Publishers want more black authors. Why have they silenced us for so long? | Candice Carty-Williams

As Black Lives Matter protests take place across the world, the publishing world is rushing to support those ‘ignored by the mainstream’. Who is the mainstream, then?The publishing industry is stilted and archaic. I worked in it for seven years, and left due to reasons I can’t legally talk about. Though, in that time, I was able to enforce and oversee some steps towards sustainable change. At 4th Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins, I started the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story prize (still going strong, five years later). Staggered by the lack of underrepresented voices, I knew I had to do something, anything to give those voices a way to permeate the industry.It is taken for granted that would-be writers will know what a literary agent is. But most have no idea how to structure a book proposal, or where to send it. This information is possessed by those in the know, and the people in the know often want to keep it to themselves. Let’s talk about literary agents for a second; they are, effectively, tastemakers. Editors trust them to deliver books and authors that adhere to their (sometimes limited) taste. And what happens when these arbiters continue to work within the circles of writers who they already know? The same thing that always happens: books that follow trends, that look the same, that are written by the same kinds of people. Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2020-06-11 09:44:22 UTC ]
News tagged with: #publishing world #publishing industry #literary agent #literary agents #follow trends #arbiters continue #limited taste #editors trust #book proposal #4th estate #sustainable change #left due #candice carty-williams #deliver books #underrepresented voices #legally talk

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