Simon & Schuster UK has collaborated with the Jhalak Prize in its Books to Readers programme, which aims to boost sales and visibility for longlisted writers.
The programme involves donors partnering with an independent bookshop and donating several longlisted items to them. The publisher selected The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley, donating five longlists. It also donated a futher two to the Ilkley library, and two of the children’s and YA longlists to Bradford Grammar School.
Bobita Dey, senior business analyst and diversity, equity and inclusion co-chair at S&S UK, said: "More than just a literary prize for writers of colour, the Jhalak Prize has grown into an initiative which has connected the grassroots of publishing to the mainstream and its positive effects can be felt throughout local communities and across the country. The Books to Readers scheme has connected publishers, businesses and individual donors to independent bookshops, schools and local libraries.
"Alongside the scheme, there is also the Jhalak Art Residency where an artist of colour is nominated to create the annual Jhalak Prize. It was a great opportunity for us to support an already existing, and now thriving, prize in its fifth year. To work with Professor Sunny Singh, The Grove Bookshop and support the Jhalak Prize’s Books to Readers initiative has been a real pleasure and highly rewarding. I hope we can do it again next year."
The Jhalak Prize is an annual literary award for British or British-resident writers of colour established in 2016, founded by Singh and Nikesh Shukla in conjunction with Media Diversified. A new sister award, the Jhalak Children’s and YA Prize, was announced in 2020 with the first award to be made in 2021. Open to a broad church of picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, poetry, or non-fiction, both award £1,000 to the winner and a bespoke work of art by an artist of colour. This year's winners are announced tomorrow (25th May).