Penguin, the book publisher, is on the lookout for new writers. ­Write Now is a programme which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers and illustrators from communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves. The programme includes a range of opportunities for budding writers and illustrators to get involved with including workshops and mentoring with Penguin’s own editors and designers for a year to develop a book or artwork.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has commended this programme after seeing programmes such as this having a positive impact on Barking and Dagenham’s creative community with their Pen to Print creative writing project. Pen to Print includes workshops and has competitions for books, playwriting, poetry and short stories. The project also includes a competition specifically for young writers. If you are a Barking and Dagenham resident and would like to know more, you can find out more information here: https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/residents/leisure-libraries-and-museums/libraries/library-events-and-activities/pen-print-real-people-real-stories/

Jon commented "This is a fantastic initiative and I'm encouraging local residents with an interest in writing to apply."

Penguin say that they hope the programme inspires and attracts Black Asian Minority Ethnic writers, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities and writers from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds. The deadline for applications is Monday 9 July. To find out more and apply, visit https://www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk/work-with-us/authors/writenow/ 

Jon added "They say everyone has one great book in them and both the penguin programme and the Barking and Dagenham Pen-to-Print scheme are a great way to develop this".