If you’re an unpublished author from an LGBTQ+, BAME, disabled or socio-economically marginalised background, Penguin Random House want to hear your stories.
Publishing giants in the UK, PRH last year launched the #WriteNow initiative to connect with underrepresented voices in the publishing industry. They offered authors an exclusive opportunity to learn about the publishing process, mix with authors and agents, and get feedback on their novel from a genuine PRH publisher – and this year, they’re doing it all again.
You can apply to take part in the insight days in London (Saturday 9 September), Bristol (Saturday 16 September) and Newcastle (Saturday 23 September). As an aspiring author who was lucky enough to be invited along last year, I cannot recommend this enough.
Last year, I was incredibly lucky to have been chosen to take part in the day held in Birmingham, and it was an absolutely game-changing experience. We had the opportunity to mingle with editors, agents and published authors, and hear them speak about the journey towards publication. It was incredible to have a room full of people with the same goals, and the same drive towards a more diverse world of books.
For me, the biggest part was the twenty-minute feedback slot I had to speak with Mainga Bhima, one of the editors at Penguin. Having read 5,000 words of my manuscript we discussed the plot, how it would move forward and what I would need to focus on to make it the best it could be. When she asked if I had any questions, I forced myself to go for the biggie; “If this landed on your desk as a submission, would you ask to read more?” She answered with an enthusiastic “yes”, and when I left the meeting I had to spend a minute in the stairwell trying not to burst into ugly-happy tears.
Out of 150 authors chosen to particulate in the workshops across London, Birmingham and Manchester, 12 exceptional writers were picked to take part in a year long mentoring programme. I’m so excited for the novels it produces to hit the shelves and thrilled for the new mentees! The fact that they’re running this programme again this year is fantastic, and a really positive step for the publishing industry in terms of representing the true diversity of today’s society.
If you’re interested in applying for this year’s programme, the deadline for applicants is this Sunday 16th July so get your application in asap!