Lucy Writers is proud to announce its new Arts Council England funded mentoring project, What the Water Gave Us, for emerging women writers.
We are thrilled to announce our new Arts Council England National Lottery Grant funded project, What the Water Gave Us, a year-long mentorship programme for emerging women writers from migrant backgrounds. In partnership with The Ruppin Agency, Takeaway Press, and Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, What the Water Gave Us will celebrate the lived experiences and contributions of emerging women and non-binary writers from migrant backgrounds in post-Brexit, para-pandemic Britain. The project will offer selected writer mentees seven mentorships to work on their personal writing ready for publication with acclaimed author mentors from The Ruppin Agency. It will also see both mentees and their mentors commissioned for a hard copy anthology to be published by Takeaway Press.
What the Water Gave Us will begin in February 2022 and continue until the following year, ending with a launch at the independent bookshop, Burley Fisher. Seven emerging writers – Shirley Ahura, Selin Genc, Emma Hanson, Yen Ooi, Shamini Sriskandarajah and Rojbîn Arjen Yigit (see image above) and Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou – have been selected and will be matched to author mentors carefully chosen by the Ruppin Agency’s Dr Emma Claire Sweeney.
Mentors include the Women’s Prize longlisted novelist and lecturer, Yvonne Battle-Felton, writer, lecturer and journalist Claire Hynes, AKO Caine-prize and Betty Trask Award winning author Irenosen Okojie (MBE), Fitzcarraldo Editions-shortlisted writer, curator and MAI Journal editor Jenny Chamarette, Peninsula Press author, editor and curator So Mayer, and writer and lecturer Susan Barker. Mentees will also have a one-to-one session with literary agent, Jonathan Ruppin.
Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou, Founding Editor-in-chief and Arts Editor of Lucy Writers, who was awarded the funding as an emerging writer, will be mentored by award-winning author, Irenosen Okojie. Hannah will be co-managing the project with Dr Emma Claire Sweeney, co-director of The Ruppin Agency, and facilitating the project, anthology and online content alongside writer and co-editor of Lucy Writers’ Books and Creative Writing, Elodie Rose Barnes.
Dr Emma Claire Sweeney Jonathan Ruppin
About the award, Hannah commented: ‘This is a breakthrough for the platform and for me personally, both as a writer and literary editor. I’m thrilled Arts Council England have recognised the work Lucy Writers does with underrepresented writers and sees the potential in our project to take them one step further in their writing careers. The grant also enables us to work with the excellent Emma Claire Sweeney and Jonathan Ruppin, co-directors of The Ruppin Agency, both of whom share the platform’s ethos of improving diversity and inclusion within the publishing world. The platform is also privileged to be working with and publishing several excellent author-mentors, as well as collaborating with the brilliant, innovative publishers of Takeaway Press, Pema Monaghan and Oscar Price.’
Dr Isobel Maddison, Fellow Emerita of Lucy Cavendish College and Advisor to Lucy Writers, said of the project: ‘Lucy Writers is an inspirational and innovative platform for women and non-binary creatives. This project, in collaboration with The Ruppin Agency and Takeaway Press, promises to be no less ground-breaking.’
Of the platform and the upcoming project, Elodie commented: ‘Lucy Writers is an incredible platform dedicated to showcasing the rich variety of work by women and non-binary creatives, and I’m very proud to be a part of it. I’m so excited that, with the Arts Council England funding for What the Water Gave Us, we are able to offer some of our talented writers the opportunity of working with some of the best mentors in the business to hone their skills, and to explore what is a vital topic in post-Brexit UK. I know they’ll create some wonderful pieces, and I’m looking forward to sharing the project with our wider community.’
On The Ruppin Agency’s prospective partnership with Lucy Writers, Jonathan commented: ‘Having moved from bookselling to agenting to find a wider range of voices for readers to discover, I feel it’s a great next step for our mentoring arm, the Ruppin Agency Writers’ Studio, to work with like-minded partners to help these talented writers make the leap to publication. As the son of someone who came to Britain on the Kindertransport, I fully understand the importance of sharing their experiences.’
About the Ruppin Agency
The Ruppin Agency was set up by former bookseller Jonathan Ruppin in 2017 with the aim of expanding the range of voices published in Britain. Books he has sold have won the Somerset Maugham and Betty Task Awards and the Portico Prize; a further title is in development for television. In 2019, he and author and creative writing lecturer Dr Emma Claire Sweeney set up a mentoring arm called the Writers’ Studio, offering mentoring and manuscript assessment packages from over 30 published authors based around the UK. Follow the agency on Twitter @ruppinagency and Instagram @ruppinagencywritersstudio
About Takeaway Press
Takeaway Press is a small publishing house issuing collaborations between artists and writers. Takeaway Press is based in London and was founded in 2019 by Pema Monaghan and Oscar Price. Follow Takeaway on Twitter @PressTakeaway and Instagram @takeawaypress