Speaking Volumes breaks ground for writers of colour at LBF

Jasmin Kirkbride
News - Books Friday, 17 March 2017

Literary production agency Speaking Volumes launched Breaking Ground: Celebrating British Writers of Colour, a publication featuring 200 British writers of colour, at LBF

On Wednesday at the London Book Fair (LBF), literary production company Speaking Volumes launched a new resource featuring 200 writers of colour. The launch took place at a diversity debate chaired by BBC News presenter Razia Iqbal, and including Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi, historian and author Colin Grant, and award-winning poet Nick Makoha.

The aim of the Breaking Ground publication is to showcase the best emerging and established writing talent from writers of colour. Featuring a foreword by Linton Kwesi Johnson, it is aimed as a guide for publishers, festival directors, event producers and literary academics, both in the UK and abroad.

Sharmilla Beezmohun, co-director of Speaking Volumes, said: "Speaking Volumes is launching this resource to highlight the depth and breadth of writing talent in the UK's black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. We are only scratching the surface with 200 writers. The brochure is also representative in terms of age and genre, and features both new and established writers. Too often excuses are made for the non-inclusion of writers of colour in programming, including not knowing they exist. This resource changes that misperception as a go-to guide, covering every kind of literature, for festivals, event producers or publishers. With a resurgence in far-right politics and extremism, it is more important than ever to promote the positive contribution the UK's diverse populations make to culture and the arts.”

The booklet comes as part of a wider series of events and projects by Speaking Volumes under the Breaking Ground name, including taking emerging British writers of colour to four European countries in 2017-18, as well as producing events in London, Birmingham, and at Bradford Lit Fest.

For more information and to download the booklet in digital format, go here.

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