SOAS partners with Myriad to launch bursary scheme for African women writers

SOAS partners with Myriad to launch bursary scheme for African women writers

Myriad Publications is partnering with SOAS University of London and International Students House to launch the £20,000 Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award, which will be offered to a female, black student who is ordinarily resident in Africa. The bursary will pay for the recipient’s tuition fees and accommodation costs for a SOAS Masters in African Studies, Comparative Literature or Translation in African Languages.

The award, launched to coincide with Myriad’s publication of Margaret Busby’s "major" anthology New Daughters of Africa, which compiles writing by African women writers from the past 25 years. A follow-up to Busby’s "much-lauded" original anthology Daughters of Africa, which was published by Cape in 1992, the new companion volume showcases key figures, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Malorie Blackman, Andrea Levy and Zadie Smith, as well as overlooked historical authors and today’s "exciting" new and emerging writers.

Busby, who will donate a proportion of her royalties to the fund, in addition to Myriad’s investment, said: "It is such a thrill to be able to shine a light on the remarkable creativity of each and every writer gathered in New Daughters of Africa. They must all take credit for their part in enabling the very special legacy that the SOAS award represents. This is an empowering moment that we will build on to make a lasting inspiration, and a pointer to what becomes possible through imaginative collaboration."

Myriad publishing director Candida Lacey added: "We are so proud to be publishing Margaret Busby’s new landmark anthology. In addition to celebrating the literary excellence, diversity and shared heritage of women of African descent, Margaret always wanted New Daughters of Africa to make a real difference to women’s lives."

Busby co-founded independent publisher Allison & Busby, where she championed authors including C L R James, Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah and many others. She has judged numerous literary awards, including the Caine Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and served on the board of English PEN.