News Release: Creative Scotland Award Announcement and Landmark BAME Writers Survey Launch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Scottish BAME Writers Network has been awarded funding from Creative Scotland towards a year-long pilot program and announces a landmark survey for BAME writers in and from Scotland.

The Scottish BAME Writers Network (SBWN) is very honoured to have been awarded Creative Scotland funding for their 2020 pilot programme. The network was founded as an advocacy group to engage, validate and connect BAME writers living in and from Scotland, prioritising writers of colour who have historically been underrepresented. Since its inception in 2018, and with the help of several volunteers and partner organisations, the SBWN has facilitated necessary conversations around inclusive publishing and promoted diverse voices within Scotland’s literary sector. Today, the Scottish BAME Writers Network is excited to announce a landmark survey to gather the perceptions and experiences of BAME writers in and from Scotland. The survey will assess gaps, absences and barriers to participation in the SWBN and Scotland’s literary sector and it will help the team plan inclusive programming in the coming months.

As of 2019, the SBWN team has included Alycia Pirmohamed, Jay G Ying, Andrés N Ordorica and Jeda Pearl Lewis. Together the SBWN hosts writing workshops, networking events and readings. 

“We seek to bring BAME writers together, intersecting those in various locations and from various practices. Our purpose is to engage with BAME writers and partner with literary organisations to create real change that challenges systemic barriers, working toward authentic and sustainable inclusive programming.” – Jay G Ying, Programme Manager (Festivals & Partnerships).

2020 looks to be a promising year for the SBWN. It will feature collaborations with Gutter, Inky Fingers, Paisley Book Festival, and The Scottish Poetry Library to name a few. 

“This year we will continue to prioritise BAME-led spaces by programming Visiting Writer workshops and a Visiting Writer reading series featuring inspirational emerging and established literary voices from the BAME community.” – Andrés N Ordorica, Programme Manager (Community Development & Events). 

“Additionally, we will programme discussion panels to engage with members of the literary and publishing communities so that we can continue to help our Network members create new work, develop professionally and help demystify the publishing process.” – Jeda Pearl Lewis, Programme Manager (Writer Development & Communications).

“We thank Creative Scotland for this opportunity, and we look forward to continuing to advocate, network and promote writers of colour living in and from Scotland.” – Alycia Pirmohamed, Director.

Survey link: http://bit.ly/SBWNsurvey

About the Scottish BAME Writers Network

The Scottish BAME Writers Network provides advocacy, literary events and development opportunities for BAME writers based in or from Scotland. Run by BAME writers, the Network was co-founded by poets Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay G Ying in 2018, who were joined in 2019 by writers Andrés Nicolás Ordorica and Jeda Pearl Lewis. Partners and supporters include The Scottish Poetry Library, Literature Alliance Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust, independent bookshops such as The Lighthouse and Golden Hare Books, and Gutter Magazine. 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 and won the 2019 Creative Edinburgh Awards (Social Category).

For more information, refer to their website, where you can read the Mission Statement and Values, find out more about the team and what events are upcoming: https://scottishbamewritersnetwork.wordpress.com/

Find them on Facebook and Twitter @ScotBAMEwriters.

Team bios

Alycia Pirmohamed is the 2019 winner of the 92Y/Discovery Poetry Contest, PhD student at Edinburgh University and co-founder of the Scottish BAME Writers Network. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Paris Review Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Adroit Journal, Best Canadian Poetry and others. Her pamphlets are Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press 2019 & Chapbook Prize 2018) and Hinge, forthcoming with ignitionpress in 2020. @a_pirmohamed alycia-pirmohamed.com

Jay G Ying is a writer based in Edinburgh. He is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Wedding Beasts (2019) and Katabasis (2020). He is the co-founder of the Scottish BAME Writers Network, Contributing Editor at The White Review and Assistant Poetry Editor at Asymptote. @jaygying jaygying.com

Andrés N. Ordorica is a queer Latinx writer and educator based in Edinburgh, Scotland and Programmer Manager for the Scottish BAME Writers Network. His fiction has been featured in Confluence Medway, The Acentos Review, 404 ink Magazine and Gutter. His work has been anthologised in Ceremony, We Were Always Here, and The Colour of Madness. @AndresNOrdorica andresordorica.com

Jeda Pearl Lewis is a Scottish writer & poet and a Programme Manager for the Scottish BAME Writers Network. In 2019, she was awarded Cove Park’s Emerging Writer Residency and shortlisted for the Bridge Awards. Her writing is published by TSS Publishing, Momaya Press, Tapsalteerie and Shoreline of Infinity. @jedapearl @jedapearl.com 

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