Run by writers of colour, the Network was co-founded by Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay G Ying in 2018, who were joined by Andrés Nicolás Ordorica and Jeda Pearl Lewis in 2019, and by Dean Atta and Bhavika Govil in 2020.
In 2019, the Network received funding from The Royal Society of Literature to host a series of Visiting Writer Workshops with Raman Mundair, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Leila Aboulela. Alongside our visiting writers workshops, we worked with Hannah Lavery to create a Writers of Colour group, which Hannah now organises and facilitates regularly.
The Scottish BAME Writers Network was awarded the 2019 Creative Edinburgh Awards (Social Category). The organisation has since received support from Creative Scotland, and from the Scottish Book Trust through their Live Literature programme. The Network has collaborated with several other organisations in the last year. Below are a few other organisations we’ve received support from:
Please note that all staff currently work part-time.
Co-founder and Advisor
Alycia Pirmohamed received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she studied poetry written by second-generation immigrants. She is the author of two pamphlets: Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press) and Hinge (ignitionpress). Her poetry has been published widely and won several awards, including the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award (2020). In 2019, Alycia curated and edited Ceremony, an anthology of Scottish BAME Writing (Tapsalteerie 2019).
Co-director (Festivals, Partnerships and Editorial)
Dean Atta was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. His debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His Young Adult novel in verse, The Black Flamingo, won the 2020 Stonewall Book Award, and was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, YA Book Prize and Jhalak Prize.
Jeda Pearl Lewis
Co-director (Writer Development, Access and Communications)
Jeda Pearl Lewis is a disabled Scottish-Jamaican writer and poet. In 2019, she was awarded Cove Park’s Scottish Emerging Writer Residency and shortlisted for the Moniack Mohr Emerging Writer Bridge Awards. She’s a contributing editor for The Selkie, a member of the Crip Collective and she’s performed at Stanza, Event Horizon, Inky Fingers and Hidden Door. Her writing is published by Black Lives Matter Mural Trail, New Writing Scotland, TSS Publishing, Tapsalteerie and Shoreline of Infinity.
Andrés N Ordorica
Programme Manager (Community and Events)
Andrés N. Ordorica is a queer Latinx writer and educator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He creates worlds filled with characters who are from neither here nor there (ni de aquí, ni de allá). His fiction and poetry have been featured in Confluence Medway, Silk + Smoke, The Acentos Review, and Gutter. He has been anthologised in We Were Always Here, The Centenary Collection, and The Colour of Madness. In 2020, he was awarded The Second Life grant through the Edwin Morgan Trust to produce a poetry film of new work.
Admin and Social Media Support
Bhavika Govil is a writer from New Delhi, India with a master’s in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her stories are published or forthcoming in Vogue, Extra Teeth, Gutter, Outlook Traveller. She won the Bound Short Story Prize in 2019, was longlisted for the Toto Awards for Creative Writing (English) 2021 and mentioned as a Notable Contender for the 2020 Bristol Short Story Prize. Her novel-in-progress has been chosen for the DHA New Writers’ Open Week 2021.