Grant will enable imprint further to develop diverse list
Birmingham-based independent the Emma Press has been awarded an Arts Council England grant of nearly £15,000 to help it grow as an inclusive children's publisher.
Emma Wright founded the press in 2012, specialising at first in poetry and short stories. Emma Press' first full children's collection, Moon Juice by Kate Wakeling, won the CLiPPA award. Recent children's titles include Rachel Plummer's Wain, a poetry collection featuring LGBT retellings of Scottish myths; and the Bicki-Books, poetry picture books translated from a bestselling Latvian series.
The grant will fund partnerships with Staffordshire Libraries and Telford & Wrekin Libraries, as well as publication of six children's titles, to be promoted with events in libraries and schools:
• The Adventures of Na Willa, a collection of stories for children aged 8+ by Reda Gaudiamo (translated from Indonesian by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul and Kate Wakeling)
• When It Rains, a picture book for children aged 4+ by Rassi Narika (translated from Indonesian by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul and Emma Wright)
• Dragons of the Prime, an anthology of poems about dinosaurs for children aged 8+, edited by Richard O'Brien
• Super Guppy, a collection of poems for children aged 8+ by Edward van de Vendel (translated from Dutch by David Colmer)
• Incredible Insects, an anthology of poems about insects for children aged 8+, edited by Isabel Galleymore and Fran Long
• Poems the Wind Blew In, a collection of poems for children aged 6+ by Karmelo C Iribarren (translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel)
Wright said: "Books are vital in shaping children's worldviews and it's the responsibility of the children's book industry to make sure that the books being published reflect the realities of as many children's lives as possible. It's damaging on a profound level when you never see anyone like yourself within books or creating books, and it's also incredibly valuable to be exposed to different people's experiences and see the world through different eyes. Everyone benefits from more inclusive and diverse children's books, and I want the Emma Press to be part of the change. The aim of this project is to learn as much as possible about the children's book industry, and how books reach children."
The grant will also enable members of the press to take work placements at larger houses. Yen-Yen Lu, a freelancer who works with the Emma Press, will have a placement at Andersen Press from April.