In the UK, the Good Agency is looking to create new opportunities for the country’s growing diverse population. The core objective of the organization is to discover “the next generation of diverse writers” and “blow open the pipeline” for recruitment in literature. The agency is being launched by The Good Immigrant editor Nikesh Shukla with the help of “more than £500,000 in funding from Arts Council England (ACE).”
The Good Agency, the brainchild of author Shukla and literary agent and Julia Kingsford, intends to work with “exceptional” writers who identify as black and minority ethnic, working class, disabled or LGBTQ. It will “identify, nurture and promote” these authors, with the intention of making the UK’s literary landscape more representative. This is during a time when ACE recently published a report on the lack of diversity in the literature industry.
The lack of diversity may also play a part in a sharp decline in literary fiction sales. As the ACE report found, the “literary fiction is dominated by ‘insider networks’”, and how “breaking into these still proves tough for many”. According to The Guardian, these findings were backed by a survey from the report which found that “73% of respondents felt there was an issue with the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) voices in literary fiction.”
The Good Agency is taking a step in the right direction to promote and advance stories from BAME persons. In 2018 hopefully these funds can help in the publishing of stories that will get the ball rolling on representing more minorities in the UK. Only time will tell but this may be the start of something big.