Making Suburban Faith research associate Dr. Nazneen Ahmed has been announced as one of the twelve winners of the Write Now programme run by Penguin Random House ‘which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities currently under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves.’
Each of the winners is paired with a mentoring editor from Penguin Random House for a year. Together they will work together to make their manuscripts the best they can be and ready for publication. Over 2000 writers applied for the twelve places so we are very proud of Naz!
Naz’s book The Strange Children of Spittlefields is a fantasy fiction novel for young adults set in the 19th century between London, Gujarat and East Bengal. Naz said
“Just having my story noticed by Penguin Random House has given me the self-belief to think of myself as a writer, and focus on getting my book finished and out there, neither of which seemed possible before. I have also met some inspirational writers who have become very close friends. These friendships have formed the basis of a support network, which is really valuable, as the writing process can be very solitary.
“We need more diverse books that can speak to the diverse society that is Britain today (and Britain of the past!) But there are so many barriers to being published as a “minority”, not least that the publishing industry itself is still so predominantly white, straight and middle-class. Schemes like WriteNow reach out to those who wouldn’t otherwise be heard by the industry because they don’t have the right kind of tools, knowledge or contacts, and that’s crucial to getting more diverse books out there for us all to read.”