Headline and Dorothy Koomson have launched "Find My Verity", an open casting call designed to bring more black female voices into the world of audiobooks.
The author and publisher are specifically seeking a new voice for the part Verity Gillmare, one of the main characters in All My Lies Are True, which is published on 9th July 2020 in hardback, e-book and audio. Koomson’s 16th book is the sequel to The Ice Cream Girls and the chosen narrator will read alongside Adjoa Andoh and Julie Maisey, who voiced the original novel a decade before.
Young black actresses, performers and drama students are all encouraged to apply for the paid role, and Headline has additionally been working with drama schools across the country to help recruit the right person for the part.
Koomson said: "I realised that the role of Verity was the ideal time to give someone up-and-coming the chance to showcase their vocal acting talents. This is for those who would not necessarily think of applying for audiobook work or who just wouldn’t have that opportunity to show casting experts their skills."
Applicants who do not make the shortlist for this particular role may still be considered for audiobook narration by the audio teams at Hachette for future projects, the publisher said.
Hannah Cawse, audio editor, Headline, said: "We are so excited to be working closely with Dorothy Koomson to find the voice of Verity."
Submissions will be accepted until 8th March 2020 and will be assessed by Koomson, the Headline audio team and a member of Hachette’s THRIVE (BAME employee) network.
Shortlisted candidates will attend a workshop held at the new Hachette recording studios in Carmelite House, London, where they will have one-to-one training sessions with in-house producers.
Koomson added: "I hope other imprints and publishers try things like this to find voices and people from marginalised and underrepresented communities for these types of roles."