What if you couldn't SHARE YOUR STORY? What if you weren't given any opportunity to? What if the stories you read and listened to were mostly by people from privileged backgrounds?
This is what thousands of readers and writers have to deal with on a daily basis. Perhaps this is what YOU face every time you pick up a book.
At present, the inequalities of the publishing world are stark. It is a world where, for example:-
- Only 6% of children’s authors and illustrators were people of colour. (BookTrust report, 2019)
- Only 8% of those working in the publishing industry identified as having a disability (BookTrust report, 2019/Alaina Leary, 2018)
- Half of all authors, writers and translators in the UK come from higher professional and managerial households (Dave O’Brien, 2019)
These are the untold stories of social, cultural and economic prejudice that have restricted opportunity and access to literature and publishing for decades.
Now imagine if literature was inclusive, accessible and representative. What if the books you read told the stories that really mattered? The ones that shared the stories and voices of real people?
We need your support to fight for a future that puts diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of publishing.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
As COVID-19 continues to cause widespread disruption - book shops have had to close and events cancelled - small publishers have lost vital income. However, despite the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been no government bailouts or support for independent publishers. Even as one of the greenest, most creative and enduring industries in Britain, the independent publishing sector has been left on the sidelines.
We are working tirelessly to make sure we can continue to provide access to literature and expand literary platforms to engage with marginalised and disadvantaged voices – however, our publishing work and outreach programs are under threat by the impacts of the pandemic. Without financial support we cannot continue to do essential work in our local communities and within the publishing industry as a whole in widening access to literature. Which is why we need YOUR HELP!
There are many ways you can help us carry on our work and lead the way for a more diverse, inclusive and accessible industry. Even the smallest donation will go a long way.
WHAT WILL YOUR MONEY SUPPORT
85% will go towards the work of the Arkbound Foundation charity and directly support disadvantaged and marginalised writers through 1-1 mentoring and our sponsored publishing program, focused in particular on those most adversely impacted by COVID-19 and whose writing covers important social and environmental themes.
15% will go to a ring-fenced fund that can be fairly accessed by other diversity-led publishers in an open application procedure, with a panel of five independent judges from Glasgow University and University of Bristol.
All amounts raised will be used for charitable purposes in the public benefit.
ARKBOUND FOUNDATION have created this campaign because we are genuine about widening representation in literature, tackling prejudice in all its forms, and have lived experience in supporting people from a wide range of backgrounds.
ARKBOUND FOUNDATION is a small UK charity that aims to empower people through writing, giving those from marginalised backgrounds a fair chance to be heard. We are Equalities Led by those with lived experience of the issues we are covering. Our authors include people with disabilities (‘Tick Tock: It’s Time to Listen’), BME backgrounds (‘Arcadia’, ‘Lyrically Justified’, ‘The Asylum’, ‘Super Sleuths’), and others with experience of severe social exclusion ranging from homelessness (‘No Homeless Problem’ and ‘Roofless’) to imprisonment (‘Just Sky’). In short, we seek to dispel negative stereotypes through the power of writing - prioritising works that have an important social or environmental theme. We believe that diversity of voices is as important as meaningful content. Our forthcoming book projects include a compilation by Marie Curie nurses, working with those hardest hit by COVID-19, and a book in partnership with groups from the COP26 UN Climate Conference that amplifies the voices of those in the Global South who are most affected by the climate crisis, helping those in wealthier nations understand its far reaching impacts on both an emotive and scientific level. These are the kinds of works your donation will support.
Above pictures: 'Arcadia' book by Odiri Ighamre; Partnership event with First Story; 'No Homeless Problem' by Seamus Fox.
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