The Space to Write Project
We are delighted to launch The Space to Write Project. We are searching for writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are writing fiction that has the potential to be the next bestselling smash-hit novel.
Our aim is to support writers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who want to write or who are already writing commercial fiction, to advise them about the writing and publishing process and to break down barriers and boundaries to bestselling success.
‘Commercial fiction’ is a publishing term that encompasses stories that are plot and character driven, have broad appeal, and are written in an accessible way that is likely to be enjoyed by a wide readership.
We are inviting all writers from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds to attend a series of free virtual workshops and seminars run by prominent industry figures focusing on specific topics including plot-building, editing and pitching, as well as offering insights into the industry as a whole. At the conclusion of these workshops, submissions for the project will open on Thursday, 26th May 2022 and will close on Sunday, 19th June 2022. During this period, writers will be invited to submit the first 5,000 words of their novel, as well as a synopsis of up to 1,000 words and an elevator pitch of up to 100 words.
Inspired by bestselling author Candice Carty-Williams’ journey to publication, our hope is that The Space to Write Project will provide time, space and access to writers from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds to explore creative writing and to potentially write the next bestseller. Jojo Moyes offered Candice her holiday home as a writing retreat, and Candice used the opportunity to write the first draft of Queenie, which went on to be a literary phenomenon, winning Book of the Year at The British Book Awards 2020.
A shortlist of fifteen entrants will be announced on Monday, 1st August 2022, followed by an announcement revealing the winners of the prize on Friday, 30th September 2022. Up to four winning writers will be offered either a place on a five-night residential writing course run by the Arvon Foundation, at one of Arvon’s three writing house locations, situated in Devon, Yorkshire and Shropshire, or, alternatively, a place on a five-day online “Arvon at Home Writing Week” course, as well as a two-hour online “Arvon at Home Masterclass” course delivered via Zoom. The prize will need to be redeemed within a year of the announcement of the winners.
Sareeta Domingo, Editorial Director at Trapeze
Sareeta Domingo is the author of The Three of Us (Piatkus), (originally published as The Nearness of You), and creator, editor and contributing writer of romantic fiction anthology Who’s Loving You. Her novel If I Don’t Have You (Jacaranda) was shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards 2021. She has also written numerous erotic short stories and an erotic novella with Pavilion Books, and her books for Young Adults are published under S.A. Domingo, including Love on the Main Stage (Hachette Children’s), shortlisted for the Lancashire Book of the Year 2021. She has contributed to publications including, iNews, gal-dem, Black Ballad, Stylist and Token Magazine, has appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour and Sky Arts Book Club, and has taken part in events for Primadonna Festival, Black Girls Book Club and the Royal Society of Literature among others. She is also Editorial Director for Fiction at Trapeze Books, part of Orion Books. She lives in South East London. sareetadomingo.com // Twitter: @SareetaDomingo
Lizzy Kremer, Literary Agent
Lizzy Kremer is Managing Director at David Higham Associates representing commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction. She was President of the Association of Authors’ Agents from January 2018-2020 and was named the British Book Industry Awards 2016 Agent of the Year in May 2016. Lizzy is a director of the company and Head of the Books Department. Her career in publishing began as a book publicist, after which she worked with agent Ed Victor for seven years before joining DHA in 2004.
Lizzy writes a blog at https://publishingforhumans.com/ and is co-author with George Green of A Dummies Guide to Writing a Novel and Getting Published (2007, updated edition 2014).
Mike Gayle, author
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.
Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by the Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic’. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Turning Thirty, The Man I Think I Know, and Half a World Away. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Natalie Morris, Deputy Lifestyle Editor Metro.co.uk
Natalie Morris is an author and journalist, originally from Manchester but now living in London. Her first book Mixed/Other is a non-fiction exploration of the joys, complexities and nuances that come with having mixed heritage in the UK today. Natalie is also Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Metro.co.uk, where she writes features, essays and interviews about race and identity, mental health, women in the workplace and much more. Natalie has had work published in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, gal-dem, Stylist, Grazia, Refinery 29, and others, and regularly contributes on BBC Radio 4, 5Live, BBC London and Woman’s Hour on a range of topics. Before moving back into print and digital journalism, Natalie worked as a producer and broadcast journalist at ITN and ITV news.
Submissions are open! To submit, click on the button below
Entries for The Space to Write Project will open via this website on Thursday, 26th May and close on Sunday, 19th June 2022. We welcome applications from writers aged 18 or over and living in the UK from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background. The full Terms & Conditions can be found here.
For queries about The Space to Write Project, please email: email@example.com.
By submitting your work to The Space to Write Project, you are accepting the full Terms and Conditions found here.
MONDAY 4th APRIL: Introduction to The Space to Write Project: what are we looking for?
Why do certain books become bestsellers? What are the ingredients of a successful novel in 2022? This session will discuss what readers are responding to and the trends which have emerged in the market as a result, as well as what we will be looking for when reading submissions. If you missed the webinar, catch up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkzC0YzYxvA
MONDAY 25th APRIL: Lifting the Lid on Publishing: what goes on behind the scenes.
From signing with an agent, getting a book deal, to what happens once your book has been acquired, this session will look in detail at the journey from manuscript to published book. If you missed the webinar, catch up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ6Dy4_0sno
THURSDAY 12th MAY: Plot, Pacing and Character Development: what to look for when editing your material.
From practical advice on how to draw three-dimensional characters and what it really means to ‘get the pacing right’ to hearing from published authors about their specific writing habits, this session will look in more detail at the building blocks of good writing. If you missed the webinar, catch up here: https://youtu.be/x4KQ8aGhzQM
WEDNESDAY 25th MAY: Summing It Up: the perfect pitch and writing a good synopsis.
Top tips for how best to summarise your book to agents, editors and readers; this webinar will discuss the structure and tone of a pitch letter and the important things to include when writing a synopsis. If you missed the webinar, catch up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBoE22-vftE