We believe that for UK literature of all genres (and its publishers) to thrive, it must reflect the complexity of the cultures and society it is responding to. Yet the success and upsurge in the publication of BAME fiction writers in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, has not been followed by a new generation of BAME writers being published. What, we asked ourselves, has been going on? And, is the publishing industry still as hard to enter for aspiring BAME and White editors as seemingly it is for writers? We brought together a brilliant Advisory Group of BAME and White writers and publishing professionals, dug into our financial reserves and commissioned Danuta Kean and Mel Larsen to carry out the research.
Spread the Word’s aims for Writing the Future are to re-open a debate on BAME diversity in publishing, leading to constructive strategies and partnerships for change. We will also use the research findings to design strategies to support the career development of talented BAME writers and aspiring publishing professionals. We look forward to using the recommendations from Writing the Future to work with publishers to create lasting initiatives that result in BAME fiction writers gaining a higher profile and creating a more diverse workforce within UK publishing.