Penguin Random House, the publishing group, has announced a shortlist of 12 writers to take part in their WriteNow mentoring programme.
Of the 12, six are from a Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. They were selected, based on the quality of their writing, from 2,000 applicants and will receive one-to-one mentoring from editors who have particular experience in their genre. Together, the writers and editors will develop their manuscripts to make them the best they can be and ready for publication.
The six from BAME backgrounds are Emma-Jane Smith Barton, a second generation British Pakistani woman from South Wales; Manjeet Mann, pictured, an actress and playwright from Walsall, Midlands; Nazneen Ahmed, a self-proclaimed devourer of fiction, a British Bangladeshi Muslim, mother to a three-year-old boy; Nelson Abbey, a media executive and journalist of Nigerian descent; Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, a senior lecturer in Creative Writing in Birmingham, a poet and critic and environmentalist; and Charlene Allcott, a part-time carer for young people, as well as for her three-year-old son who has autism.
Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House, said: “Our role is to seek out voices that speak to all of society and make sure those books and stories are for everyone. That’s why programmes like WriteNow are so important.”