Walker to publish 'empowering' essay collection for teens with gal-dem

Walker to publish 'empowering' essay collection for teens with gal-dem

Walker Books has acquired a collection of essays about growing up from women of colour magazine and collective gal-dem.

The collection, aimed at teenagers, draws on the teen diaries, blogs and chat histories of gal-dem's own young writers who will explore "what it means to grow up as a woman of colour or non-binary person of colour in today’s world". Promising to be "honest, empowering and funny", it will cover topics spanning race, gender, mental health, body image and activism.

Commissioning editor Daisy Jellicoe acquired world rights directly from gal-dem's founder and editor-in-chief Liv Little and deputy editor Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff. Provisionally titled On Growing Up, the book will publish in the UK in summer 2019.

Founded in 2015, gal-dem has an online site and produces a 250-page annual print magazine, which is stocked in the Tate Modern, Libraria and Housmans among others. It hosts a range of events, from comedy and club nights to museum take-overs. As well as partnering with a range of brands, including Liberty London, it is currently collaborating with Dialogue Books on a new 12-month literature course tasked with "rewriting the literary canon to include people of colour" that kicked off last month. This Saturday (11th August) it is meanwhile taking over The Guardian

Weekend magazine to produce an issue where all the content is produced by women of colour and non binary people of colour, featuring Michaela Coel, Dina Torkia, Chidera Eggerue and Diane Abbott.

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, deputy editor of gal-dem, said the deal with Walker Books felt like "a natural step" for gal-dem after its success over the past three years. "It's a chance for us to look back at our lives to the teenagers we once were, and use our experience to inspire the next generation of young people to take control of their narratives. We feel honoured to be able to continue to platform the voices of women of colour and non-binary people of colour as we move forward into 2019," she said.

Daisy Jellicoe, commissioning editor, said: "I’ve admired gal-dem for ages so I’m thrilled to be working with them. As with all of their innovative content, this collection promises to be honest, empowering and funny – and is sure to get readers talking."