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Scottish BAME Writers Network

Advocacy, community, promotion, literary events & opportunities for BAME/POC writers with a connection to Scotland.

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BAME/POC writers in or from Scotland or with a Scottish connection – join our Facebook group for opportunities & more!

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We’ve got big plans – want to get involved? Contact us


Upcoming Events

Inky Fingers x Scottish BAME Writers Network presents an Open Mic Residency
Inky Fingers x Scottish BAME Writers Network: Open Mic Residency

We’re collaborating with Inky Fingers and the Lighthouse bookshop on a 3-month Open Mic Residency. Each Inky Fingers Open Mic features a headline performer and an open mic with a welcoming atmosphere.

The night is free to attend (donations on the night) and takes place on the first Tuesday of the month, from 7:30-10pm at the Lighthouse, Edinburgh Radical Bookshop. Our collaboration runs from February to April 2020.

4th February 2020 headliner: Courtney Stoddart

7:30 – 9:45 pm

Lighthouse – Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop
43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DB (Google Maps)

Accessibility for Lighthouse Bookshop found here. If you have any particular requirements please get in touch with them.

Courtney Stoddart is a singer, poet and performer and is passionate about dismantling hierarchy in all its forms. She intertwines elements of political, social and historical discussion into rhythm and rhyme, covering topics such as racism, colonialism, womanhood and growing up in Scotland.

Places for the Inky Fingers Open Mic always fill up fast – please contact Inky Fingers to request a slot: email inkyfingersedinburgh@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in featuring BAME writers in our open mic.

More details on the Facebook event page


Writers of Colour Writing Group

Hosted and led by Hannah Lavery monthly on a Saturday or Sunday.

Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Edinburgh, EH8 8DT.

Next session is Sunday 19th January 2020.

Free but ticketed – book on the Scottish Poetry Library website.

Places are limited and tickets often sell out. Please contact the Scottish Poetry Library on 0131 227 2876 or via email to be added to the waiting list.


BAME Writing Masterclass with Nikesh Shukla – Paisley Book Festival

23rd February 2020

Paisley Arts Centre (Studio GA), 15 New St, Paisley PA1 1EZ (Google Maps)

2:30pm – 4:30pm

£8/£5 + booking fee – book tickets here

In this workshop for writers of colour, Nikesh shares his writing tips and leads some exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Designed in partnership with the BAME Scottish Writers Network.

Nikesh Shukla is the author of books including Meatspace, Run, Riot and The Boxer, as well as editor of the critically acclaimed essay collection The Good Immigrant.


In conversation with Nikesh Shukla

23rd February 2020

Paisley Arts Centre (Theatre GA), 15 New St, Paisley PA1 1EZ (Google Maps)

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

£10/£6 + booking fee – book tickets here

Join Nikesh in conversation with Jay G Ying, co-founder of the BAME Scottish Writers Network, some of whom will also be performing in this event.

Nikesh Shukla is the author of books including Meatspace, Run, Riot and The Boxer, as well as editor of the critically acclaimed essay collection The Good Immigrant.


The inaugural Paisley Book Festival runs from 20 – 29th February 2020.

‘Radical Voices & Rebel Stories’. The festival takes inspiration from the 200th anniversary of the Paisley Radicals as it reflects their spirit with a programme of grassroots activism, new ideas and political conversation.

Events include panels, workshops, open mics and performances for children, young adults and adults (free, drop-in, priced and ticketed). BAME/POC writers, panelists and performers include:

See the full programme, get accessibility info and book tickets on the Paisley Book Festival website.


Publications

Gutter Magazine Spring Issue

Gutter is an award-winning print journal for fiction and poetry from writers born or living in Scotland and featuring literature from around the world. Issue 21 (Spring 2020) will include featured work by BAME writers in Scotland. Guest-edited by Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay G Ying. Find out more, buy or subscribe.


Pamphlet Ceremony

Scottish BAME Writers Group pamphlet launch – Ceremony, published by Tapsalteerie – buy here

Our Writers of Colour Group recently launched Ceremony, a pamphlet of poetry and prose at the Scottish Poetry Library. The audience enjoyed performances by Pauline Jérémie, Bibi June, Archie Goyal, Etzali Hernández, Shehzar Doja, Nasim Rebecca Asl, Katalina Watt, Lisa Williams, and Nadine Aisha Jassat. Ceremony features poetry and prose from 15 writers, including the above readers plus Raman Mundair, Andrés N Ordorica, Jeda Pearl, Ning Cai, Hannah Lavery and Alycia Pirmohamed. 

Launched Tuesday 15 October 2019, at the Scottish Poetry Library – buy Ceremony (£5).

The Writers of Colour group was started by Hannah Lavery and Alycia Pirmohamed. Find out when the next Writers of Colour group session is.


Previous Events

BAME Writers Networking Event (Book Week Scotland)
Saturday 23 November 2019, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL

In November 2019, the Scottish BAME Writers Network hosted its first networking event as part of Book Week Scotland 2019!

Approximately 50 people attended, with BAME/POC writers connecting with one another and with publishers, agents and booksellers. The event opened with the film poem Mother, written by Nadine Aisha Jassat and directed by Jinling Wu with music by Hannah Lee. Raman Mundair delivered an empowering Keynote address and we heard poetry from Murid L Keshtmand and Arun Sood, plus fiction from Lisa Williams.

The event included a ‘meet & greet’ for BAME-identifying persons only, followed by our readers presenting their work and a networking reception, where we aimed to bring together the literary community and work toward inclusive programming. We’d like to thank our readers, sponsors and volunteers and, of course, participants.

Sponsors and partners included the Scottish Book Trust, The Royal Society of Literature, Paisley Book Festival, Literature Alliance Scotland, the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh, Inky Fingers, Golden Hare Books, Extra Teeth, Shoreline of Infinity and Gutter.


BAME Writers in Scotland Panel (with croissants + coffee!)

In celebration of the BAME Writers’ Group pamphlet, Ceremony (Tapsalteerie Press), contributors Nadine Aisha Jassat, Andrés Nicolás Ordorica and Jeda Pearl each read a selection of their work and discussed being writers of colour in Scotland, chaired by Alycia Pirmohamed.

Friday 18 October 2019, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon.

St Vincent’s Chapel: Scottish Episcopal Church, Saint Vincent Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6SW


About Us

The Scottish BAME Writers Network is for writers who identify as BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic), mixed-race or POC (people of colour) with a connection to Scotland.

Run by writers of colour, the Network was co-founded by poets Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay G Ying in 2018, who were joined in 2019 by writers Andrés Nicolás Ordorica and Jeda Pearl Lewis. Find out more about us.

The Scottish BAME Writers Network won the 2019 Creative Edinburgh Awards (Social Category).

Also in 2019, the Scottish BAME Writers Network and The Scottish Poetry Library partnered up to offer free monthly workshops to BAME writers across Scotland (facilitated by Hannah Lavery), and received funding from The Royal Society of Literature to host a series of Visiting Writer Workshops with Raman Mundair, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Leila Aboulela.

The Network has gained interest and collaborative support from organisations, including Literature Alliance Scotland, The Scottish Poetry Library, The Royal Society of Literature, The Scottish Book Trust and Gutter Magazine and been supported by Scottish BAME/POC writers including Hannah Lavery and Nadine Aisha Jassat.

Please note, at present, all team members are volunteers.

If you are BAME/POC and are a writer with a connection to Scotland or are part of Scotland’s literary landscape – join us!

Join our Facebook group for opportunities, community & conversation.

If you have a stake in Scotland’s literary spaces (bookshops, publishers, organisations, academics etc) and are actively addressing diversity and inclusion and want to work with BAME/POC writers, get in touch.

Find out more about us.

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