are representative of the readers we serve — and we know we have a lot to do to get to that place. I am really excited by the Writing Workshop and Mentorship Programme that THRIVE, with the support of The Future Bookshelf, David Higham Associates and Spread the Word, have devised. I hope it will be a practical way of developing dynamic new creative talent from a more diverse base and helping build links with bestselling authors of the future.”

Chang added : “We are thrilled to be partnering with Hachette UK, THRIVE, The Future Bookshelf and Spread the Word on this important development programme for writers of colour. At DHA, we are passionate about nurturing new talent and helping to build a truly diverse industry. We are excited about forging new connections with writers and supporting them at the crucial early stages of their careers.”

To apply for the programme, applicants will need to submit a 3,000-word sample from their novel, a one-page synopsis of their book and a one-page personal statement on why they would benefit from this programme.  For 2021, the programme will only accept fiction in all genres except children, YA and poetry.

The submissions period will open at midnight on 4th September 2020, and will close on 14th September 2020, at 11.59 p.m. GMT. Submissions can be made online or email growyourstory@hachette.co.uk for more details.