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London Library supports black British writers

MEMBERSHIP: Twenty black British writers have been given member access to The London Library for two years

THE LONDON Library and publisher Jacaranda have united to celebrate and support black British writers.

The library has joined forces with the publisher as part of its Twenty in 2020 initiative. The project, which was launched last week sees Jacaranda collaborate with Words of Colour to dedicate a year to publishing 20 works by black British authors.

The published works will cover a range of genres including adult fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

The London Library has given the Twenty in 2020 cohort two years membership to the library. The partnership will also entail an event series over the course of 2020 featuring ambassadors, Jacaranda and the Twenty in 2020 authors.

Founded in 1841, The London Library is one of the world’s leading literary institutions. It boasts a collection of more than one million books. Past and present members include Agatha Christie, Siegfried Sassoon, TS Eliot, Stephen Fry and Andrew Marr.

Philip Marshall, director of the London Library said: “We are keen to develop programmes more specifically focused on supporting diversity and from the moment we heard about the Twenty in 2020 project we knew this was an initiative we wanted to be involved in. Black British writers have so much to offer but they have often struggled to get the publishing recognition they deserve - the 2020 project will help make a real difference for them.”

Twenty in 2020 author Olivia Danso and Arts and Prizes project manager at the Book Trust said: "I feel really honoured to become a member of the London Library, which has been a safe haven for so many great British writers in our history. I'm especially grateful to Jacaranda for the opportunity, and as a long time lover of libraries, the bookworm in me is thrilled!"

In addition to The London Library, Foyles bookshop is also partnering with Jacaranda for the Twenty in 2020 initiative.

The bookshop’s involvement will consist of a year-long event schedule in Foyles stores with the Twenty in 2020 writers.

Heather Baker, campaigns manager at Foyles, said: ‘’We’re delighted to be working with Jacaranda Books on the Twenty in 2020 project. At Foyles we strive to curate and present a range of books that’s culturally inclusive, foregrounding the stories and reflecting the interests of all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds. We jumped at the chance to work with them on this; to reinforce the project’s mission, to support and encourage independent publishing and new writing, as well as diversity in the books on our shelves.”

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