Mission and Values Statement – Updated December 2021
This is an overview of our Constitution, adopted on 5th December 2021.
In Spring 2022, we will be changing our name to Scottish BPOC Writers Network. Read more about this change here.
Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN) is a professional development and advocacy group for Black writers and writers of colour who are Scottish, Scotland-based or have strong links with Scotland.
With an intersectional approach, SBWN aims to:
- Connect Scottish BPOC* writers with the wider literary and arts sector primarily in Scotland, additionally in the UK and internationally.
- Collaborate and partner with BPOC writers by providing our own programme of events, publishing opportunities and an online community.
- Partner with literary and arts organisations to facilitate opportunities for Scottish BPOC writers and necessary conversations around inclusive programming in an effort to address and overcome systemic barriers.
- Advocate for paid opportunities and fair payment for writers and artists, in line with literary and art organisations’ guidelines such as Society of Authors, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Artists Union.
- Prioritise BPOC Scotland-based writers and BPOC-led opportunities, and bring focus to diverse literary voices while aiming to remain accessible to marginalised groups.
We value inclusive representation. We value equity and equality. We acknowledge that many barriers exist for BPOC writers and that quality work by BPOC writers is overlooked due to patterns of white dominance, discrimination and other systemic barriers. We know that merit alone does not get you through the door. We acknowledge the lived experiences and intersectionality of our network members, and we will operate a safer spaces policy at our events, projects and initiatives. We acknowledge that diversity alone will not resolve access issues within the literary sector. We recognise that colourism and anti-Blackness exist within BPOC spaces. We will not stand for either. We will uplift, give space, encourage and validate each other’s unique perspectives and narratives.
We operate a safer spaces policy during all events, projects and initiatives, including online forums and events, and venue-based events. Every participant, including guests, facilitators and SBWN team members must abide by this policy.
Please refer to our Safer Spaces Policy here.
Please refer to our Access Statement.
Membership is free – please see our About page to learn more.
If you are a Scottish** writer or literary professional, are racialised or identify as BPOC* (examples below), and can abide by our Safer Spaces Policy, you are welcome to join our network. We are not an advocacy group for writers who identify as white.
*BPOC stands for ‘Black people, People of Colour’ and is a self-identifying term. While we use the term BPOC, we acknowledge the limitations of this terminology. At the core of our network is the aim to address and overcome systemic barriers that our members face directly or indirectly based on their ethnic or national identities, race or perceived racial identities, or the colour of their skin as per the Equality Act of 2010. This includes people who identify as Black, brown, people of colour, Global Majority, mixed-race, multiple heritage and/or are from the Global South, and/or are East and South-East Asian, West Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, African-Caribbean, Caribbean, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, or First Nations, and diasporas.
**‘Scottish BPOC writer’ includes BPOC writers based in Scotland, Scottish BPOC writers living within or outwith Scotland, and BPOC writers with strong links to Scotland, for example, if they lived in Scotland for a number of years and still maintain regular contact with people in Scotland.
- Scotland-based BPOC writers may be prioritised for the majority of activities.
- Some activities may be open to the general public or the wider literary community in Scotland or beyond, including people who identify as BPOC, or white, or another racial or ethnic identity; for example, readings, panels, book launches.