Publishers, agents and writers of colour will be sharing their expertise via Zoom in a new virtual development programme for emerging black and Asian writers.
Take Flight Hub, which launches on 30th June, is a collaboration between University College London (UCL), Spread the Word and Words of Colour. The virtual hub will provide free talks, masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions and presentations over five weeks, made possible by a grant from the UCL Knowledge and the Innovation Rapid Response fund.
Alongside masterclasses by journalist and writer Gary Younge (pictured) on polemical writing and Inua Ellams on the fundamentals of dialogue and location in playwriting, Mary Jean Chan will offer advice on sustaining your career as a poet, while author Patrice Lawrence sheds light on writing convincing multicultural characters for YA fiction.
Writers can also meet literary agents, such as Emma Paterson and Elise Dillsworth, and hear from inclusive publishers, including Jacaranda's Valerie Brandes and Dialogue's Sharmaine Lovegrove.
Jhalak Prize 2020 winner Johny Pitts will also make an appearance along with #Merky Books inaugural signing Derek Owusu and writer Darren Chetty.
The Take Flight Hub was inspired by BookTrust Represents research conducted by Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, associate professor in publishing and book cultures at UCL, which found that emerging writers of colour needed support, advice and access as part of an industry-focused network to help sustain their careers.
Bold said: “The Take Flight Hub, based on the recommendations from my research, is a direct intervention for the next generation of writers of colour and will offer support to access, navigate, and thrive in the publishing process. Not only will it help emerging writers of colour develop their craft, and learn from established writers and publishing professionals, but it will also assist them to build networks that are important for their careers. The fact that this programme is by and for people of colour — talking about, and teaching, their craft rather than ‘diversity’ — is really powerful.”
Alongside the hub’s main programme, there will be a series of podcasts featuring advice and tips from leading writers of colour, based in the UK and abroad, which will be produced and launched at the end of the programme and made available to the wider public.
Tickets for the Take Flight Hub programme can be booked from the week commencing Monday 22nd June. Contact Joy Francis at email@example.com.