Building on the success of last year’s inaugural WriteNow campaign, Penguin Random House has invited eleven unpublished writers from a range of under-represented communities to join its second year-long mentoring programme.
Over the next 12 months each writer will work closely with a Penguin Random House editor with expertise in their genre in order to develop their manuscript and get it ready for publication. All eleven mentees hail from a range of different communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves, whose voices, stories and perspectives need to be better heard. Chosen on the exceptional quality of their writing, their books span a fantastic and diverse range of genres, from literary fiction to children’s picture books, and non-fiction memoir to short stories.
Now in its second year, WriteNow is already achieving real change. Recently two writers from the inaugural mentoring programme were offered publishing contracts just six months into their mentorship: Charlene Allcott has secured a publishing deal with Transworld for her first two novels, whilst Geraldine Quigley’s first novel, Music Love Drugs War has also been bought by Penguin General.
Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, said: “Our aspiration with WriteNow is to publish the stories which aren’t often told, but which need to be. Both the level of talent and the richness of ideas from our mentee writers this year are remarkable; really underlining the importance of a programme like WriteNow in seeking out and bringing these voices to the fore.”
WriteNow is a nationwide campaign launched by Penguin Random House UK to ensure the books and authors we publish better reflect the society we live in, including writers from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, writers who have a disability, or come from a socio-economically marginalised background. Established in 2016, to date the programme has welcomed 300 writers to six regional events across the UK, from Newcastle to Bristol, and received nearly 5,000 applications from writers around the country.