Faber & Faber today pledged a commitment to inclusivity across the organisation by announcing a raft of initiatives.
Stephen Page, CEO, Faber & Faber said:
‘Inclusivity is a vital agenda in Faber’s plans for the future. These measures have been designed by a team from across the company, and will begin to address in a more concerted fashion areas of inclusivity where, I believe, both the industry and Faber have not yet achieved acceptable representation. We have been successful in addressing gender, but despite our efforts, we have not made similar progress with BAME and other under-represented parts of society. It is important to stress that this is an ongoing initiative as we will continue to assess our progress and respond to opportunities to do better. We are committed to creating change both at Faber and in publishing, and these measures will create the opportunity to begin afresh.’
This plan of action has arisen from a working party established from across the company. It seeks to address under-representation of minority groups in the workplace, and to effect change in Faber’s books and publishing; in its creative writing school; in the diversity of staff it recruits; and in the wider industry, through outreach work.
The company has created a bursary for a 20-week internship for a person from a BAME background. Faber has partnered with Creative Access to help with the recruitment. The internship will begin in September and the successful candidate will receive training and support from every department in the building. The company intends to make this an annual initiative and to provide mentorship to other shortlisted candidates.
Faber Academy Scholarship
Faber Academy is launching a new scholarship from spring 2018. Two writers per year will be offered tuition-free places on the prestigious six-month Writing A Novel course. The aim of the scholarship is to support ‘writers, from BAME and other backgrounds whose voices might otherwise go unheard’.
Ian Ellard, Head of the Faber Academy:
‘We are extremely pleased and proud to be offering the new Faber Academy Scholarship. It is critical to our literary culture that the publishing industry does everything it can to support writers making work representative of the world as it really exists. The Faber Academy Scholarship can play a particular role in that.’
Following the huge response to and success of the FAB Prize, with the inaugural awards presented to Rohan Agalawatta and Lucy Farfort, Faber is delighted to confirm that the prize, the first of its kind, will become an annual initiative. Submissions will be open from December.
Leah Thaxton, Children’s Publisher:
‘I am delighted to announce that we will run the FAB Prize for writers and illustrators again this December. The launch of last year’s inaugural prizes amply demonstrated that there is a wealth of untapped BAME talent that is just not getting seen by agents or publishers. The range and quality of submissions is reason alone to run the prize. It was also great fun.’
Faber is partnering with a number of organisations so that staff members can engage externally in advocating and promoting careers in the publishing industry to children and young adults from a wide range of backgrounds. Activities will include mentorship and hosting open days at the Faber offices. The launch partners are New Writing North, Arts Emergency and IntoUniversity.
About our launch partners
IntoUniversity provides local learning centres where young people are inspired
to achieve. At each local centre, IntoUniversity offers an innovative programme that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration. It is now operating 22 learning centres across London, Nottingham, Bristol, Oxford, Brighton, Leeds and Southampton, with ambitious plans to expand our provision further.
Arts Emergency is a charity that works to ensure a proper education in the arts is available to everyone. By pairing students with industry mentors, they help young people to imagine a future for themselves in the arts and to counteract the old boys’ networks that can prevent them from getting what they deserve. Founded in 2011, Arts Emergency now operates in schools and sixth-form colleges across London and Manchester.
New Writing North supports writing and reading in the North of England. It commissions new work, creates development opportunities, nurtures talent and make connections. Faber will work with New Writing North to promote publishing as a career option among young people in the North-East. Faber staff will run talks and workshops on how publishing works in schools in Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland.
Creative Access is a not-for-profit social enterprise which helps young people from black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, to secure paid training opportunities in creative companies and support them into full-time employment. Creative Access partners with over 300 companies across the UK.