As a black literary agent, I despair at UK publishing's lack of diversity | Natalie Jerome

For decades, I sat in meetings with all-white teams. The industry needs an independent body to advise on equalityI’m a literary agent and at the height of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests I was sent a list, with accompanying photographs, of the top editors working across the major publishing houses in the UK. When I read it I burst into tears. It showed a sea of almost totally white faces, some of whom had been approaching retirement when I started out as an editorial assistant 20 years earlier. The stagnation in the industry was stark and filled me with despair.Analysis of the industry since then, partly led by pressure from BLM and an open letter from the Black Writers Guild, has only further highlighted this imbalance. Two of the biggest global publishers, Penguin Random House and Hachette, revealed that just 2.7% of their staff – in both cases – are black; and the Guardian reported that you are eight times more likely to see an animal as lead character in a children’s book than a person of colour.Natalie Jerome is a literary agent, deputy chair of Literature Wales, and a former publisher Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2022-01-01 10:00:46 UTC ]
News tagged with: #literary agent #major publishing #penguin random house #children’s book #literature wales #deputy chair #natalie jerome #lead character #guardian reported #open letter #partly led #approaching retirement #accompanying photographs #independent body #all-white teams #uk publishing

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