Dark red and black text with a photo of a sprouting plant. Text: Space to Thrive. SBWN Programme 2024-2025. The SBWN logo and the Creative Scotland National Lottery logos are in the top right corner.

Space to Thrive Programme SBWN Announcement

The Scottish BPOC Writers Network has been awarded funding from Creative Scotland to continue their advocacy work and professional development for BPOC writers living in and connected to Scotland. 

Read this as a Google Doc here.

The Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN) is extremely honoured to have been awarded Creative Scotland National Lottery Extended Programme funding for their Space to Thrive programme. Space to Thrive represents a significant step forward in expanding SBWN’s work with increased programming outside Scotland’s central belt, greater provision of BSL interpretation at events, inclusion of more literary genres in programming, community-led writing groups that speak directly to members’ interests, a new partnership model that more effectively foregrounds SBWN writers, and of course, more panels, workshops, guest blog posts, and writing from amazing Black writers and writers of colour at all stages of their creative journeys.

The network was founded as an advocacy group to engage, validate and connect BPOC* writers from and living in Scotland who historically experience underrepresentation and marginalisation in the literary sector. Since its inception in 2018, SBWN has facilitated a vast amount of literary opportunities for BPOC writers, worked with hundreds of Scottish BPOC writers, and facilitated necessary conversations around inclusive publishing and promoted diverse voices within Scotland. 

The current SBWN team includes Jeda Pearl Lewis, Titilayo Farukuoye, Kelly Kanayama, Nailah King, and Alycia Pirmohamed. The organisation was founded in 2018 by poets Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay Gao. SBWN is extremely proud to run a diverse programme of literary events including workshops and craft seminars, the network’s blog, audio anthologies and regular writing groups, plus festival panels, networking events and readings for another year, where inclusiveness, access, representation and community are at the heart centre of the work.

“We are so excited to bring our Space to Thrive programme to life with this funding. This allows us to continue championing BPOC writers in ways that directly address the issues we face in the literary sector, as well as the intersecting marginalisations that affect many of us every day. Our new programme expands our capacity to advocate for fairness, rights, representation, social and climate justice on behalf of Scotland’s writers of colour.” – Titilayo Farukuoye, Co-Director 

“By adding genres like SFF, horror, and romance to our programming we can better meet the needs and reflect the work of Scotland’s BPOC writers and a more modern publishing industry. Our stories are as unique as we are, and making sure more genres are represented is an important acknowledgement of that.” – Nailah King, Admin and Communications Manager

“As the title suggests, Space to Thrive is about giving Scotland’s BPOC writers the latitude to shape their own journeys. Our community-led writing groups and new partnership model actively put writers first, ensuring that they find the specific guidance and audiences that fit best for them, while our increased accessibility provisions will help to break down barriers that restrict writers from thriving.” – Kelly Kanayama, Editorial Manager

“We look forward to providing more opportunities for Black writers and writers of colour across Scotland to not only be heard, but to build enriching connections, to find safe spaces where they can grow and develop, to gain confidence in their voices. The work we’re doing now ensures that Scottish literature reflects the Scottish population, offers more role models and fairly paid work to emerging and established BPOC writers and literary professionals, and a wider range of literature to the Scottish and global public. We are here, we belong here, our stories matter.” – Jeda Pearl Lewis, Co-Director 

Alan Bett, Head of Literature at Creative Scotland commented:

“The Scottish BPOC Writers Network has advocated incredibly powerfully and provided invaluable support for its network of writers since its inception. Space to Thrive will expand its reach, empowering writers by increasing partnerships and providing resources outside the central belt.  With the additional aims of improving accessibility and diversification of genres featured in their programming, this work is vital in promoting inclusivity and representation in Scotland’s literary scene.”

SBWN is very grateful for the opportunity to continue its work advocating on behalf of BPOC writers living in and from Scotland. This funding award from Creative Scotland will help to ensure important programmes can continue through 2024-2025. 

Website: https://scottishbpocwritersnetwork.org/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScotBPOCwriters 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScotBPOCWriters 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/scotbpocwriters

Contacts: Titilayo Farukuoye and Jeda Pearl Lewis: scottishbpocwriters@gmail.com 

Learn more about SBWNFrequently Asked Questions

Images: Logo 

*BPOC stands for ‘Black people and People of Colour’ – see #BAMEOver statement from IncArts. QTIPOC stands for ‘Queer, Trans, Intersex People of Colour.’

Notes to Editors

About Scottish BPOC Writers Network

Formerly known as Scottish BAME Writers Network (2018-2021), Scottish BPOC Writers Network (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.

For more information and upcoming events, refer to their website: https://scottishbpocwritersnetwork.org/ 

Find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter/X @ScotBPOCwriters.

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland
 is the public body that supports culture and creativity across all parts of Scotland, distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on XFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

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