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Hachette UK opens submissions for second cohort of free development programme for BAME writers S

Hachette UK’s network for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees, THRIVE, announce their second annual free Grow Your Story development programme for unpublished and unagented writers from BAME backgrounds, in partnership with David Higham Associates and The Future Bookshelf. Grow Your Story forms part of a wider diversity and inclusion programme at Hachette UK called Changing the Story, which aims to help improve representation in publishing.

The programme offers writers an opportunity to develop their manuscripts through a series of online workshops to begin in early 2022 which will be run by industry professionals, including…. Following the workshops, each writer will have one-to-one mentorships with both a David Higham Associates agent and a Hachette UK editor for up to nine months, meetups with their fellow writers and the Grow Your Story Open Day at Hachette’s London office at the end of the programme.

Applications for the second year open on 3rd December and close on 15th December, with writers being asked to submit a 3,000-work sample of their work and synopsis. The final selection of writers will be decided on by a panel of judges featuring Vaseem Kham (award-winning author, Hodder & Stoughton), Sara Adams (Editorial Director, Hodder & Stoughton), Niki Chang (DHA Literary Agent) and Lipfon Tang (Quercus Books Marketing Executive and incoming co-chair of the THRIVE network).

2022 Submission Link: https://www.hachette.co.uk/landing-page/thrive-grow-your-story-2022/

THRIVE launched the inaugural programme in 2020, successfully taking in a cohort of nine writers whose novels-in-progress span crime, historical, sci-fi, fantasy and literary fiction.

Joelyn Esdelle, chair of the THRIVE Committee, says, ‘THRIVE are incredibly excited to be running Grow Your Story again in partnership with DHA. The 10 writers in our first cohort are all exceptional and we hope to see their books in shops in the not too distant future. We can’t wait to work with, develop and nurture the new writers in next year’s programme and hopefully further demystify the publishing industry for writers of colour.’

Niki Chang, literary agent at David Higham Associates, says, ‘all of us at DHA are delighted to be partnering with THRIVE once again on the Grow Your Story development programme. We have so enjoyed meeting and mentoring such exciting new writers and we can’t wait to meet the new cohort.’

Testimonials from the first cohort of writers:

‘Thrive’s Grow Your Story writer development programme has given me so much: insight into the often opaque publishing industry, brilliant mentors and masterclasses (the kind money just can’t buy), and most importantly, a crew of ridiculously talented writers of colour who stay-steady pushing me to be the best I can be. 10/10. Would recommend.’ – Charlotte Forfieh

“The Grow Your Story programme has really helped me to develop my debut novel. Not only have I been able to edit my manuscript on a one-to-one basis with an editor and hear from a range of professionals across the publishing industry, I’ve also found a new community of writers that champion and motivate each other. I will always be thankful to the efforts of the GYS team who have gone above and beyond to connect us to the resources we need to thrive as future authors.” – Amina Makele

‘Grow Your Story changed my life. I feel I now have the knowledge of what makes a great book, what the industry is looking for and a plan for developing my career as a writer. It’s such a fantastic opportunity.’ – Ismail Karolia