Custom Search 1

Myriad and SOAS launch £20,000 bursary for black women

BURSARY: Author Margaret Busby will be donating a proportion of her royalties to award fund, which has been named after her (Image: Myriad)

PUBLISHERS MYRIAD have teamed up with SOAS University of London to launch a £20,000 bursary for black African women.

The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award will available to a black female African student who study a masters at SOAS in either African studies, comparative literature or translation in African languages and have a particular interest in studying African literature.

The announcement of the bursary comes ahead of the Myriad’s release of New Daughters of Africa, an anthology of writing by women of African descent, on March 8.

Writer Margaret Busby, who has edited the anthology, will be donating a proportion of her royalties to the fund alongside the publisher’s investment, said: “It is such a thrill to be able to shine a light on the remarkable creativity of each and every writer gathered in the pages of New Daughters of Africa. They must all take credit for their part in enabling the very special legacy that the SOAS award represents. This is a truly empowering moment that we will build on, to make it a lasting inspiration and a pointer towards what becomes possible through imaginative collaboration.”

Candida Lacey, publishing director of Myriad, said: “Margaret always wanted New Daughters of Africa to make a real difference to women’s lives. Thanks to the generosity of the 200-plus contributors, every one of whom has waived their usual fees, we were able to explore many worthy causes.”

Recipients of the award will have the costs of the accommodation and living expenses covered.

She added: “SOAS has an unrivalled reputation for championing African literature and leads the movement among UK universities to decolonise the curriculum. We couldn’t have hoped for a better partner. The additional support of International Students House hugely increases the value of the award and makes possible a course of study free from the worry of food and accommodation costs.”

Speaking on behalf of SOAS, professor Fareda Banda, chair of the Centre of African Studies, said: “Margaret Busby pioneered a movement with her inaugural volume of Daughters of Africa. We all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude for her vision, resilience and tenacity when many doubted that anything coming out of Africa, or its diaspora, could be any good or indeed be worth publishing. The new volume speaks to the esteem in which she is held by the authors whose work she made possible and is a testament to a phenomenal woman. We honour you and thank you for building the roads on which we all walk. I would also like to thank the contributors and International Students House for creating this award.”

New Daughters of Africa, the follow up to Busby’s Daughter’s of Africa anthology, showcases the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent from across the globe. Among the contributors are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patience Agbabi, Malorie Blackman, Edwidge Danticat, Esi Edugyan, Bernardine Evaristo, Roxane Gay, Karen Lord, Warsan Shire, Zadie Smith and a host of literary stars of the future.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.