Following a successful debut for the Amazon Literary Partnership in the UK in 2020, we are delighted to announce that the Amazon Literary Partnership will be providing grants to 23 non-profit literary organisations whose mission it is to champion emerging writers and diversity in storytelling.
Grants have been awarded to groups across the UK, with a conscious focus on supporting a diverse range of voices from nonprofit writing centres, organisations who foster creativity amongst marginalised groups, as well as groups who offer a platform for young and aspiring writers.
Eve Wright (they/their, pictured right) from Artfulscribe (one of the 2021 awarded organisations) said: “My writing journey (when I started taking it seriously, anyway!) began in 2019, after attending Lighthouse Young Writers, a writing group funded by ArtfulScribe. Since then, I have been commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, commissioned in the BBC New Creatives Scheme*, and have been lucky enough to be selected for the Poetry Ambassadors scheme. These (absolutely terrifying) leaps into the writing unknown are thanks to the support and encouragement I have been given by ArtfulScribe – if you had told me I would be in this position almost three years ago, I would’ve never believed you! I look forward to seeing where my writing takes me in the future.”
This year’s grant recipients include some organisations which were supported by the Amazon Literary Partnership in 2020, as well as a wide range of new groups such as the National Centre for Writing, Africa Writes and the Scottish Book Trust amongst many more.
Papatango Theatre Company is one of many also receiving a grant this year as part of the Amazon Literary Partnership, an organisation that specialises in discovering, developing and launching debut playwrights and artists. Their opportunities include the Papatango New Writing Prize, a Resident Playwright scheme, unsolicited script submissions with feedback, and playwriting workshops.
Samuel Bailey (he/his, pictured right) who is supported by the Papatango Theatre Company said: "Winning the Papatango Prize has completely changed my life. It's allowed me to write professionally for the first time - since Papatango staged my play Shook in November 2019 I've been commissioned to write a follow up play by Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth. I'm also working on two original TV ideas and a feature film with established production companies. Without Papatango's initial trust in my writing and the continued support thereafter, I can honestly say that none of this would be happening now."
“The Amazon Literary Partnership champions organisations that support writers, poets, translators, and diverse voices at every stage in their career," commented Darren Hardy, Manager for UK Author and Editorial Programmes, Amazon.co.uk. "Given the impact COVID-19 and the challenges presented in the past 12 months on the literary community, we are proud to continue to fund these remarkable groups in sustaining and empowering writers to have their voice and words heard.”
Writing East Midlands CIC, is a writer development agency for the East Midlands region and on being supported by this group, Abi Hutchinson (she/her, pictured right) said: “I started writing seriously whilst getting the lowest possible grades, languishing in the bottom set for English and struggling with what turned out to be dyslexia. And yet, here I am, with A* in GCSE English and predicted an A* at A level! The turning point for me was when my Mum received a cancer diagnosis; I was devastated, and needed somewhere to turn. I began trying to make sense of what was going on through writing poetry and it really did save me. Being part of a Writing East Midlands young writers’ group helped change the way I write and how I feel about myself. I met people who were like me and I could be myself around them. I am now very loud (probably too loud!) when I’m with the group. Amazing and inspiring lead writers have taught me how to write different genres, how to share work and give feedback to others. With Amazon Literary Partnership Funding, Writing East Midlands has promised to support me further by developing my leadership skills by enabling me to work alongside a professional poet, in a series of workshops to inspire the next generation of young writers.”
“We are both thrilled and excited to receive Amazon Literary Partnership funding for our Write To be Heard 2021/22 young writers’ programme. Our work lowers barriers to creativity, creates links between young writers and their communities, nurtures talent and builds literacy skills,” said Sian Tower, Education Manager, Writing East Midlands CIC. “We believe every young writer, regardless of their background, should have good quality access to the means of creativity and self expression; we can now offer more free opportunities for the diverse cohorts we work with, and have lots of exciting plans to develop and celebrate their voices.”
The Supported Organisations for 2021:
Applications for 2022 grants from the Amazon Literary Partnership will commence towards the end of this year.
*A talent development scheme for writers and artists supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the South West by Calling The Shots