There’s been a lot of talk lately about diversity in publishing. Speaking as someone who published his first book way back in 1995, I’ve seen a lot of changes over the past 26 years. I wrote about some of them last year in a piece for The Bookseller.
The piece marked the tenth anniversary of The Polari First Book Prize, which I founded in 2011 – the only book awards in the UK dedicated to LGBTQ+ writing. The prize was created to help shine a light on books often overlooked by the mainstream. A decade later, there are far more opportunities for LGBTQ+ writers in the UK than there were back in 2011. But there’s still work to be done.
So I was delighted when Speaking Volumes asked me to contribute to this anthology, which explores questions of inclusion and exclusion, diversity, opportunity and gatekeeping. Not Quite Right For Us marks ten years of the live literature organisation which specialises in getting underrepresented voices heard. The anthology offers a wide variety of perspectives from writers on the margins, exploring the dynamics of class, race, sexuality and more.
Some you’ll recognise. Others you may not be so familiar with. But these are all voices that demand to be heard. This is a book everyone should read – and learn from.