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He forgets the other doorkeepers and this first one seems to him the only obstacle to his admittance to the Law. He curses his unhappy fate, loudly during the first years, later, as he grows older, only grumbling to himself. Back to Book Go to Page.
The Doorkeepers by Graham Masterton
There were just two criteria: to have finished full-time education by September , and to have the right to work in the UK. There were no CVs, no application forms, no demographic or personal details — just an email address. We posed seven questions designed around the qualities of modern marketeers. Finalists completed four creative challenges designed to assess the seven qualities and mimic the everyday tasks new recruits would carry out.
The final four are: a year-old cake-business owner; a Toronto-born history graduate; a sixth-form student; and a former software sales executive. What they have in common is that none of them would have applied through the traditional CV route.
We now want to take this further and roll out a similar programme for editorial roles. Latest novel: Mr Loverman Hamish Hamilton. In the s and s the Arts Council initiated publishing apprenticeships to increase diversity. In the long term these projects failed and, if anything, the publishing industry is even less diverse than it was 10 years ago when Ellah Allfrey and Elise Dillsworth were commissioning fiction editors at large publishing houses.
And while the industry finally opened its doors to African fiction a decade ago, black British writers have all but disappeared. The long-term solution is to appoint editors from within the underrepresented communities and to provide the resources for them to find, develop and market the brilliant authors out there who are writing the untold stories.
In I initiated the Complete Works mentoring scheme campus.
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They have enriched and changed the face of British poetry. Applications are now open for a new set of 10 poets to be mentored from next year. The lack of diversity in the UK book industry might well be to do with the lack of diversity in both publishing and bookselling staff. However, more needs to be done, and in many cases it is up to editors to spearhead this change.
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When setting up its fiction list six years ago, Oneworld took this mission very much to heart, intending to publish books by writers from all over the world, primarily for the obvious reason that people from different cultures, races and genders tell stories that are loaded with a richly diverse range of meanings.
It is this diversity that enriches our readers. The first novelist I signed up was Marlon James in , and since then we have published British Asian, British African and mixed-race British novelists. Our relatively small fiction list now boasts writers from 32 countries, from India to Somalia, Jamaica to Iceland. The climate is right for greater diversity in publishing, and the market is ready to be challenged more, but perhaps, in the short term, it requires more affirmative action. An annual survey of review coverage, and perhaps a dedicated bay in bookshops, could also help.
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Certainly, more could be done. Why should this be something unusual? Surely, if we are seeking excellence — as judges, publishers, readers — the only way to find it is to read widely, fearlessly. The problem is never the writers. There is creative excellence in abundance, even when we find ourselves limited to the English language, or within our national borders.
And the problem is not with the readers, who time and again prove that they buy books for the adventure of new discovery and that they are more than capable of dealing with experiences beyond their own. The problem lies behind the scenes, in the acquisitions meetings, in the makeup of the judging panels, in the composition of the editorial teams and the festival programming committees. Every five years or so there is this ritual lament about a lack of diversity — a report on the monochrome nature of the industry, dismay at important lists that ignore the output.
I am bored with the conversation.
As soon as the gatekeepers and opinion formers agree to take this as a central tenet, both the outrage and self-flagellation can stop and we can all get on with the hugely enjoyable task of helping talented writers find their ready and willing readers. There is a suspicious lack of diversity in literary fiction and non-fiction, and, perhaps most of all, in commercial fiction. And the same is true in publishing houses, where things are improving but not fast enough.
The noise that diversedecember is making is certainly helping. But here are six things that every publisher should be doing now. First, pay all interns and junior staff a living wage. Second, look hard at conscious and, even more, unconscious bias in recruitment.
In fact, the media should be on to this — publishers are bad, but none of the media shine either. Third, set up a mentoring scheme for BAME staff, interns and applicants. Some BAME junior employees feel abandoned, and one young Pakistani woman told me she was so bullied at one of the big conglomerates that she had to leave. The Tories have pulled the funding for this great scheme, so supporting it is more important than ever. Fifth, help BAME writers on creative writing courses and elsewhere. And sixth, attend to class as much as race.
Publishing is monstrously middle-class. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
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