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The Rainbow Library is seeking LGBTQIA+ writer

The Rainbow Library is seeking an LGBTQIA+ writer/ poet

The Rainbow Library is a UK and Ireland-wide children’s literature and publishing project. It’s being developed to address the near-invisibility of – and demand for – LGBTQIA+ inclusive stories in children’s books.

Over two years, 10 LGBTQIA+ authors (writers, illustrators; some working in pairs, some alone) will produce eight new book titles for a wide age range of readers.

Creative workshops

Each book will be conceived, and the story developed during creative workshops, run by the authors, with groups of LGBTQIA+ young people in eight places: Nottingham, Manchester, Basildon, Dumfries, Inverness, Belfast, Derry and County Cork.

During the workshop programme, each LGBTQIA+ youth group will also develop their own writing and illustration, producing their own anthologies of work; the very best work will be selected for an overall anthology.

The Rainbow Library Collection

After the workshop programme, the 10 authors will then work on their books, with the young people engaged as critical readers at key points, feeding back as the authors produce strong drafts and dummy books. Editors and art directors will support during this process.

We then expect to publish The Rainbow Library collection in 2023 – and our highest ambition is for The Rainbow Library to be stocked in every school and library in the UK and Ireland by 2024. The Rainbow Library is produced by Pop Up Projects CIC in collaboration with partners across the UK and Ireland. Cork County Council is the project partner for this specific commission, funded by Creative Ireland. 

Job Specifications and how to apply

What We’re Looking For:

We’re seeking an exceptionally talented, ambitious and highly motivated writer/poet, of any age, who identifies within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. The commission will be to develop a picture book or chapter book for early middle grade (7-8+) readers and will involve collaborating with illustrator Kate Alizadeh at all stages of the commission. 

They will need to: 

– Have a strong portfolio of appropriate written work to share 

– Have examples of work that has been published or self-published 

– Have a talent at or strong interest in writing for primary aged children (under 11)

 – Have experience of engaging children and/or young people, ideally through writing projects 

– Have experience of or interest in working with an illustrator

– Evidence excellent writing and communication skills 

– Be confident and outgoing

– Be based near or in County Cork and/or be able to travel to the county for in-person workshops 

What the Commission Involves:

The commissioned artist will be contracted by Pop Up Projects (see below) to:

 – Work with the collaborating illustrator to plan and deliver eight whole days of engaging writing and illustration workshops with LGBTQIA+ 14-26 year-olds, who will have talent or ambitions within the field 

– Support the young people in developing their work 

– Work with Pop Up to select the best work by the young people for inclusion in an anthology 

– Conceive of a substantial written and illustrated work, and produce a strong draft /dummy book, supported by an editor and art director

The above activities will take place between spring and autumn 2022. 

The commission fee is €6,400 plus expenses (including travel to and accommodation in Cork during the workshops). The commission and contract cover the commission to the production of a dummy book, and do not cover the publishing phase of the project. A new contract will be provided, with a new fee, at that stage of the project when the funds are in place to complete the book and make it print-ready. 

How to Apply:

 If you or someone you know is interested in this commission, please submit the following by Monday 31st January 2022:

 – A letter telling us about you, your work, and your experience – this should be no more than two pages long – and including your contact details plus links to any relevant websites or social media 

– 3-5 examples of your work – each no longer than three pages – as Word or PDFs

– A recent photograph of you 

You should submit this information to naomi@pop-up.org.uk. If you have any questions, please send them to the same address and we will do our best to answer them. 

About Pop Up:

Pop Up Projects (est. 2011) is a non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). We deliver imaginative, collaborative and ambitious programmes which transform lives through literature. Find out more about the work we do at: www.pop-up.org.uk  and www.pathways-org.com