05 July 2018
#Merky Books

Stormzy is delighted to announce #Merky Books, a brand new imprint in partnership with William Heinemann, dedicated to publishing the best new fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Curated by Stormzy, and launching with his first book Rise Up this November, #Merky Books will publish two to three titles per year, and form a home for a new generation of voices. 

Rise up: The #Merky Story So Far

1 November 2018

A showman like no other, Stormzy’s remarkable ascent has been matched by his honest and relatable character. A true spokesmen of black empowerment and social activism, Stormzy is one of the UK’s most inspiring young men who has consistently stood up for people from all areas of life, encouraging his fans and listeners alike to speak openly about their beliefs, to vote, and to fight for their rights.

Rise Up is the story of how he got there. It’s a story about faith and the ideas worth fighting for. It’s about knowing where you’re from, and where you’re going. It’s about following your dreams without compromising who you are.

Rise Up will be published on 1 November 2018 and will feature a number of never-before-seen photographs, annotated lyrics and contributions from those closest to him. Rise Up is Stormzy’s story, in his own words, and the record of a journey unlike any other.

Penguin / Merky logo

Editorial Director Tom Avery acquired world rights directly from the author, with Tom commenting "like most of the country, I’ve been a fan of Stormzy’s for a very long time. He is not only an exceptionally talented and dedicated musician, but also an artist who is shaping British culture. Rise Up explores a remarkable ascent and the lessons learned along the way, and #Merky Books will look to the future, establishing a platform and a home for new writing that matters."

Future #Merky Books initiatives include an open submission competition to find new works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, and a paid internship.

Please note that, outside of the competition, #Merky Books will not be accepting any unsolicited submissions. To hear more and receive updates on the programme, including submission dates and guidelines, make sure to sign up #Merky Books newsletter or visit our Authors hub for more information on getting published.

Speaking about the announcement, Stormzy said: "When I was in school I fell in love with literature and looking back it’s safe to say that this was the start of a life-long journey with words, poetry and writing. I read books religiously and often wrote poems which were undeniably setting me up for a career as a songwriter and a rapper. We’ve created #Merky Books for many reasons, the first simply for it to be a reference point for talented young writers to say “I can be an author” and for that to be a feasible and realistic achievement and not something in the distance.  We hope this imprint will instil belief and ambition in young writers, making publishing seem less prohibitive and making the dream of being a published author a reality.  We want #Merky Books to be a source of confidence and I look forward to publishing writers from all different walks of life, especially those who may have never had the opportunity to get into the industry so early."

Susan Sandon, Managing Director of Cornerstone, added: "Stormzy is an artist who has achieved an extraordinary level of success on his own terms, and created a new model in music for others to follow. #Merky Books is a channel for another of his passions, and an initiative that we hope will have a similar impact on the book world: helping to open up publishing for a new generation of writers and readers. We are all extremely proud to be working with him and the team on such an exciting and important venture."

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