Rising Stars Wales

The Rising Stars Wales Award, held in partnership between Literature Wales and Firefly Press, gives Children’s Poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales the opportunity to further-develop their skills and writing for children. Following a successful first round in 2020, where three poets were selected to receive an award, Literature Wales and Firefly Press announced that a second round would take place in 2021, and two poets were selected to receive a 2021 Rising Stars Wales Award.

Literature Wales’ Strategic Plan 2019-2022 identifies Representation and Equality as one of its three tactical priorities for the forthcoming years. Children’s literature has historically not been representative of a diverse range of voices and stories, and Literature Wales acknowledges that there is still much work to be done to address this. Reflecting Realities, a report published by the Center for Literacy in Primary Education, revealed the stark statistics that only 7% of the children’s books published in the UK over the last 3 years (2017, 2018, 2019) feature characters from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

At Literature Wales and Firefly Press, we believe that Wales’ writers should comprise of a range of ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, regions and languages and not be typified by certain limited demographic profiles. Investing in authors from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds is a crucial step towards ensuring that there are no barriers in literature.

Discover more about all five successful poets below.