Publisher Sarah Odedina is launching a new workshop for aspiring children’s authors and will give away 10% of the tickets to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) writers.
Odedina told The Bookseller she set up the ‘Writer’s Weekend Workshop’ because the industry needed to do more to encourage diverse creative voices. “I spoke at a Guardian event in March and out of around 120 delegates there were only about five non-white faces. I want to reach authors who feel like the usual writing courses aren’t for them.
“My mission was to create a sort of boot camp for writers - delegates will find out about how to plot, write dialogue, create setting. There will also be talks on the practical side of the business, so someone is talking about what authors can expect in terms of royalties. We will have an editor from Penguin Random House talk about what they look for when acquiring authors."
The event will take place in Brixton and the speaker line-up so far comprises: authors Malorie Blackman, Patrice Lawrence and Ele Fountain; Sarah Shaffi, editor-at-large at Little Tiger; David Stevens and Aimée Felone, founders of Knights Of publishing house; contracts specialist Nikki Griffiths; and literary agent Julia Churchill.
The workshop costs £200 for two days of talks, including lunch and refreshments, but 10% of tickets will be given away free to aspiring writers, who can apply by a synopsis of their work in progress, as well as the first 1,000 words of their fiction or sample of your poetry, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Knights Of are also paying for one BAME writer to take part.
Odedina has more than 20 years experience in the publishing industry and has held publisher roles at Bloomsbury, Hot Key Books, OneWord and Pushkin.
Full information about the Writer’s Weekend Workshop, including about how to buy tickets, is available on the event’s website. It will take place 7-8th July at The Department Store in Brixton.