Bloomsbury is launching the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship in partnership with Writers & Artists.
The idea of this pilot scheme is to help early career academics get their book idea into a form which is ready for publication. If you are of African or African Caribbean heritage, based in the UK, and have an idea you would like to develop into an academic book but are unsure where to start, this Fellowship is for you.
The recipient of the Bloomsbury Fellowship will receive a package of creative support throughout 2024. This will include editorial support and mentorship for one year, £1,000 of financial support, practical resources, and event and networking opportunities. The ultimate goal of this invaluable, industry-standard package of support is for the author to develop their work to a point in which they feel in a position to begin approaching prospective publishers.
To ensure that the subjects covered by these works are wide-ranging and topical, your manuscript should focus on one of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Climate Action.
We are specifically focusing on Black authors based in the UK in this pilot scheme. Our aim is to grow and develop the Fellowship, expanding its remit so that we can offer it to many more under-represented author groups within core academic fields of study in the future.
Simply submit a short statement (<500 words) about how your work aims to educate and inspire within one or more of the key thematic areas listed below. You must also include a 200-word synopsis of your work, and a 1,500-2,000 word sample extract.
Please note: it's possible to start and then save an application. Saved applications are stored under the 'My competition entries' section of your W&A dashboard.
Key thematic areas
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Responsible Consumption and Production
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Dates and further announcements
Our 2023 closing date for entries is 23:59 Thursday 30th November 2023. The successful applicant(s), as chosen by our judging panel, will be announced in January 2024.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese diaspora author, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate. She is the author of Stand Up and Speak Out against Racism (Walker, 2023), the essay collection Talking About A Revolution (Penguin Random House UK, 2022), and the novels You Must Be Layla, (Puffin, 2019) and Listen, Layla (Puffin, 2021) which was longlisted for Book of the Year by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. A regular news and current affairs commentator on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Monocle 24, Yassmin is also a regular columnist with The New Arab and London’s Evening Standard. She has written for TIME, The Guardian, The New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, Teen Vogue, the Independent and more. Yassmin is currently a Trustee of the London Library and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and sits on the Executive Committee of the Black Writers Guild.
David Avital is Editorial Director for Bloomsbury Politics, International Development and Area Studies. David has nearly 20 years’ experience in scholarly publishing across a number of subject areas at Bloomsbury, Continuum and Routledge.
Dr Akin Iwilade is Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to his current role, he taught International Relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and African Politics at the University of Leeds, UK. His current research focusses on the anthropology of youth and draws on an inter-disciplinary theoretical toolbox to ask how this category maps itself onto material and social realities; how they construct and evade discipline; and how they imagine their place in life, death and in the in-betweens. This work has been supported by grants from the British Academy, ESRC, AHRC, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh among others. He has published in leading journals including the Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Africa Spectrum, Journal of Youth Studies and Extractive Industries and Society. He is currently an Editor of the Canadian Journal of African Studies, Reviews Editor for African Affairs and a member of the Editorial Board for Critical African Studies.
Eli Keren started his publishing career at Curtis Brown before joining United Agents as an assistant in 2016. In 2021 he became an associate literary agent, representing a growing list of clients across fiction and non-fiction, actively seeking books that are going to make a positive impact in the world in some way, big or small. He has been a regular judge on the Pat Kavanagh Prize and the Page Turner Awards, and was an industry judge for the London Library’s Emerging Writers Programme 2022/23 and Retreat West’s upcoming First Chapter Prize 2024. In 2022 he developed and taught Jericho Writers’ 'How To Write a Non-Fiction Proposal' course, and in 2023 he was elected treasurer of the Association of Authors’ Agents.
Lily Mac Mahon is Commissioning Editor for World Archaeology at Bloomsbury Academic. Lily has worked at Bloomsbury Publishing for the last 5 years, where she started as the Editorial Assistant on the Classical Studies and Archaeology list. Before joining Bloomsbury, Lily had various roles and internships at other publishers including Duckworth Publishers, Egmont and HarperCollins. Prior to that, she lived in Paris for several years where she taught English. In her free time, she volunteers at the Children’s Book Project in London.
Dr Kadian Pow is a Lecturer in Sociology and Black Studies at Birmingham City University. As one of Canvas 8 Expert Consultant in Cultural Trends, Dr. Pow has worked on racial equity projects with Beatfreeks, and Museums in the UK and USA. Her main interests include Black feminism in online spaces, television, fandoms and representation, Intersectionality, the sociology of Black hair and identity, and museum decolonisation efforts. Extending her Black feminist praxis, Kadian founded Bourn Beautiful Naturals in 2017 during her PhD studies. She is the author of Stories of Black Female Identity in the Making: Queering the Love in Blackness, which was published by Lived Places Publishing (2023).
To enter the Fellowship, all entrants must:
- Be of African or African Caribbean heritage
- Be over 18 and living in the UK
- Not have a publishing contract or agent
The successful recipient(s) of the Fellowship will receive a package of creative support throughout 2024. This will include:
Editorial support and mentorship:
- A bespoke mentoring programme offering industry-standard creative support (and unique insight into working with a publisher). This will be managed by Writers & Artists and Bloomsbury, and will include milestone editorial meetings throughout the year. (Mentor to be appointed based on the Fellowship recipient’s field of work, career history and aspirations, as well as shared experiences and challenges). A typical one-year mentoring programme includes four milestone meetings of one-hour between mentor and mentee. Submission deadlines will be agreed before each of these sessions, with mentees expected to submit a tranche of original writing (to an agreed word count) in advance so that their mentor can prepare accordingly. Each one-hour meeting will be used to discuss progress, editorial suggestions and next steps. Mentors will offer a short follow-up report outlining everything discussed within the session. Where possible, we will encourage that at least one of the milestone meetings takes place in-person at Bloomsbury Publishing.
- The Fellowship will offer £1,000 in financial support to the recipient at the start of the fellowship year
Events and networking opportunities:
- Registration to a UK-based academic conference attended by Bloomsbury in 2024
- A complimentary place on Writing Non-Fiction, a five-week online course from Writers & Artists led by prize-winning author Lara Feigel (October 2024
- A complimentary place at any appropriate Writers & Artists events taking place in 2024
- An invitation to attend all appropriate relevant Bloomsbury Academic author events
- Invitations to participate in any relevant Bloomsbury Academic fellowship panels, recordings or events
- The option of a thirty-minute one-to-one consultation with a literary agent, who will provide proposal feedback and marketplace insight
- Full access to Writers’ & Artists’ online listings: a one-year subscription to a database of thousands of industry contacts
- £250 of Bloomsbury Academic titles
The end goal of this invaluable, industry-standard package of support is that the author feels in a position to begin approaching prospective publishers.
Full entry details
To apply for the Fellowship, all entrants must:
- Provide a short statement (maximum 500 words) about how their work aims to educate and inspire within one of following key thematic areas: No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Climate Action
- Provide a provisional Table of Contents and projected word count
- Provide a 200-word synopsis of the work
- Upload a 1,500-2,000 word sample extract of the work
- Have an account with writersandartists.co.uk, which is free to create
- Submit their entry via our online form
You do require an internet connection to submit your competition entry; however if you have any questions or specific accessibility queries, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.