Flight Hub – a new professional and creative development programme for published and unpublished writers of colour.

The virtual hub will provide free talks, masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions and presentations over five weeks, made possible by a grant from the UCL Knowledge and Innovation Rapid Response fund.


Alongside masterclasses by journalist and writer Gary Younge on polemical writing and Inua Ellams on the fundamentals of dialogue and location in playwriting, Mary Jean Chan will offer advice on sustaining your career as a poet, whilst author Patrice Lawrence will shed light on writing convincing multicultural characters for YA fiction.

Writers will have the chance to meet literary agents, such as Emma Paterson and Elise Dillsworth, hear from inclusive publishers including Valerie Brandes (Jacaranda Books) and Sharmaine Lovegrove (Dialogue Books) and understand the power of non-fiction to transform society with Jhalak Prize 2020 winner Johny Pitts, #Merky Books inaugural signing Derek Owusu and writer and academic Darren Chetty, as well as other dynamic presenters.

Spread the Word will be running a ‘How to take your writing forward’ masterclass with some of their London Writers Awards writers – Alexis Keir, Natasha Brown, Denise Rawls and Mark Mukasa.

The Take Flight Hub was inspired by BookTrust Represents research conducted by Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, Associate Professor in Publishing and Book Cultures at UCL which found that emerging writers of colour needed support, advice and access as part of an industry-focused network to help sustain their careers.


The Take Flight Hub‘s (see full programme listing below) workshops and masterclasses are primarily for unpublished writers of colour (Black, Asian, Arabic, Mixed-Race and Non-white Latinx) but we will also consider writers who have had no more than two books published. You must be based in the UK.

These events are open to budding and emerging writers of colour. You do not have to apply to attend any of these events and you can book directly from Words of Colour Eventbrite page for the talks/presentations and panels and from Spread the Word’s Eventbrite page for the Development Surgery, if you fit the aforementioned criteria.


Take Flight 2020 full programme (to be delivered on the Zoom platform)

30th June 2020 

Masterclass (10am-1pm)

Finding your voice: Polemical writing with award-winning writer and journalist Gary Younge (SOLD OUT)


2nd July 2020 

Masterclass (10am-1.30pm)

Volatile Space: The fundamentals of dialogue and location in playwriting with Inua Ellams (SOLD OUT)


Panel discussion/Q&A (10am-1pm)

The power of non-fiction to transform society with authors Johny Pitts, Derek Owusu and Darren Chetty (SOLD OUT)


9th July 2020 (7pm-8pm)

In Conversation

How to sustain a poetry career with award-winning poet Mary Jean Chan


14th July 2020 (10am-1.30pm)

Workshop (only 20 places )

Writing convincing multicultural characters for YA fiction with award-winning novelist Patrice Lawrence


16th July 2020 (12pm-1.30pm)


Demystifying children’s publishing: An author’s perspective with award-winning writer Chitra Soundar


21st July 2020 (2pm-4pm)

Development Surgery (Hosted by Spread the Word)

Taking your writing forward, featuring Spread the Word’s London Writers’ Award recipients – Alexis Keir, Denise Rawls, Mark Mukasa and Natasha Brown. Book via Spread the Word’s Eventbrite to participate.


23rd July 2020 (7pm-8pm)

Panel Debate/Q&A

Meet the agents with Davina Andrew-Lynch (Andlyn Literary Agency), Elise Dillsworth (Elise Dillsworth Agency) and Emma Paterson (Aitken Alexander Associates)


28th July 2020 (10am-1.30pm)

(only 20 places available)


Memoir writing: Telling your story your way with poet, writers and literary activist Salena Godden

30th July 2020 (7pm-8pm)

Panel Debate/Q&A

Publishing inclusively with Aimée Felone (Knights Of), Valerie Brandes (Jacaranda Books), Sharmaine Lovegrove (Dialogue Books) and Crystal Mahey-Morgan (OWN IT! Publishing)


Published on:
1 Jul 2020


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