Literature Wales announces its investment in the professional development of eight emerging writers
Over winter 2019 and spring 2020, eight emerging writers will undertake professional development activities through the support of Literature Wales’ Platforming Under-represented Writers funding scheme.
Platforming Under-represented Writers is a pilot funding scheme offering grants of between £50-£1000 for a professional development opportunity to Wales-based writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and writers with a disability or illness (mental or physical). The aim of this scheme is to encourage writers from under-represented backgrounds to develop their professional and artistic potential and to create opportunities to kick-start their career.
Literature Wales’ investment will enable these talented individuals to shadow experienced writers, undertake research, conduct focus groups and deliver community engagement workshops; expanding their skills and knowledge and in some cases contributing to the development of their body of work.
The Writers and their Projects
Yasmin Begum is a 26 year old queer Welsh-Pakistani writer, activist and artist living in Cardiff. She will use this funding to conduct a period of research focusing on Welsh identity, colonialism and cultural memory with the aim of better understanding and exploring the legacy of Welsh people and Welsh people of colour throughout history using decolonial theories.
Anirban Mukhopadhyay is a fiction writer, actor, playwright, director and tabla percussionist from Cardiff. Anirban will use the Platforming Under-represented Writers funding to enhance his knowledge of the Crime Fiction genre by conducting focus groups and receiving mentoring from a well-established Indian Crime Fiction writer.
Marvin Thompson is a poet who was born in London to Jamaican parents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University and currently teaches English to secondary school children in mountainous south Wales. Marvin will use the Platforming Under-represented Writers funding to shadow the renowned performance poet and actress, Debris Stevenson.
Nasia Sarwar-Skuse lives in Cardiff and has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Nasia is a recipient of a Literature Wales Bursary for emerging writers and is working on her first novel. Taylor Edmonds is a poet and performer from Barry. She recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Nasia and Taylor will run a series of six free creative writing workshops for individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to explore the theme of voice.
Sherrall Morris is a writer, performer and drama facilitator. She has written a number of short scripts and monologues for scratch performances and open mic events. Sherrall will use the Platforming Under-represented Writers Funding to develop her skills as a writer and strengthen her dramaturgical knowledge by working with Dramaturge and Playwright, Kelly Jones, as her writing mentor. She will also employ a PA/Scribe to assist with the note taking, recording and documenting the process.
Hammad Rind is a writer, linguist, performer and teacher who was born in Punjab, Pakistan. Hammad will use the Platforming Under-represented Writers funding to run a series of inclusive writing and illustration workshops for children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to celebrate the diversity of the multicultural area of Grangetown, Cardiff.
Laolu Alatise is writer and co-founder of a collective based in Cardiff, who conducted research on the history of the 1919 Race Riots in South Wales. Laolu will use this funding to produce a chapbook, The 1919 Race Riots Almanac, about the history surrounding the 1919 Race Riots in South Wales. He will also create and deliver workshops for people in Cardiff.
Click here to visit the Platforming Under-represented Writers project page for a full biography of each author and details of all upcoming projects.
Literature Wales is the national company for the development of literature. Our vision is a Wales where literature empowers, improves and brightens lives. Our new Strategic Plan for 2019-2022 outlines Representation and Equality as one of Literature Wales’ main tactical priorities. We believe that every person, regardless of their background, should feel included and free to navigate, contribute and take ownership of the literature scene in Wales.
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “There are significant barriers to a professional writing career for some demographic groups, including limited access to networks and industry knowledge, limited representation in existing published works, and opportunities which appear inaccessible and exclusive. We hope that this focused opportunity will support and strengthen under-represented literary voices, and is a small contribution towards truer representation amongst the literary greats of the future.”