All Stories, a unique mentorship programme for underrepresented children’s book writers, announces its first cohort of mentees
The inaugural group of writers are from a range of underrepresented backgrounds, including BAME, LGBTQ, living with a disability and socio-economically marginalised. They are writing in a wide array of age groups and genres, including imagination-busting picture books, anarchic comedies, middle grade mysteries and YA thrillers – often inspired by their own background. Each writer will be mentored for six months by a freelance editor, whose combined experience totals over 250 years. The writers will attend carefully curated webinars by top in-house editors3 on topics including voice and accessing the industry as an underrepresented writer. They will also receive a year’s membership to SCBWI.
The writers and their mentors are: Melissa Abraham (picture books), mentored by Jon Appleton; Dawn Amesbury (middle grade), mentored by Jon Appleton; Tracy Curran (picture books), mentored by Natascha Biebow; Jo Dearden (picture books), mentored by Helen Mortimer; Alison Dunne (middle grade), mentored by Jenny Glencross; Hannah Ekekwe (young adult), mentored by Genevieve Herr; Rebecca Ferrier (young adult), mentored by Tilda Johnson;Ikuko Ishiwaki (picture books), mentored by Niamh Mulvey; Suad Kamardeen (young adult), mentored by Emma Roberts; Mitchell Kamen (middle grade), mentored by Lucy Rogers; Lily Kerfoot (middle grade), mentored by Sara Grant; Reba Khatun (middle grade), mentored by Kathy Webb; Tasmia Tahia (young adult), mentored by Nicki Marshall; Thomas Thomasson (middle grade), mentored by Catherine Coe.
All Stories’ founder, children’s book editor Catherine Coe, said:
“The industry reaction to the launch of All Stories in March was incredible – huge thanks to everyone who has supported it. The standard of the applications was very high, and while I wish we could give more people such opportunities, I am thrilled that this first cohort of talented writers will receive extensive support to develop their craft – support they would not have been able to access otherwise. My hope is that the programme helps to break down long-held barriers of privilege and background in the industry, improving the diversity of authors and representation in books for young readers.”
Patron, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, said:
“The quality of entries was so high, such a strong reminder of how many talented writers just need that little bit of extra support to help them into publishing. Congratulations to everyone!”