I have been working in publishing for well over 20 years and during much of my career I have spent time talking to authors at conferences and in workshops, helping writers focus on their work and also offering ways to get access to the publishing industry. I see my job as finding, supporting and developing new authors and helping build careers that will provide generations of young people with reading pleasure. I also realise that the publishing industry does not reflect the diversity of society and while we are, as a business, getting better at seeking out and encouraging diverse creative voices much more can be done both at the grass-roots level and in the meeting rooms of publishers around the country.
This workshop will focus on sharing knowledge, building contacts, offering inspiration and connecting authors and publishing professionals. The choice of location and speakers as well as providing 10% of the places free of charge to BAME writers will, I hope, help the process of encouraging diverse talent to enter the industry and share their stories by proving that there is a place in publishing for many different voices.