Category Archives: Authors

Rook, and the sense of place by Anthony McGowan

I like to think that if the world were destroyed in some apocalypse, and a future race – perhaps descended from ants or koala bears or mung beans – tried to rebuild our world from literary sources, my books Brock, Pike, and Rook would enable a pretty accurate recreation of the Yorkshire village of Sherburn in Elmet.

Although, in writing for young adults, I’ve invested most of my energies into characterisation and narrative, I’ve always known exactly where my books were set. It’s almost always been a version of my old school – Corpus Christi, in Leeds. The stained concrete and glass of the building, the polluted beck running past it, the tussocky field beyond where travellers would come and go in mysterious patterns, the surrounding Halton Moor council estate – these were where my characters worked through the dangers and joys of teenage life.

Although I went to school in Leeds, I was actually brought up ten miles outside, in Sherburn. It’s an odd sort of place – once split between farming and mining – with the old village centre topped and tailed by large council estates, but now swollen with private housing, serving commuters to Leeds and York. As kids, it was glorious. The countryside was a short bike-ride away, and the building sites for the new estates were the perfect playground, in those pre-health and safety days. We built elaborate dens and fought huge wars against rival gangs of urchins. We played football all Winter, and cricket all Summer.

It’s a place I can still see clearly, whenever I close my eyes. The high street with its four pubs, ranging from rough to dead rough. The Spa. The Co-op. Two fish and chip shops. There’s a joke about a Jewish man who washes up on a desert island. The first thing he does is to build two synagogues – the one he goes to and the one he wouldn’t be seen dead in. It was like that with the fish and chip shops. We went to Kirkgate, but wouldn’t dream of getting our chips from Huggan’s. The beautiful old church on the hill. The Methodist chapel down in the village. The old cinema converted into a Catholic church, where I served as an altar boy all through my childhood. Then, just out of the village, the Bacon factory – a huge meat processing plant. And next to it, the Bacon pond, where monstrous pike lurked, fattened, we were told, on rotten meat from the factory.

I populated this remembered microverse with kids I knew or half knew. Nicky and Kenny live up on the Highfields council estate. At the beginning of the series, their world was falling apart, their family split, money short, hope all but gone. What saves them is love: the love of Nicky for his older but simpler brother, Kenny. Kenny’s own wide-beam love, which encompasses not only his family, but anything helpless and vulnerable they encounter. And so, over the first two books, things get better. Their dad begins to sort out his life. They move on.

In Rook, the last (I think …) in the series, their problems change. Rather than survival, the issues are more typical teenage ones. Kenny has made new friends – one of who appears to be Doctor Who – and Nicky no longer feels quite so needed, quite so central to his brother’s being. And he’s fallen for a pretty girl at school, with the horrible complication that her brother is a vicious bully. There are twists, which follow, I trust, the organic patterns of life, rather than the artificial needs of plot. In the end things work out … OK.

But I hope that I’ve been true both to my characters, and to that place – that particular small town in North Yorkshire, typical, and yet unique, seemingly ordinary, and yet overflowing with stories, with eccentrics, with danger and joy, with life.

BrockPike and Rook are published by Barrington-Stoke and are available now

Get Ahead as an Author – Get a Dog

Dogs make the very best muses. I know because I wrote a book about a boy and a dog, with two of my own fur babies constantly by my side. Goodnight, Boy is written to and about a dog, and it explores how, even in the very worst circumstances, a dog will keep you going. Any authors reading this will know that I’m only exaggerating slightly when I say that the badlands of 20,000 words into a first draft is a pretty bad place to find yourself. As is sitting down to the smell of freshly-sent editorial notes.

So here is a rundown of why, if you want to get ahead in publishing, you should most definitely get a dog.

  1. Basics

The only indispensable rule I know for writing is that you must have your bum on a seat, and your fingers on the keyboard to produce anything. So, if, as a dog owner, you’re forced to spend more time at home, this is a good start. If you also have a dog keeping your toes warm (as Edith Wharton put it, ‘a heartbeat at my feet’), it really does discourage you from wandering off and doing housework.

  1. Distractions

Talking of housework, once you’re a dog owner, I can guarantee you’ll spend less time on housework, redecorating and the general maintenance of what is normally seen as an acceptable standard of hygiene because keeping up with the mess dogs create is pretty much futile. One of my dogs sheds like a dandelion clock mid blow, 24 hours a day. This may sound like a negative, but actually time spent not hoovering can be diverted into words, paragraphs, chapters, and head stroking.

 

  1. Hobbies

Forget hobbies. Writing takes time; for thinking, drafting, editing, and Twitter stalking writers more successful than yourself. So the last thing you need is an interesting pastime, such as badminton or medieval battle enactment. It won’t matter though, because, as a writer you get to experience any number of strange locations and events in your head. And, if you’re ever asked at a publishing party what else you do, just say you have a dog because a dog is a hobby, and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.

 

  1. Health and fitness

There’s a syndrome, coined by the incomparable author Pip Jones, known as SAAD: Spreading Author Arse Disorder. Sedentary hours make SAAD pretty much inevitable, so you’re going to have to get some exercise in somehow. Dogs like walks even though they don’t have Fitbit buddies to impress. The longer and more frequent the better, and in absolutely any weather (unless they’re like one of mine, who is half cat, and won’t go out if showers are forecast). On walkies your dog will meet up with their mates and you’ll make friends with their owners too (think, park scene in 101 Dalmations, but, in my experience, less romantic). If you’re lucky, these humans will be the sort who don’t mind you bouncing book ideas off them or moaning about writing. Even if they do, they’re a lot more polite about it than your family are. And when you’re not exploiting the personal generosity of strangers, you get to spend time walking alone listening to music and audio books (consuming other people’s books is part of the job) or just walking in silence, which sometimes allows you hear those really shy, difficult voices that lurk at the back of your brain.

 

  1. Mental health

Being a writer can be wonderful but, contrary to popular belief, it’s probably not the way to

everlasting happiness. Granted, writing can be cathartic at times, but once you’ve catharted you have to live with the fact that other people, thousands of them, will be reading, judging, maybe even hurling across the room in disgust, the product of said catharsis. Fortunately, dogs probably can’t read – though, as the first draft of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men was eaten by his dog, Max, you have to wonder. Generally speaking, however, your dog will not mind how bad your first draft is. They equally won’t care about reviews, prizes, foreign rights sales, or if you’re even any good or hopelessly derivative and commercially out of kilter. Dogs are all about here and now. And, as writers, if we can try to be more dog, and concentrate on the process rather than the product, I have a feeling that we’d not only be a lot happier, but better writers too.

 

  1. Love

People worry about being lonely if they work from home, but I never feel alone. I work with fantastic colleagues who can’t talk to me. This means they can’t discuss the project they’re working on, ask what’s for dinner, or chat about school. They never disagree with me, or storm off to their bedroom, and they don’t judge me when I get in a strop because Scrivener is stupid. (It is – fact). Dogs take tolerance and unconditional love to saintly levels, and like nothing better than to soothe the furrowed brow of the needy writer with a lick, a well-placed head on the lap, or a paw in the hand. They’re philosophers, therapists, personal trainers, and friends. And that’s why authors need dogs.

 

One last historical note; George Eliot’s publisher sent her a pug as part payment for one of her novels. A practice that, I hope my publisher will agree, should definitely be revived for 2017.

 

 

Mother and daughter Labradoodles, Tinker (left) and Coco

 

Nikki and Tinker


Coco and Tinker playing with their friend, Snowy, at Brighton Beach

Fever: the Deon Meyer Interview


Hi Deon, welcome to the TeenLibrarian interview and thank you for giving up your time to answer a few questions!

Before we begin I would just like to say as a SA expat I am a major fan of your work and love seeing South African authors making waves in the international book world!

Hi Matt

Thank you very much for the kind comments. Much appreciated!

Even though it has a laaitie with a gun, Fever is not a novel aimed at the teen or YA market (but the best books are for all ages) and I know that it will appeal to a number of the older kids I work with! Have you ever considered writing a book aimed specifically at a teen audience?

My basic philosophy is to write the story I am most passionate about ( I usually have a few brewing), and I write for the only reader I know – me. So if such a story comes around and the reader within gets excited, I would certainly try …

You are a superstar in the crime fiction world – what inspired you to write a post-apocalyptic novel?

I’m not quite sure about the ‘superstar’ status, and I must admit that I don’t believe in inspiration, but perspiration. You have to work at finding and developing story ideas. FEVER’s origins are in multiple places; non-fiction books on what would really happen in a world without us, all the great post-apocalyptic novels (and a few short stories) I’ve read in my life, my concern for our planet, and my hope that we can transform our South African society into a country of liberty and equality.

Fever, like your earlier works was originally written in Afrikaans, when your works are translated do you work with the translator or do you just let them get on with the work?

I work closely with my exceptional translator Laura Seegers. We’ve been working together for almost 15 years, and have a great understanding.

I am aware that several of your books have been optioned for film and television over the years, if you had the choice what format you prefer for Fever?

I think FEVER is best suited for a TV series.

I am about two thirds of the way through Fever (and may have finished it by the time you answer these questions) – it is so outstandingly good! How long did it take for the Fever to burn through you from initial infection to completion?

Thank you! It took four years from initial concept to final chapter.

Most authors I know hate the question “what are you working at the moment?” so instead I will ask what are you currently reading?

I don’t mind telling you that I’m writing a new Bennie Griessel crime thriller. And I’m reading the superlative Ken Follet’s FALL OF GIANTS.

Can you recommend the works of other South African authors for an international audience?

Absolutely. In no particular order, and to name but a few, there’s Karin Brynard, Mike Nicol, Margie Orford, Michael Stanley, Angela Makholwa, Andrew Brown, Chris Marnewick, Paul Mendelson, MD de Villiers

#YATakeover Neil Gaiman Interview

Early last week I received a cryptic e- mail from Jake Hope asking if I was free on Saturday from 4 – 5pm. I said of course and he revealed that Neil Gaiman had agreed to participate Anthe FAFictionado’s #YATakeover and they wanted me to host the chat.

Once I had managed to stop dancing round the library I agreed and then started fretting that something terrible would happen (spoiler: it didn’t)

The interview took place yesterday on twitter and the storify is below:

INAUGURAL SCOTTISH TEENAGE BOOK PRIZE WINNER REVEALED #ScotTeenBookPrize

Borders-based author Claire McFall has been named the winner of the very first Scottish Teenage Book Prize.

Claire’s third novel, Black Cairn Point, garnered votes from young people (aged 12 – 16) across the country to beat off stiff competition from Keith Gray’s The Last Soldier and Joan Lennon’s Silver Skin.

Claire will receive £3,000 whilst Keith and Joan will receive £500 each. The prize, has been set up to celebrate the most popular teen books by Scottish authors, and is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland. Call Scotland produced free accessible versions of the three shortlisted books on their Books for All website.

Black Cairn Point, published by Hot Key Books, is a chilling and atmospheric thriller which explores what happens when an ancient malevolent spirit is reawakened and is set in Dumfries and Galloway.

Claire’s win comes hot on the heels of her signing a film contract for her first novel Ferryman in China, where her debut novel has sold almost a million copies. Claire received news of her Scottish Teenage Book Prize win from vlogger Claire Forrester aka The Book Fox at The Edinburgh Book Shop in Bruntsfield and the announcement video is available on the Scottish Book Trust’s website.

She said; “I’m over the moon that Black Cairn Point has been voted the winner of the first Scottish Teenage Book Prize. It’s a brilliant award that encourages young people around Scotland to read books about and from their country and their culture. But it also encourages them to get involved by taking part in the competitions for readers that run alongside. Silver Skin and The Last Soldier are both terrific books, so to know that readers chose my novel is an enormous compliment. This is why I write.”

Claire is a writer and English teacher who lives in Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders. Her first book, Ferryman is a love story which retells the ancient Greek myth of Charon, the ferryman of Hades who transported souls to the underworld. The novel won the Older Readers Category of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2013; was long-listed for the UKLA (UK Literary Association) Book Awards and long-listed for the Branford Boase Award; and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. The sequel to the Ferryman is due to be released in September. Her second novel, Bombmaker, was released in 2014 and considers ideas of identity in a dystopian devolved United Kingdom. Black Cairn Point was released in August 2015.

Heather Collins, Schools Programme Manager at Scottish Book Trust, said;

“Congratulations to Claire McFall on winning the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book prize which encourages teens themselves to actively celebrate the books they love and attracted votes from secondary school pupils across Scotland.

“The prize also creates a platform for Scottish writing talent to be recognized and promoted. Claire’s novel is a great example of Scotland’s vibrant teenage book industry where there are lots of great publishers working with very talented authors like Claire, Keith and Joan and this new prize has allowed us to shine a light on this fantastic offering.

“The benefits of encouraging young people to read, from transporting readers to other worlds to better understanding the one we’re in, are limitless. Scottish Book Trust is proud to be working with Creative Scotland to champion that cause.”

Sasha de Buyl, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said;

“Congratulations to Claire McFall on winning the first ever Scottish Teenage Book Prize. There can only be one first winner, but Claire’s accomplishment will see the celebration of a new standard of excellence in young adult fiction. The first book that moves you as a teenager can completely shape your world view, helping you develop into the person you will become. Ensuring that Scottish writing has a place in this stage of young people’s reading lives is fantastic and Creative Scotland is delighted to support it.”

Aspiring young film makers were also asked to get involved with The Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017 by creating their own book trailer for one of the shortlisted titles or entering a graphic novel to create a comic strip adaption of a scene from one of the books. Scottish Book Trust provides extensive learning resources for teachers and librarians on how to create book trailers and how to make the most of using comics in the classroom.

St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock is the winner of the Book Trailer Competition. Their trailer will be featured on Scottish Book Trust website and they will receive a £250 Waterstones voucher to help top up their school library.

The winners of the Graphic Novel Competition, who will each receive Waterstones vouchers, are:
• 1st place – Nicole Watt, Elgin Academy
• 2nd place – Jaden Green, Forfar Academy
• 3rd place – Morven Ross, Elgin Academy

The winning entries will be featured on Scottish Book Trust website, with interviews with the pupils and teachers involved with the competition to follow on the website’s blog in the coming weeks.

This Beats Perfect blog tour

Working as a Music TV Producer for Rockfeedback was easily the most fun, exciting and exhausting job I ever had in television. What could be better than traipsing the world filming your heroes and being occasionally paid for it?

I spent countless hours backstage at festivals running around arranging interviews and live filming for bands and one of the things that never ceases to surprise is how dreary backstage areas can be.

The image of wild, all night parties is not generally the reality (although these do definitely exist!) Firstly, bands are often on gruelling tour schedules and they are often tired and jet-lagged. They’re also wary of strangers and especially film crews, so you have to be respectful of their space and grateful for their time.

And a lot of artists don’t drink at all these days –since touring became the bread and butter for a lot of artists, they simply can’t afford to put on a bad show. It’s not unusual to see them hunched round their tablets and phones, updating social media and catching a bit of shuteye before the show.

And you might not see the bigger artists AT ALL, as they stay with their dressing rooms firmly shut and only come out to perform, but there is always some group who are on the up and super excited to be there and to play and party.

The best ‘backstage’ area I ever went to was at Fuij Rock Festival in Japan. You can see the hotel we stayed in overlooking the campsite (perks of the job). It was partially shut since the resort is mostly used for skiing, and at night we ran round all the cordoned off areas –sneaking into ballrooms and huge empty restaurant areas. It was super creepy.

Backstage, the atmosphere was really friendly and upbeat – and just look at that 2007 line up!

Red Hot Chili Peppers , The Strokes , Franz Ferdinand , Jet , The Raconteurs , Sonic Youth , Wolfmother , Snow Patrol , The Hives , Dirty Pretty Things , KT Tunstall , Jason Mraz , The Cooper Temple Clause , Madness , Mogwai , Scissor Sisters , Yeah Yeah Yeahs , Super Furry Animals , Gnarls Barkley , The Zutons , Ore ska band- and many others.

~ Rebecca Denton

Babette Cole: in Memoriam

I noticed the news starting to filter through social media yesterday around midday.

At first a number of her friends and colleagues were optimistically hopeful that the news was a practical joke that Babette had pulled as she was that kind of person.

Sadly it wasn’t and last night it was confirmed that the first person to make me fall of a chair laughing (at work) had indeed passed away.

I first encountered her work shortly after I left Library School and my Librarian qualification still had the scent of newness to it. It was a Friday – the day I spent the afternoon on duty in the Junior Library of the Fish Hoek Public Library. It was a quiet afternoon, I had shelved all the returned books, tidied up the shelves and as I recall could not quite face ordering the picture books, so I took a quick breather and grabbed a picture book at random. This book was Mummy Laid an Egg

Had I been drinking a cup of tea at the time there would have been a spit take of note but instead I laughed so much I was unable to stay seated and did indeed fall off my chair, fortunately the library was empty at this point and my dignity remained intact.

I reread it three times that afternoon and laughed each time, to this day at times when I am tired or on the verge of falling asleep I often remember the book and giggle to myself.

Mummy Laid an Egg was my first Babette Cole and after that I looked out for her books and made sure I got my hands on them as soon as possible as (and many, many people will attest) she was a phenomenal and hilarious talent!

I never knew her personally but will miss her wonderful stories and illustrations!

My Top Five Fictional Librarians by Andy Robb

In writing The True and Untold Story of the Outlaw Tam Barker, I replaced the stereotype of the bespectacled, cardigan-wearing librarian with a crack-team of highly-trained, gun-toting, stogie-chomping misfits. These librarians operate outside law, tracking down books that have been banned by the government. Think bullet, blood and books.

Whenever I write a book, I tend to think that I’m the first person on Earth to have that particular idea. And then remember I’m not. The idea of librarians kicking butt, slinging guns and being as far away from the ones down your local library isn’t a new one and a few have come onto my radar before I wrote this particular tale – and some after. Here, in no particular order are my top five fictional librarians.

romneyRomney Wordsworth
I was a big fan of The Twilight Zone as a kid and, after wracking my brain for this post, I realised that I remembered this one really well; this one and the William Shatner one. In fact, now I think of it, I wonder if this one, The Obsolete Man, had more influence on the book that I thought. Romney Wordsworth is a librarian, who’s on trial for obsolescence. The powers-that-be have banned all books and being found guilty of being a librarian is a capital offence. However, Romney is allowed to choose the method of his death, and he goes for an assassin to kill him in a particular way. Being The Twilight Zone, Romney manages to turn the tables on the State and sort of wins in the end. The True and Untold Story of the Outlaw Tam Barker was written around about the time our government was starting its first major swathe of library closures, was making noises about banning certain texts from the National Curriculum and preventing prisoners from accessing books. Not good. With all that going on and The Obsolete Man living somewhere in the back of my head, I think Romney Wordsworth had more than a little to do with the story.

barbara-gordonBarbara Gordon
Yes, I’m a comic-head. While I love Marvel, DC was my introduction to comics, through the world of Batman. I got into Batman in the early 70s around about the time they started rerunning the Adam West series. Suddenly I could get double-Batman: in the comics and on the telly! The Caped Crusader was always my favourite, but who could forget Batgirl? Librarian by day and super-hero, by night! As a young boy, back in the Stone Age, heroes and heroines tended to be aimed at their respective genders: boys liked the male heroes and girls liked the female ones. But Batgirl is one of the first female heroes I remember that cheerfully walked the line between the two, probably paving the way for future characters, like She-Hulk and Spider Woman. I wanted to write a female character that was the female answer to Clint Eastwood, to the point that her gender became unimportant. Tam is a product of her environment and her thoughts, words and deeds belong to both heroes and heroines.

gilesRupert Giles
I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was first broadcast, in the 90s. Personally, I didn’t get on with it. There were a few things that narked me – but possibly because I’m a bit stuffy about certain things. I didn’t like the way the vampires were reduced to being stupid creatures that hung around in groups. I like my vampires uber-intelligent and solitary. I also wasn’t a fan of the continual wise-cracking between Buffy and her buddies; for me it reduced the peril and the threat. However, I watched it and, amidst my narks, I found a character I really did like: Rupert Giles, the high-school librarian. Rupert was the stereotypical librarian: bookish, shy and impeccably-mannered. For me, he was a welcome antidote to the smart-mouth attitudes of the other characters and it was a genuine surprise when you saw him going toe-to-toe with a supernatural being or two. As an aside, I worked with Anthony Head years later and can confirm that he is as nice as you think he is.

pratchett-librarianThe Librarian
An orangutan who protects the world’s knowledge and can travel through L-Space. What’s not to like? I’ve got to be honest, I’ve only read two of Pratchett’s books: The Hogfather and The Colour of Magic and I read these because I was cast in the TV adaptations (check out Kring, the Magic Sword – that’s me!). However, the idea of an ape as a librarian is so good, I had to give it a mention!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

rex-librisRex Libris
If you haven’t read the Rex Libris comics, get out there and get some. These are new to my radar; I discovered them after writing the Tam Barker book – and I’m glad it happened in that order. Rex is the librarian at Middleton Public Library and a typical day for him involves dealing with zombies blocking up the building, chasing aliens who haven’t returned their books on time across the universe and defending the Dewey Decimal System. These comics are brilliant and have played on the stereotyped librarian superbly; his super-thick, jam-jar specs are useful tools in his unwavering hunt for lost books. Alongside his fists of steel and formidable arsenal of weapons.
 

However, when all’s said and done, librarians are real and they are heroes, guiding us to the right portals through which we can escape the real world or learn something mind-bending. Real-life librarians don’t need guns or fists or costumes, but the odds they face are just as stacked as the ones you’ll find in books, movies or on your TV screen. If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is.

Andy Robb is an actor and author, his latest book The True and Untold Story of the Outlaw Tam Barker is available now!

tam-jpeg-218x300

Lie Kill Walk Away Blog Tour

My guest blogger today is Matt Dickinson, author of the brand new teen/ YA thriller Lie Kill Walk Away

THE VOID LEFT BEHIND WHEN A MOTHER RUNS AWAY

We get horribly used to stories of young people running away from home. Statistics estimate that half of all missing people are aged between fifteen and twenty-one; many of them on the run from care homes or long-term institutions in which they have failed to settle. Out on the streets they become vulnerable to predators, and often spiral into damaging behaviours which may adversely effect their lives.
Yes, of the 300,000 ‘missing person’ calls made each year to the police, a small percentage are telling a very different story.
Mothers who run away from home.

This was one of the subjects that I researched during the writing period on my new book Lie Kill Walk Away.
In the story, one of the protagonists faces a terrible situation. Rebecca’s mother ran away from home when she was a young girl. The result is emotional trauma and psychological scars which never seem to heal.

She feels paralysed by guilt and has to leave the school she is at to be home tutored.

So how common is the situation? And why do some mothers reach a point where they have to walk away, sometimes permanently, from their children?
Up to eighty percent of people that run away from home are suffering from mental health problems.

“Particularly for people with depression, they might feel that there’s no hope, and just need time away,” says Dr Karen Shalev Greene, director of the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth.

Her experience is that people suffering from depression often struggle to open up about their feelings to the loved ones around them.

“They might be what we call functionally depressed. The image is that they’re fine but they’re crumbling inside, and at some point they just can’t hide it any more, so they’ll just leave.”

Searching for a lost mother in Lie Kill Walk Away

My character Rebecca reaches a point where she has to try and find her mother. Too many dramatic things are happening in her life and this teenage girl needs help. She goes on a detective trail to try and track her down, discovering truths along the way which are painful and hard.

Is this an unusual scenario? Not really. The Child Support Agency estimates there are 55,000 women in the UK who have left the family home. Often their children will try to find them, only to discover, often, that their mother does not want to be found.

I was amazed at the statistics, but that is often the case when one is researching a book. Truth is sometimes just as shocking as fiction.

Matt Dickinson’s new book Lie Kill Walk Away is published 6th October

lkwa_main_graphic2

An Updated (but still incomplete) List of British BAME Authors for Children & Young People

*last edited 28/09/2018*

When the list of books for the 20th anniversary of World Book Day in 2017 was released it was notable for being lily-white. I was surprised that a day purporting to celebrate books across the world was limited to authors that are from a small part of it and decided to take a look at British authors for children and young people in the UK that have a BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) heritage. While putting the list together I was helped in this endeavour by a number of brilliant friends and colleagues on twitter and facebook.

This list is not complete so if you have suggestions for more authors (*and edited to include illustrators) or if you are an author or illustrator with a BAME heritage then please do let me know in the comments beneath this post.

 

Sophia Acheampong

http://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/author/Sophia-Acheampong/gd/Sophia-Acheampong.html

Ade Adepitan
https://www.johnnoel.com

@AdeAdepitan

John Agard
https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/john-agard

Shweta Aggarwal
http://devandollie.com

@devandollie

Patrice Aggs
http://www.patriceaggs.com

@patriceaggs

Sufiya Ahmed
https://mbalit.co.uk/client/sufiya-ahmed/

@sufiyaahmed

Mehrdokht Amini

http://childrensillustrators.com/illustrator/mehrdokht1976/portfolio

Atinuke
http://atinuke-author.weebly.com

http://www.walker.co.uk/contributors/Atinuke-12281.aspx

Yaba Badoe
https://www.facebook.com/Yaba-Badoe-118504861506100

@yaba-badoe

Rebecca Barrow
http://www.rebecca-barrow.com

@RebeccaKBarrow

Mary Florence Bello
https://bellapoetry.wordpress.com

@MissBelloTweets

Floella Benjamin
http://www.floellabenjamin.com/

@FloellaBenjamin

Jasbinder Bilan

@jasinbath

Malorie Blackman
https://www.malorieblackman.co.uk

@malorieblackman

Sita Brahmachari
http://www.sitabrahmachari.com

@SitaBrahmachari
Aisha Bushby
https://www.egmont.co.uk/blog/egmont-pockets-debit-from-rising-star-aisha-bushby/

@aishabushby

Tanya Byrne
http://tanyabyrne.com

@tanyabyrne

Sarwat Chadda

@sarwatchadda

Kandace Chimbiri

http://www.goldendestiny.co.uk/index.php

@knchimbiri

Joseph Coelho
http://www.thepoetryofjosephcoelho.com

@PoetryJoe

Ellie Daines
http://www.elliedaines.com

@chirpywriter

Narinder Dhami
https://www.narinderdhami.com/

@narinderd

Jamila Gavin
http://www.jamilagavin.co.uk

Rohan Gavin
http://rohangavin.com

Candy Gourlay
https://www.candygourlay.com

@candygourlay

Lorraine Gregory

https://www.lorrainegregoryauthor.co.uk/

@authorontheedge

Swapna Haddow
http://swapnahaddow.co.uk

@SwapnaHaddow

Sam Hepburn (see Sam Osman)

Polly Ho-Yen
https://pollyhoyen.com

@bookhorse

Yasmeen Ismail
https://www.yasmeenismail.co.uk

@YasmeenMay

Sharna Jackson

@sharnajackson

Danielle Jawando

@DanielleJawando

Catherine Johnson
http://www.catherinejohnson.co.uk

@catwrote

Mariam K
http://www.lounge-books.com/contributors/2017/6/20/mariam-k

@helloIammariam

Nadine Kaadan
http://nadinekaadan.com/

@Nadinekaadan

Savita Kalhan
http://www.savitakalhan.com

@savitakalhan

Peter Kalu
http://www.peterkalu.com

@peterkalu

Muhammad Khan
http://www.holroydecartey.com/muhammed-khan.html

@mkhanauthor

Patrice Lawrence
https://patricelawrence.wordpress.com

@LawrencePatrice

Ayisha Malik
https://www.petersfraserdunlop.com/clients/ayisha-malik/

@Ayisha_Malik

Sangu Mandanna
https://sangumandanna.com

@sangumandanna

Irfan Master
http://irfanmaster.com

@Irfan_Master

Taran Matharu
http://authortaranmatharu.com

@TaranMatharu1

Zanim Mian
http://www.sweetapplebooks.com

@Zendibble

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

http://www.kiranmillwoodhargrave.co.uk

@Kiran_MH

Poonam Mistry

https://www.poonam-mistry.com/

@pmistryartist

Stefan Mohamed
http://stefmo.co.uk/wp/

@stefmowords

Nick Mohammed

https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/authors/nick-mohammed/130313/

@nickmohammed

Wilf Morgan
https://sites.google.com/site/88talesv3/

@wilf007

Millie Murray
https://www.rlf.org.uk/fellowships/millie-murray/

Natasha Ngan
http://girlinthelens.com

@girlinthelens
Grace Nichols
https://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/grace-nichols

Sam Osman
http://www.samosmanbooks.com

http://www.samhepburnbooks.com/

Serena Patel

@SerenaKPatel

Anna Perera
http://www.annaperera.com

@annaperera1

Smriti Prasadam-Halls
http://www.smriti.co.uk

@SmritiPH

Yasmin Rahman

@yasminwithane

Bali Rai
http://www.balirai.co.uk/home

@balirai

Leila Rasheed
https://leilarasheeddotcom.wordpress.com

@LeilaR

Onjali Q. Rauf

@onjalirauf

Jasmine Richards
https://www.jasminerichards.com

Na’ima B Robert

@NaimaBRobert

SF Said
http://www.sfsaid.com

@whatSFSaid

London Shah

http://www.londonshah.com

@London_Shah

Alom Shaha
http://alomshaha.com

@alomshaha

Alexandra Sheppard

@alexsheppard

Emma Shevah
https://emmashevah.com

@emmashevah

Nadia Shireen
https://www.nadiashireen.org

@NadiaShireen

Nikesh Shukla
http://www.nikesh-shukla.com

@nikeshshukla

Ranjit Singh
https://www.lantanapublishing.com/ranjit-singh/

@RanjittheAuthor

Emma Smith-Barton

@AmnaKhokher

Chitra Soundar
www.chitrasoundar.com/

@csoundar

Tabitha Suzuma
http://www.tabithasuzuma.com

@TabithaSuzuma

Meera Syal
https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/meera-syal

@MeeraSyal

Alex Wheatle
https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/alex-wheatle

@brixtonbard

Verna Wilkins
http://www.gov.gd/articles/spiceword/bios/verna_wilkins.html

Ken Wilson-Max
http://www.kenwilsonmax.com

@kenwilsonmax

Benjamin Zephaniah
https://benjaminzephaniah.com

@BZephaniah

 

Publishers

Dinosaur Books

Dinosaur Books is an independent publisher that produces books for children aged 5 – 14. They aim to publish stories for young readers that combine exciting, page turning adventure with ideas that encourage readers to think.

Lantana Publishing

Lantana Publishing is a young, independent publishing house producing award-winning picture books for children. Lantana’s mission is to select outstanding writing from around the world, working with prize-winning authors and illustrators from many countries, while at the same time nurturing new writing talent.

Knights Of

Knights Of publishes commercial children’s fiction – distributed through the UK, Ireland and Europe. We’re all about hiring as widely, and as diversely as possible, to make sure the books we publish give windows into as many worlds as possible – from what’s on the page all the way to sales copy.

Alanna Max

We are passionate about children’s books and we believe everyone loves a good story! However, some children struggle to find books in which they see themselves and their experiences. So at Alanna Books, we aim to produce stories that are naturally inclusive of a wide range of people and experiences – so ALL children can enjoy them.

Tamarind Press

Tamarind Books was founded by Verna Wilkins in 1987 with the mission of redressing the balance of diversity in children’s publishing. Over twenty years later, the world has changed but the problem is still very relevant today. And so, Tamarind still exists to put diversity ‘in the picture’.

Hope Road Publishing

HopeRoad Publishing is an exciting, independent publisher, vigorously supporting voices too often neglected by the mainstream. We are promoters of literature with a special focus on Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. At the heart of our publishing is the love of outstanding writing from writers you, the reader, would have otherwise missed.

Cassava Pepublic Press

Our mission is to change the way we all think about African writing. We think that contemporary African prose should be rooted in African experience in all its diversity, whether set in filthy-yet-sexy megacities such as Lagos or Kinshasa, in little-known rural communities, in the recent past or indeed the near future. We also think the time has come to build a new body of African writing that links writers across different times and spaces.

Tiny Owl

An independent publishing company committed to producing beautiful, original books for children. Established in 2015, our energy and passion stems from our belief that stories act as bridges – providing pathways to new experiences whilst connecting us to here and there. Our stories are visually rich and conceptually meaningful. They give children unique perspectives on universal themes such as love, friendship and freedom and a greater awareness of the diverse and colourful world we live in. We have a range of books from Iranian authors and illustrators including two beautiful tales by Rumi and one from The Book of Kings. We are also developing a programme of intercultural projects, pairing authors and illustrators from around the globe.

Fire Tree Books

Building on the powerful legacy of Verna Wilkins’ 30 years in the industry, Firetree books is expanding, updating and refreshing important messages for a new audience in today’s diverse classrooms and homes.
Firetree presents unselfconscious representations of all children. Our books aim to inspire and entertain readers by depicting the diversity and lives of children in our shrinking, inter-dependent world.

Jacaranda Books

Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd is a fresh and exciting new independent publishing house based in London. We publish adult fiction and non-fiction, including illustrated books, which cross linguistic, racial, gender and cultural boundaries – books in many ways as cosmopolitan as our city.

A list of inclusive publishers compiled by Chitra Soundar: http://picturebookden.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/inclusive-indie-publishers-by-chitra.html?m=1

The Jhalak Prize

The prize is unique in that it will be accepting entries published in the UK in 2016 by a writer of colour. This will include (and not be limited to) fiction, non-fiction, short story, graphic novel, poetry, children’s books, YA, teen and all genres. The prize will also be open to self-published writers. The aim is the find the best writers of colour in the country.