Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN) is an advocacy and professional development group for Scottish or Scotland-based writers and literary professionals who identify as BPOC (Black people, People of Colour).*

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Frequently Asked Questions


Community Membership

Community membership is free and open to any BPOC* writer or literary professional who is Scottish and/or based in Scotland and participates in our online or venue-based events or spaces, or publishing or literary opportunities.

  • Membership may be extended to BPOC writers or literary professionals based outwith Scotland on occasion.
  • Commissioned artists will typically be from the BPOC and/or SBWN communities.
  • SBWN may work with volunteers, partners and allies who identify as BPOC, or white, or another racial or ethnic identity.
  • Some events or activities may be open to the general public or the wider literary community.
  • We have adopted a Constitution.
  • We operate a Safer Spaces Policy during all events, projects and initiatives.

*Please see our Mission and Values page for who we are talking about when we say ‘Scottish BPOC writers.’



Formerly known as Scottish BAME Writers Network (2018-2021), SBWN was co-founded in 2018 by Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay Gao, and aims to connect Scottish BPOC writers with the wider literary sector in Scotland and beyond. Weaving together collaborative literary partnerships, cross-arts co-creation and an intersectional approach to inclusive and participatory programming, SBWN is a sector change-maker, facilitating necessary conversations around inclusive programming in an effort to address and overcome systemic barriers. 

Professional development programming includes publishing and performance opportunities, workshops, masterclasses, curatorial roles, training and seminars, industry panels and partnerships, feedback and mentoring.

Run by BPOC writers for BPOC writers, and informed by member surveys, consultation and feedback, SBWN uplifts, validates and provides safer spaces for marginalised voices, nurturing and promoting the current and next generation of Black and POC writers based in Scotland.

SBWN Operational Core Team

The Core Team run SBWN on a day-to-day basis. Please note that all staff currently work part-time.

Jeda Pearl Lewis

Co-director 2022 

Pronouns: she/her

Photo of woman with light-brown skin, dark brown curly hair and eyes, smiling at the camera. She wears a patterned dress. Teal wall in the background.

Jeda Pearl Lewis is a disabled Scottish Jamaican writer and poet. In 2022 she was shortlisted for the Sky Arts RSL Writers Award and longlisted for the Women Poets’ Prize. Poetry performances include StAnza, Push the Boat Out, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. She has been commissioned by Scottish Storytelling Centre, Collective and Rhubaba. Her poems and short stories are published by Black Lives Matter Mural Trail, New Writing Scotland, Open Book, Not Going Back to Normal, Tapsalteerie, Shoreline of Infinity, Aesthetica, and Peepal Tree Press

Jeda’s website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Titilayo Farukuoye

Co-Director 2022
Pronouns: they/them
Titilayo smiles at the camera. They are a lightskinned Black person and are standing in a park, wearing a patterned jacket. Titi wears their hair in a big afro which is swaying in the wind.

Titilayo Farukuoye is an Austrian-Nigerian writer, organiser and anti-racist educator based in Glasgow. Striving to dismantle oppressive structures, Titilayo interrogates race and gender constructs and explores climate justice and community care. Titilayo curated Our (In)visible Strengths (2018), a visual exhibition celebrating Scottish African and Afro-Caribbean community. Their poetry featured at Fringe of Colour Films and 2020 Mixtape: Writers of Colour Audio Anthology. Media4Change and Future News Worldwide have recognised Titilayo’s journalistic work.

Titilayo’s Twitter

Kelly Kanayama

Communications and Editorial Manager
Pronouns: she/her
Kelly is smiling at the camera. She is an East Asian and Southeast Asian woman with glasses and black hair.

Kelly Kanayama is a pop culture and comics critic with a PhD in comics research. Born and raised in Hawaii but now living in Dundee, she has written for The Independent, Media Diversified, Bitch Media, and Nerdist, among others. She has also spoken on panels at comic conventions in New York, Glasgow, and London. Her poetry has been published in various print and online outlets including Lighthouse Literary Journal, Room Magazine, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Gists and Piths. 

Kelly’s Facebook | Twitter

Nasim Rebecca Asl

Community Manager
Pronouns: she/her
A photo of Nasim Rebecca Asl, who is wearing a white jumper. She is looking at the camera and her hair is long, curly and black. There are fairy lights strung on the peach wall behind her

Nasim Rebecca Asl (she/her) is a Glasgow based poet and journalist. Her work has appeared in magazines including Gutter, The Dark Horse and Modern Poetry in Translation. In 2021 she was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for Poetry, performed on BBC programme The Big Scottish Book Club and was a digital writer-in-residence for The Poetry Business. She is an alumnae of The Writing Squad, a member of the Scribblers Union and participated in the Poetry Translation Centre’s programme for young poets of mixed heritage, Undertow: Polylingual Poets Please. 

Nasim’s Twitter | Instagram

Nailah King

Admin and Media Support
Pronouns: she/her
Photo of a Black woman smiling and wearing a light lilac dress, leaning on a railing. Trees and another railing are in the background.

Nailah King is a Canadian writer now living in Scotland. She is also the founder of The Content Witches, a storytelling studio. Her work has been published in Feels Zine, GUTS Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, This Magazine, Transition Magazine and Carousel Magazine. 

Nailah’s website | Instagram

The Content Witches Instagram

Alycia Pirmohamed
Co-founder and Advisor

Pronouns: she/her

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).

Alycia’s website | Twitter 

Partner Team Members

Hannah Lavery

Writers of Colour Group and Audio Anthology Co-Curator
Pronouns: she/her
A Black woman on a boat, with shoulder-length hair & glasses, looking slightly off-camera.

Hannah Lavery is an award-winning poet, playwright, performer and experienced workshop facilitator. Her poetry has been published widely and her poem, Scotland, you’re no mine, was selected by Roseanne Watt as one of the Best Scottish Poems 2019. The Drift, her autobiographical play, toured Scotland as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Season 2019. In 2020, she was selected by Owen Sheers as one of his Ten Writers Asking Questions That Will Shape Our Future for the International Literature Showcase, a project from the National Writing Centre and the British Council. In 2020, she was also selected as one of the Scottish Voices for BBC Writers’ Room. Hannah is one of Imaginate’s Accelerator Artists and an Associate Artist with the National Theatre of Scotland. Hannah received a Creative Edinburgh Award in 2020 for her work with the Writers of Colour group and with Fringe of Colour.

www.hannahlavery.com / @hanlavery

Marjorie Lotfi

Writers of Colour Group and Audio Anthology Co-Curator
Pronouns: she/her
A woman of Iranian descent with long hair and a red sleeveless top, smiling at the camera.

Marjorie Lotfi is an award-winning poet, seasoned performer and facilitator of creative writing, and the Development Director of Open Book. Her poems have been included in Best Scottish Poems, won competitions and been performed live across Scotland and on BBC Radio 4/Radio Scotland. They have also been widely published, including in Being Human and journals such as The Rialto, Gutter, Rattle, Ambit and Magma, and have been commissioned for a number of anthologies. She is a winner of the inaugural James Berry Prize, and her first collection is forthcoming with Bloodaxe Books in 2023. Refuge, poems about her childhood in revolutionary Iran, is published by Tapsalteerie.

@marjorielotfi on both Twitter and Instagram | marjorielotfi.com

Mae Diansangu

QTIPOC Writers Programme Curator
Pronouns: she/they
A photo of Mae Diansangu who is wearing gold hoop earrings. She smiles at the camera and she has curly hair.

Mae Diansangu is a Black queer spoken word artist, writer and performer from Aberdeen.  She is co-founder of Hysteria, an arts platform that showcases women, non-binary and gender marginalised creatives.  Her work has been published by 404 ink Magazine and she has been awarded commissions from the National Library of Scotland and StAnza. Mae is part of a network of Black community activists organising under BLM Scotland, and her work often centres on social justice themes.

Mae’s Facebook | Twitter

Martha Adonai Williams

Metaphors for a Black Future Programme Curator
Pronouns: she/her
A black and white image of Martha in conversation, seated and leaning forward. Martha is a light-skinned Black, mixed race woman with short afro hair and nose ring wearing a black t-shirt. In the background is a tall wooden fence with some trailing foliage. 

Martha Adonai Williams is a writer, facilitator, producer, community organiser, black feminist and friend. Her practice departs to and returns from black feminist world-making, always, with regular layovers in front of trash tv or at the allotment. Her work considers the wilderness and margins as sites of resistance, refusal and homecoming. She works with writing and storytelling as therapeutic tools and as methods for community building. Her recent work has been shown as part of Fringe of Colour films and published in MAP magazine. She runs call&response black feminist writing community, programmes for Glasgow Zine Library and curates SBWN’s annual Metaphors for a Black Future programme.

Former Team Members

We extend our thanks to our former Operational Team Members:

Edinburgh International Book Festival logo
National Library of Scotland (Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba) logo
Creative Scotland logo
Books From Scotland logo
Bella Caledonia logo
Equality Network logo
EDI Scotland logo
Book Week Scotland logo

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BPOC writers with ties to Scotland can join our private Facebook Group.

Are you a literary or arts organisation that wants to connect with us? Contact us here.