All Stories launches 22-23 programme :: NEWS
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All Stories launches 22-23 programme

08 April 2022 Share


All Stories – the mentorship and outreach programme for aspiring children’s book writers from underrepresented groups – returns for its second year, building on the success of the first with an expanded programme and focus, increased funding, and new industry partners.

 All Stories had a hugely impactful debut year, supporting 14 writers to develop their work – details of which can be found here. Now the programme returns for year two, expanding on the mentorships by offering more opportunities for new writers including workshops and writing groups. 

Fully funded by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and Arts Council England (which doubles its investment), All Stories aims to tackle issues of privilege and the lack of diversity in children’s books. Many of the debut authors published today have been able to afford courses, mentoring or MAs to develop their work, leaving those who can’t afford such help at a distinct disadvantage. All Stories’ goal is to address this imbalance by encouraging and supporting aspiring writers from underrepresented groups. This work is vital in order to improve the overall diversity of authors, which in turn will help to ensure young readers see themselves reflected in the books they read. 

Year two will offer ten mentorships to writers of middle grade and young adult fiction across nine months, evolving from the year one format where writers for all age groups were mentored together for six months. Picture book and young fiction writers will be supported the following year, in an ongoing pattern. 

The 2022–2023 mentorship programme will offer:

  • Ten free mentorships to talented writers of middle grade and young adult fiction who are unable to pay for help to develop their work. Each mentorship is delivered by a freelance editor, while in- house editors will support by presenting seven webinars on craft and demystifying the industry. 
  • A private online All Stories community for the mentees. 
  • A year’s free membership to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). 

Applications are invited from 8th April to 30th June 2022, with the mentorships running Oct 22 to June 23. ONLY unagented, unpublished writers from underrepresented groups8 residing in the UK are eligible. 

In addition to the mentorship programme, new activities for 2022 include: 

  • In-person and online writing workshops to encourage people from underrepresented groups to write for children. 
  • The in-person workshops will be piloted with Essex and Thurrock Libraries, with a view to expansion across the UK in future years. Further details will soon be available here
  • Support to establish writing groups for the in-person and online workshop attendees. 
  • In partnership with Metal 9: a session to sixth-formers from underrepresented groups to encourage them to consider a career in children’s books and 1-2-1 sessions with editors for writers from underrepresented groups to gain feedback on their work. More details here.  

All Stories founder, children’s book editor Catherine Coe, says: “I could not be happier with how the first year of the All Stories programme went – and how brilliantly it was supported by people in the industry. All fourteen mentees have leant and developed so much, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for these incredibly talented writers. But we cannot stop there – we need to keep supporting and encouraging writers from underrepresented groups if we’re really going to make lasting changes and ensure children’s books are truly inclusive and representative.” 

All Stories patron, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, adds: “I wish All Stories was around when I started off. As a Black writer from a working class family I had absolutely no idea how to be become a published author. I am so proud to be the patron of such a supportive and successful programme.” 

 For further information visit www.allstories.org.uk