Writer’s Development Day: For Underrepresented Writers

20th January 2024 10:00am to 4:00pm, The Dance Space

Are you an underrepresented writer looking to develop your craft?

We're delighted to be partnering with Creative Future to offer this writer's development day, designed to help you hone your craft, get inspired and build your community. We'll hear from three writers over the course of the morning who will be delving into their own process and sharing invaluable insight into writing fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.

In the afternoon you'll have the chance to hear from a range of writing organisations who are there to support you on your writing journey. You'll find out what they can offer you and how you can get involved.

To finish the day we will be interviewing a panel of agents and editors who will be discussing the fundamentals of the submission process, as well as the different routes available to publication.

The programme will be packed full of practical and essential advice to move your writing forward.


10:00am : Registration 

10:15am : Introduction and welcome

10:30am - 11:30am : Session One - Fiction | In conversation with Irenosen Okojie

11.30am - 11:45pm : Short comfort break  

11:45am - 1:00pm : Session Two and Three | Creative Non-Fiction with Colin Grant | Poetry with Maria Jastrzębska

Guests will be able to choose which they attend of two breakout workshop sessions, one focused around creative non-fiction, and one focused around poetry. These will be practical sessions featuring writing exercises, and ending with 15 minutes of prompted writing time.

1:00pm - 2.00pm : Lunch 

2:00pm - 2:50pm : Your Writing Community 

Writers will have the opportunity to hear from organisations in the UK who offer support to writers.

With: Creative Future | New Writing South | Writing our Legacy | Writers HQ | W&A

2:50pm - 3:00pm : Short comfort break  

3:00pm - 4:00pm : The Fundamentals of Getting Published with Magdalene Abraha (Jacaranda Books), Jack Thompson (Cipher Press) and Amandeep Singh (TGLA)

A panel of agents and publishers will talk about the submission process, and routes to publication. 

Speaker profiles
Irenosen Okojie

Irenosen Okojie was born in Nigeria and moved to England aged eight.

Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Observer, The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. Her short stories have been published internationally.

Her debut novel, Butterfly Fish, published by Jacaranda Books won a Betty Trask Award. It was shortlisted for the Edinburgh First Book Award. Her short story collection, Speak Gigantular was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. It was selected by film director Carol Morley as an Observer Summer Read. 

Her novel Curandera is forthcoming from Dialogue Books in 2024. In 2021 she was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature.


Colin Grant

Colin Grant is the author of six highly praised books: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (2008), I and I: The Natural Mystics Marley, Tosh and Wailer (2011), Bageye at the Wheel (2012), A Smell of Burning (2016), and Homecoming (2019). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Director of WritersMosaic, a division of the Royal Literary Fund. He teaches creative non-fiction writing at Arvon and Oxford University.


Maria Jastrzębska

Poet, editor and translator, Maria Jastrzębska was born in Warsaw, Poland and came to England as a child. Her most recent, fifth full length collection is Small Odysseys, launched from Waterloo Press at the Coast is Queer Literature Festival in Brighton 2022. The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue (Cinnamon Press/Liquorice Fish 2018) was her previous collection. She was the co-founder of Queer Writing South and South Pole and co-edited Queer in Brighton (New Writing South 2014) with Anthony Luvera. Her poetry features in the British Library project Poetry Between Two Worlds and her drama Dementia Diaries toured nationally to sell-out audiences with Lewes Live Literature. She has been the lead artist in an ACE awarded cross arts project Snow Q, which toured with a live literature production in 2020 and has collaborated with filmmaker Wendy Pye to create 3 filmpoems :www.snowqproject.wordpress.com


Magdalene Abraha

Magdalene Abraha is a writer and multi-award-winning publisher. She was a columnist for the Independent Newspaper and to date her writing has been published in The Economist, The Guardian, Vice, Vogue and more. For her work in publishing she was Bookseller Rising Star in 2019, awarded the LBF Trailblazer award in 2020 for her contribution to publishing and awarded the BBC 1Xtra Future figures award in 2022. She was also included on the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list in 2022 – the only publishing professional to be recognised that year. She has worked at I.B Tauris, Bloomsbury and is now a publisher at Jacaranda Books. She is known for creating and spearheading diverse book campaigns such as her recent A Quick Ting On series.

Jacaranda Books is an award-winning, diverse-owned independent publisher and bookseller.

They are dedicated to promoting and celebrating brilliant diverse literature. Since launching their first title in 2014, they have published 70+ titles by a raft of talented authors, including multiple award-winners Irenosen Okojie, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Bernice L. McFadden, and Shola von Reinhold.

In 2020, Jacaranda were named Small Press of the Year at the British Book Awards. In that landmark year, they launched #TwentyIn2020: an unprecedented initiative to publish 20 titles by 20 Black British writers in a single year. That same year, they also co-launched the #InclusiveIndies campaign as a response to the impact of Covid-19 on publishers like ourselves — raising over £100,000 that they were able to share with 12 other independent small presses.

In 2021, Jacaranda formed a historic partnership with Hachette UK, expanding their sales and distribution to support the flourishing global market for readers of books by diverse voices.

Their ethos is simple — they are committed to publishing ground-breaking writing with a dedication to creating space on the bookshelf for diverse ideas and writers.




Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson is a publisher and the co-founder of Cipher Press. Jack has worked as a bookseller at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, and as a copywriter and editor. They also work at independent book distributor Turnaround. They have a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

Cipher Press is an independent publisher of queer fiction and non-fiction. Their aim is to amplify queer voices and to champion LGBTQIA+ writers in the UK and beyond.

They want to publish authors who are creating a new literary canon by disrupting existing narratives and retelling them in new ways. They want to publish the many different stories that make up our community, and they want to make those stories accessible to everyone.

They're entirely queer owned and run because they want the publishing industry to be more inclusive at every level. They have over a decade’s worth of bookselling, publishing, and editorial experience under their belts. They still don’t often see the kind of books they want to see on shelves, and they’d like to change that by finding authors who excite they and by publishing books that they love.

They're especially keen to publish those who are further marginalised within their own community: people of colour, working class, trans and gender non-conforming authors. 


Amandeep Singh

Amandeep Singh is an agent at TGLA. She began her career at Hamish Hamilton before working at innovative digital publisher Canelo. Keen to work even more closely with authors, she became an assistant at The Blair Partnership before joining Ebury, HarperCollins and Penguin Press, where she collaborated on books by Greta Thunberg, Grace Dent and Nikita Gill. She published only debut authors during her time at HarperCollins: Taz Alam, Dr Vanita Rattan, Oloni and Bretman Rock. Her passion for championing debuts, amplifying underrepresented voices and working in-depth editorially led her back to agenting. She hopes to work with writers who enjoy collaboration; as a French and Italian (and
rusty Punjabi) speaker, she is also interested in voices and topics that cross borders.


New Writing South

New Writing South is a non-profit organisation for writers living and working in South-East England

We exist to support and encourage new, emerging and established writers from diverse communities.

We offer a programme of courses, masterclasses and mentoring to help writers develop skills and careers. Our wide-ranging participation activities spark new conversations, nurture new writing and engage new audiences.

We cultivate and champion radical thinking.

We strive to inspire both writers and readers to take risks and find joy in writing and literature.


Writing Our Legacy

Writing Our Legacy CIC is an arts and heritage organisation that enables Black, Asian and ethnically diverse/BPOC* people to tell their story through writing and the creative arts. We were established in 2012.

We give writers and other creatives a platform and community to feel supported, nurtured and evolve their work through the creative pipeline, from start to publication. We share stories and heritage of diaspora communities and bring them to life through various art forms for audiences to learn and take part in cultural heritage.


Writers HQ

Writers’ HQ has been helping writers love their writing and finish their stories since 2012.

We love writing. But sometimes writing is hard. Whether it’s a lack of time, money or motivation standing in your way, Writers’ HQ was created to help make things easier.

Our online writing courses are split into small, manageable chunks, so you can dip in and out at your own pace. 

Our one-day writing retreats are fully accessible and super productive. 

Our writing workshops are designed to (gently) kick your writerly butt and keep you going. 

And our writing community really is the friendliest on the whole dang internet.

Creative Future logo

Creative Future’s vision is to make the arts accessible to everyone, more diverse and representative of the world we live in. We specialise in supporting underrepresented artists and writers facing inequality to opportunity, due to mental health, health, identity or social circumstance. Working nationally with a South East focus, we provide creative and professional development, showcasing, learning and networking opportunities, including the annual Writers’ Award. We identify, nurture and showcase talent from new voices on the margins who are poorly served and unheard in the mainstream, many of whom progress into award-winning careers.

Booking & payment

Please note, this an event designed for underrepresented writers. What do we mean by underrepresented?

Underrepresented refers to a person or group of people who are insufficiently or inadequately represented, and face barriers to opportunity due to mental health issues, physical health/disability, sensory impairment, learning disabilities, neurodivergence, substance misuse, survivors, people from working class backgrounds, people from the LGBTQIA+ community, and people from Black, Asian, traveller, mixed heritage or other global majority backgrounds.

If you are an underrepresented writer please use the discount code BRIGHTON10 at checkout to receive your £15 ticket. If you are not an underrepresented writer, we ask that you pay the full £25 to attend. Lunch, and teas and coffees, are included in the ticket price.

To view our event refund and cancellation policy, please click here.

This is an in-person event. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided by the W&A Team a week before the event start-date. All event times noted on this page are UK time.


Accessible to All

It’s of real importance to Writers & Artists that our events and courses remain accessible to all.

  • Payment instalment plans are available for all W&A events, writing courses and editing services. Contact W&A Admin on events@writersandartists.co.uk so that we can find a payment schedule that works for you.
  • This event will include written text and visuals, both during and in the form of handouts from the sessions. Please contact us in advance so that we can make arrangements to be sure all documents appear in a format that works for you.
  • If you’d like to attend but have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility, then please email AccessWA@bloomsbury.com


The Dance Space is fully accessible. The access features of The Dance Space include:

  • All floors and rooms in The Dance Space are wheelchair accessible
  • We have wheelchair accessible changing facilities and toilets on every floor
  • The colour scheme and lighting in the building has been designed with visually impaired people in mind
  • Internal signage is used throughout the building and has been designed with visually impaired people and people with autism and learning disabilities in mind
  • If you would like to discuss access at The Dance Space generally please email hello@southeastdance.org.uk or call 01273 696844


The Dance Space
2 Market Square, Circus Street
United Kingdom

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