Inclusive Indies Fund awards grants to 11 presses

Inclusive Indies Fund awards grants to 11 presses

The Inclusive Indies Fund, set up earlier this year by Knights Of and Jacaranda Books, has awarded grants totalling £35,000 to 11 independent presses from across the UK and Ireland. 

The winning presses were selected from a list of 26 submissions, and include five children's publishers. The full list of recipients comprises Bluemoose Books, Bryan House Publishing, Dinosaur Books, HopeRoad, Onwe Press, Out-Spoken Press, Owlet Press, OWNIT!, Tiny Owl Publishing and Way WiveWordz, who each received  £3,000. The children’s and young adult Irish independent press Little Island received a grant of £5,000. 

The funds were administered by Spread the Word. 

Aimée Felone, co-founder of Knights of, commented: “At a time when uncertainty prevailed, we received overwhelming support from our communities. The inclusive indies fund was set up to provide that same support back to those who hold us up. We are honoured to be able to help, in a very small way, the inclusive independent publishers that have and continue to champion the voices that society often overlooks."

The fund will continue to advocate for inclusive indie publishers alongside providing support and advice. Sessions on ‘The Business of Running an Independent Press’ led by Felone and Valerie Brandes, publisher and founder of Jacaranda Books and ‘Gaining Funding for Your Indie’ run by Ruth Harrison, director of Spread the Word, are taking place for the inclusive indies who applied to the fund.

Brandes said: “Out of the depths of George Floyd's horrific death at the hands of US police, and in the midst of this terrifying pandemic, we could never have anticipated or imagined, once we made the decision we needed to ask for help, the level of kindness, support, (financial and emotional) we would receive."

Commenting on the success of the Inclusive Indies crowdfund, she said: "We are deeply humbled by the engagement we saw with the Crowdfunder and sharing that success with our fellow indies has simply been the best outcome of all. We at Jacaranda are fully committed to supporting, wherever we can, the activities of inclusive presses in the publishing industry, and hope that our commitment will inspire those with the means and many more resources to do the same.”

The campaign originally set out to raise £100,000 but exceeded this following a wave of support and a £10,000 donation from Audible. The campaign was set up to raise money for Knights Of and Jacaranda, with a percentage of additional funds being shared across indies in the UK.

Anthony Anaxagorou, founder of Out-Spoken Press, said he was "thrilled" to have been awarded a grant. He said: "It really couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for us as a publisher. We’re now able to ensure the release of our titles for upcoming months, with the care and attention they each deserve, and to look ahead to our plans for 2021."