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Rising Stars Wales Award 2020

Published Fri 11 Oct 2019 - By Literature Wales
© Literature Wales / Camera Sioned
Literature Wales and Firefly press launch a new initiative to identify talented children’s poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales.

Literature Wales and Firefly Press are extremely proud to collaborate on the Rising Stars Wales Award, a new initiative open to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children’s poets living in Wales. The Rising Stars Wales Award aims to discover and nurture new talent, provide opportunities and spotlight emerging writers. By actively talent-scouting and offering these writers the right support at the right time, Literature Wales and Firefly Press aim to contribute to the creation of a national literary culture which represents contemporary Wales.

We’re looking for up to five individuals who write poetry for children aged 8-12 years old. This opportunity is open to emerging poets of all ages.

In 2017, Pop Up and Otter Barry Books collaborated to present Rising Stars: a poetry anthology launching the work of five young debut poets and three graduate illustrators. Taking inspiration from the Rising Stars anthology, Welsh independent children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press and Literature Wales, the national company for the development of literature in Wales, are hoping that the Rising Stars Wales Award will be the first step towards a Rising Stars Wales publication, featuring debut poets from Wales. We anticipate that some of the writers identified through this call-out will be commissioned for a future Rising Stars Wales Anthology (subject to funding).

We have committed to tackling under-representation in the literature sector by identifying Representation and Equality as one of our key priorities in our Strategic Plan for 2019-2022. We believe that literature is deeply rooted in the notion of freedom of expression. Wales’ writers should comprise a range of ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, regions and languages and not be typified by certain limited demographic profiles.

The Rising Stars Wales Award is now open for submissions. There is no entry fee for this award. Full details can be found below.

One writer will be selected for the Rising Stars Wales Award and will receive:

  • A 4 night Nant Writers Retreat worth £400 – a stay at the historical Grade II* listed cottage which has been newly Based at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, this self-contained, fully equipped cottage provides a comfortable and quiet haven where you can concentrate on your work in progress, and those finishing touches to your writing, or simply revive your creativity.
  • A cash prize of £250 sponsored by Quarto Translations.
  • Selected works to be published on the Literature Wales and Firefly Press websites.

In addition, a further four selected poets will receive:

  • An award of £100 each.
  • The opportunity to shadow and take part in a school workshop with Eloise Williams, the Children’s Laurate Wales.
  • Selected works to be published on the Literature Wales and Firefly Press websites.

We anticipate that some of the writers identified through this call-out will go on to receive a paid commission for a future Rising Stars Wales Anthology (subject to funding).

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said:

“The literature sector is vibrant and diverse but true representation is still a long way off, and our priorities will address these inequalities of access and opportunities. To achieve this, we will continue to work with partners to amplify unheard voices. This isn’t about excluding anyone. It is about creating equal and fair access to artistic innovation and professional development.”

About Firefly Press

Firefly Press is an award-winning independent children’s and YA publisher based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth. Set up in 2013, Firefly is the only dedicated children’s publisher in Wales, publishing quality fiction in all genres for 5-19 year olds. They aim to publish books by great authors and illustrators wherever they are from. Successes include The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher, shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards and winner of the Tir na N’og Children’s book Prize, and Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, which won the Branford Boase first children’s novel award.

Firefly Press Publisher, Penny Thomas said:

“We’re so excited to launch the Rising Stars call-out, and would encourage anyone who is thinking of entering to go ahead and do so! Firefly publishes for 5-19 year olds and is always looking for new writers from diverse backgrounds. It’s so important that all children can see themselves in the stories they read.”

Literature Wales is part of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme, which supports arts organisations to expand their approach to diverse recruitment and talent development. We are committed to welcoming candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, which includes assessing applications on the strength of potential.

Deadline for applications: 5.00 pm on Monday 11 November 2019.

For more information, including eligibility criteria and full details of how to apply, download the call-out brief below.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your application before submitting, please contact us.

Literature Wales

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Call-out: Rising Stars Wales Award 2020
Language: EnglishFile Type: PDFSize: 933KB
Literature Wales Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form
Language: EnglishFile Type: WordSize: 119KB