Penguin Random House UK has revealed the 14 unpublished and underrepresented writers invited to join this year’s WriteNow editorial programme.
The scheme aims to find and foster the talent of unpublished writers across all genres. Authors are selected for the exceptional quality of their writing and hail from a range of communities considered "underrepresented on the UK's bookshelves".
Over the next year, the writers will work with a PRH editor to develop their manuscript and develop it for publication. Since launching in 2016, this year sees the highest intake of writers on the programme yet.
This year's cohort includes Ali Issac, Charlie George, Elizabeth Lovatt, Emma Jokinen, Gaar Adams, Jackson P Brown, Jasmine Wigham, Jenny Ireland, Joanna Webley-Brown, Lottie Jackson, Nicola Cobham, Olive Ahmed, Osob Dahir and Sarah Little.
The publisher will also be launching a "WriteNow incubator" for the 50 writers on this year’s shortlist, to provide them with additional insight and information on the publishing process as they continue to develop their manuscripts individually. This will comprise a year-long series of exclusive, interactive sessions hosted by publishing experts from across PRH, covering topics requested by participants. WriteNow has also launched a dedicated newsletter for new writers, sharing information about how to get published and navigate the industry.
Since WriteNow launched in 2016, 950 writers across the UK and Ireland have received direct one-on-one editorial feedback as part of 10 "How to Get Published" day-long workshops. Over 40 writers have joined the WriteNow editorial programme: 13 have already been published or acquired by Penguin Random House imprints.
Commenting on the new intake, Siena Parker, head of creative responsibility, said: “It’s such a pleasure to be able to share the incredible new voices joining our programme this year. We intend for every one of these writers to ‘graduate’ from the programme with either a literary agent or publishing deal, from us or another publisher.
“While it’s fantastic to see the WriteNow programme going from strength to strength, it’s important to also acknowledge that ultimately our aim is that WriteNow no longer needs to exist, because the way we acquire writers and publish books every day will be representative of the rich diversity of society. We know there’s much more we need to do to reach that point.”