Words by Ginni Arnold | 01 Nov 2023

Bloomsbury is today announcing the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship in partnership with Writers & Artists (W&A). The Fellowship, the first of its kind in the UK academic community, plans to uncover talent and new authors who have started their work but have not yet turned it into a proposal which is ready to submit to a publisher. The 2023 closing date for entries is 23:59 Thursday 30th November 2023.

The programme will offer mentorship with dedicated Bloomsbury and Writers & Artists editors, £1,000 of financial support, access to Bloomsbury events and access to W&A/Bloomsbury books and resources. It will also include support and practical advice to develop an idea through to final manuscript stage, ready to approach and submit to a range of publishers in the academic space, including Bloomsbury. The programme has been created to support particular areas of academic publishing where Bloomsbury would like to have better representation and more diverse opinions, stories and ideas. Partnering with Writers & Artists on this initiative will also help to remove some of the barriers to – and mysteries around – scholarly publishing.

Bloomsbury Publishing

Pooja Aggarwal, Director of Academic and Professional Publishing

We want to increase publishing with a social mission, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals for first time authors from African or African Caribbean heritage. We recognise the urgent need to support people from all backgrounds and identities to become part of the global publishing industry, enabling diverse voices to reflect and shape our culture and society. We are committed to supporting new authors and creators to bring works across an array of genres and subjects to readers and learners worldwide, sharing ideas, knowledge and experience. We have a philosophy around the Fellowship programme which is based on one book at a time, supporting and mentoring an author to ensure we can create a lasting career for them.

To ensure that submissions cover wide-ranging, and topical subjects, the Fellowship is requesting that manuscripts should focus on one of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Climate Action. 

In this first year, applications are open to up and coming authors and researchers with African or African Caribbean Heritage, who need to be based in the UK. The aim is to grow and develop the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship, expanding its remit so that it can be offered to many more underrepresented author groups within core academic fields of study in the future. 

The Fellowship will be reviewed and awarded by a panel including:

  • Yassmin Abdel-Magied,a Sudanese diaspora author, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate
  • Dr Akin Iwilade,a Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Kadian Pow, a Lecturer in Sociology and Black Studies at Birmingham City University
  • Eli Keren, an associate literary agent at United Agents, representing a growing list of clients across fiction and non-fiction, actively seeking books that are going to make a positive impact in the world
  • Lily Mac Mahon, Commissioning Editor for World Archaeology at Bloomsbury
  • David Avital, Editorial Director for Bloomsbury Politics, International Development and Area Studies

The launch of the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship programme aligns with the company’s DE&I Action Plan and in future will contribute to the change in author, illustrator and creator representation that Bloomsbury is committed to making as part of that Action Plan. 

For full details of the criteria and support package available please click here

Media enquiries: to Ginni Arnold, Head of Corporate Communications at Bloomsbury on [email protected] or 07968730247.

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