• Writing and the 'M Word'...

    It's quite timely that my blog about writing and motherhood for Peepal Tree Press is out this month as I'm due to give birth at the end of it (that's right - in a MATTER OF DAYS!) Click the link below to have a read.

    http://www.peepaltreepress.com/blog/inscribe/giving-everything-writing-and-%E2%80%98m-word%E2%80%99

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  • Just Because You Can’t See Us...

    I've had a lovely reponse to my guest blog post about diversity in publishing for 'The Writers' Workshop'. Thanks for the words of support and encouragement from a (suitably) diverse crowd. It's nice to know that most of us are on the same page!

    If you haven't had a chance to read the blog yet click on the link...

    http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/blog/diversity-in-publishing/

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  • Time for some Closure...

    If you're looking for some great short stories to read in the New Year

    'Closure: Contemporary Black British Stories' by Peepul Tree Press might be just the thing for you (and I'm not just saying that because I'm in it).

    It's been a great experience working with the Inscribe team, Kadija Sesay and Jacob Ross on this project as well as meeting some of the uber talented writers involved. This is the first anthology of Black British stories in 15 years and includes some great contemporary heroes of my mine such as Bernardine Evaristo, Monica Ali and Leone Ross. Find out more on the link below...

    http://www.peepaltreepress.com/books/closure

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  • For Book's Sake

    I'm super excited that my short story 'Blue Morpho' is in this week’s For Book's Sake Weekend Read (it's a bit of a creepy one so be warned!).

    For Book's Sake is a great website full of brilliant treats including reading suggestions, advice for writers and other great short stories so please go and explore it's many nooks and crannies...

    http://forbookssake.net/weekendread/blue-morpho/

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  • Please Divert Your Eyes...

    There’s been a bit of a debate in the world of publishing about diversity recently. Not heard about it? Then please find a list of very good writing on the matter for your delectation below.

    As a British-Bengali woman from a Muslim background brought up on a council estate and yet to be published (though my unpublished novel won an award last year, come on publishing houses!) I guess I’m a little preoccupied with the topic of diversity. It seems the fight to have voices telling different types of stories from different types of authors is harder than ever with the same old rhetoric of my youth coming creepily coming back into play (If you work hard enough you’ll get to the top regardless, Black and Asian stories are ‘niche’, White middle-class readers want to read White middle-class narratives etc.). These underlying myths need to be challenged not just for the groups that aren’t heard but for the greater good of literature. The best art makes us see the world differently and a large part of that comes from seeing through a different pair of eyes. I know most of you brilliant readers know and agree with this yet reports such as Spread the Word’s commissioned piece ‘Writing the Future’ (find below) still show this isn’t being reflected in the books that are printed today.

    So how do we change it? This is when my overwhelmed/confused face comes in. Some people say it’s by writing great works, that the gold will always sift to the top, but history is written by the victors and those tend to be the people with the cash. But we shouldn’t feel defeated (remember all the uprisings) and take the first step by being aware this stuff is happening in the first place. Click the links, fill your brain, talk, tweet, discuss.

    ‘Writers Demand Trade Action on Diversity’ – The Bookseller

    http://www.thebookseller.com/news/writers-demand-trade-action-diversity-307019

    ‘National Conversation: Four Examples of Diversity In Publishing by Nikesh Shukla’ – Writer’s Centre Norwich

    http://www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/nationalconversationfourexamplesofdiversityinpublishingbynikeshshukla.aspx

    ‘Unpaid internships 'should be banned to build diversity in publishing' Kerry Hudson. Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/09/unpaid-internships-should-be-banned-to-build-diversity-in-publishing?CMP=share_btn_tw

    ‘The Worst Kind Of Groundhog Day: Let's Talk (Again) About Diversity In Publishing’ Roxanne Gay

    http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/05/28/410015276/the-worst-groundhog-s-day-time-to-talk-again-about-diversity-in-publishing

    Spread the Word’s commissioned report. ‘Writing the Future: Black and Asian Authors and Publishers in the UK Market Place.’

    http://spreadtheword.codegentltd.netdna-cdn.com/media/document/5567340fa2274/view

    (Pictured above in order: Farhana Shaikh, Nikesh Shukla and Kerry Hudson)

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