RCW and Knights Of team up for workshops for aspiring children's writers of colour

Lucy Nathan
News - Publishing Monday, 29 June 2020

The workshops will take place across two weekends in August

The RCW Literary Agency and Knights Of have teamed up to produce a series of free workshops for aspiring children's writers of colour.

The workshops are intended to 'provide transparency and clarity into the publishing process from beginning to end', and have been spearheaded by Claire Wilson, director at RCW, and Eishar Brar, editorial director at Knights Of. Authors including Tanya Byrne, Aisha Bushby, Mary Watson, Elle McNicoll and Sharna Jackson will feature alongside editors and agents, and there will be panels on subjects including the submissions process and the role of marketing and publicity. There will be five virtual workshops across two weekends in August, and authors will receive one-to-one feedback on their manuscripts from an editor or agent.

RCW and Knights Of said that they would prioritise bookings from Black writers, explaining: "The very specific lack of Black children's authors in the UK needs addressing and we hope that by providing transparent information, and making it available online after the event, we can create a viable path into children's publishing."

Applicants are asked to submit samples of between 1,000 and 5,000 words of children's or YA fiction with short synopses and biographies by 27 July. The application link can be found here.

Wilson said: "One of the things I love most about my job as an agent is the excitement of discovering new talent, and I am so delighted to be able to work with the Knights Of team in order to find new voices, and convey our long-held commitment towards supporting authors of colour in breaking into the industry and sustaining long term success."

Brar said: "It's so encouraging to see a huge agency take definitive action in making publishing more accessible for authors of colour. Claire brought this idea to the table over a year ago, and the past couple of months have really highlighted the sense of urgency that the whole publishing industry must now act upon. I'm really excited that we at Knights Of are able to bring our ethos of inclusive publishing to these workshops, and to empower authors of colour in navigating an often opaque process."

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