Hachette network for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees Thrive launched the fiction development programme in partnership with David Higham Associates, The Future Bookshelf, Spread the Word and Hachette UK’s adult trade divisions.
Now, 10 writers will be supported through the programme commencing from this month. Writers joining Hachette UK's inaugural Grow Your Story programme include Charlotte Forfieh, Indigo Griffiths, Remi Graves, Ramya Jegatheesan, Ismail Karolia, Amina Makele, Lola Okolosie, Sara Sehdev and Sumerah Srivastav, whose novels-in-progress span crime, historical, sci-fi, fantasy and literary fiction.
Unpublished writers from BAME backgrounds were encouraged to apply, including a 3,000-word sample of their work, if they had a novel they hoped to submit within three to six months of completing the workshops. Now, the chosen writers will have the opportunity to develop their manuscripts through a series of online workshops with industry professionals. Each writer will receive one-to-one mentoring with both a Hachette UK editor and a David Higham Associates agent for up to nine months, complete with fortnightly check-ins with fellow writers and the opportunity to read their work at a special showcase event in spring 2021.
Commenting about the programme, Emad Akhtar said, "It’s been such a joy to read new voices with fresh takes, creating memorable characters and covering groundbreaking subject matter. The submissions have spanned the globe from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe – and hopscotch just as easily between past, present and future as they do between crime, historical, sci-fi, fantasy and literary fiction. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as the industry broadens its own horizons, as well as those of the millions of readers it aims to reach and reflect. If this is a glimpse into the future, then we have so much to look forward to."