Diversity initiative ‘Voices from the Intersection’ to hold publisher speed pitching day
Authors Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina have launched a volunteer initiative Voices from the Intersection (VFTI), with the aim of providing publication and mentorship opportunities to emerging YA and children’s authors, illustrators and publishing professionals.
VFTI will hold an inaugural publisher speed pitching day on Sunday, 5 March between 2 and 4pm at the State Library of Victoria to promote the creation of ‘Own Voice’ stories, which the organisation defines as ‘diverse stories written or created by authors from the same diverse group’. These include creators who are Indigenous, people of colour, LGBTIQA or living with disability.
The event will pair emerging creators with participating publishers. Publishers confirmed to attend the event include Text, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Black Inc. Clan Destine Publishing, MidnightSun Publishing, Hardie Grant, Bonnier Publishing and Allen & Unwin.
Lim and Kwaymullina told Books+Publishing they set up VFTI to ‘offer a visible pathway to publication or recognition for marginalised creators’, and hope to roll out more pitch sessions in other states, with the goal of running at least two mentorships or publishing ‘events’ per year.
‘Many marginalised writers have no idea where to start getting their stories published or their voices heard,’ said Lim. ‘The VFTI publisher pitching day aims to be an event where marginalised authors can put a friendly, human face to the often terrifying process (even for established authors) of getting their work seen, recognised and mentored.’
‘Whether through cultural, socio-economic or other systemic barriers affecting marginalised authors, or through systemic issues inherent in the publishing industry, it is well recognised that there are very few avenues for marginalised voices to get their Own Voices stories out.’
VFTI is also looking into publishing an anthology of short stories by published and emerging diverse authors, which will involve launching an open competition seeking new voices from the public for the anthology.
For more information, visit the VFTI Facebook page here. Creators from diverse backgrounds can register their interest in the March publisher pitching day by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.