A Pro-Diversity Literary Agency

Some of you may remember that back in September Random Penguin ran a series of events looking for new authors from diverse backgrounds. One of those workshops was in Bristol and was coordinated by local writer, Nikesh Shukla. Nikesh is currently best known for crowdfunding the anthology, The Good Immigrant, which explores what it means to be Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic in Britain today.

Just before Christmas, Nikesh announced the formation of a new literary agency, The Good Literary Agency, to be run by himself and Julia Kingsford. The agency will be a social enterprise, so not taking a profit from the business, and this is what it has to say about its objectives:

Inspired by a desire to increase opportunities for representation for all writers under-represented in mainstream publishing it will focus on discovering, developing and launching the careers of writers of colour, disability, working class, LGBTQ+ and anyone who feels their story is not being told in the mainstream.

They are not yet open for submissions, but you can sign up to be notified when they do at their website.

I note that the agency is part-funded by the Arts Council, which appears to think that “genre fiction” is commercial and not in need of support, whereas “literary fiction” — that is the stuff that publishers pour fortunes into marketing, and the media will always write about, despite it not always selling — is in need of loads more money. However, that’s not their only source of money. My guess is that you can get away with calling your SF&F “literary” if it is not about straight white men, because “everyone knows” that only straight white men read SF&F.

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