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.
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).
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
Programme Manager (Writer Development & Communications)
Jeda Pearl Lewis is a disabled Scottish-Jamaican writer and poet. Inspired by existing in the ‘in-between’, plus the hidden history, culture and folklore of her ancestral islands, her work often explores the intersections of identity, belonging, secrecy and survival. 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 poems and short stories appear or are upcoming in anthologies published by New Writing Scotland, TSS Publishing, Tapsalteerie and Shoreline of Infinity.
Andrés N Ordorica
Programme Manager (Community Development & 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 has been featured in Confluence Medway, The Acentos Review, 404 ink Magazine. His work has been anthologised in Ceremony published by Tapsalteerie Press, We Were Always Here published by 404 ink, and The Colour of Madness published by Stirling Publishing. His non-fiction has been published by The Skinny, Bella Caledonia, Medium and The Irish Independent.
Admin & Social Media Support
Bhavika Govil is a writer, journalist and editor. Her fiction and non-fiction pieces are published or forthcoming in Vogue, Gutter Magazine, Outlook Traveller, From Arthur’s Seat, Little Black Book, The Lookout Journal, New Indian Express, among others. Her short story ‘Curdled’ won the Bound Short Story Contest 2019 and another short story was mentioned as a Notable Contender for the 2020 Bristol Short Story Prize. She is soon to receive an MSc in Creative Writing (fiction) from The University of Edinburgh, and she completed her undergraduate degree from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi.