Agent Katie Fulford to take part in novel award for under-represented writers


We are delighted to announce that Katie Fulford will join Canelo’s Leodora Darlington in Owned Voices’ initiative to support writers from under-represented backgrounds in their aspirations to secure book deals! From the 4th December, Owned Voices will be launching a new competition for writers living in the UK from traditionally under-represented backgrounds in publishing. This includes writers who identify as LGBTQ+, ethnic minorities, and writers with disabilities. The competition offers ten shortlisted writers the opportunity to attend a virtual ‘Routes to Getting Published’ panel, where industry experts will discuss how to give a manuscript the best chance of success for getting picked up by an agent or editor, and where writers will have the opportunity to ask the panel for top tips on submitting their work.

From the shortlisted writers, two authors will be selected as the novel award winners. One winner will be paired up with editor Leodora Darlington, founder of Owned Voices and commissioning editor at Canelo, and the other winner will be paired with Katie Fulford, agent at Bell Lomax Moreton. On the judging panel is also Radhika Sonagra, publishing executive at Bookouture.

Winners will first receive written feedback from their assigned industry expert, followed by a one-to-one virtual mentoring meeting, which will cover editorial advice and specialised guidance on the next steps for the author in terms of seeking a publishing deal. Winners will also be contacted by their partnered publishing professional two months after their initial meeting to discuss how progress is going.

Writers who would like to enter the competition will need to submit a pitch of two to three lines and a short synopsis in addition to their manuscript. The shortlist of writers will be drawn up based on this material and the first 2,000 words of the submitted manuscripts. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on Friday 28th February 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by 24th March 2021 with winners announced on the 14th April 2021.

A note from Katie:

Leodora has worked tirelessly to nurture writing talent from under-represented backgrounds through her Owned Voices initiativenow in its second year. I am delighted to be able to work with her on 2021’s programme to support the shortlisted and winning students with feedback on their work and guidance on the publishing and agenting processes.

A note from Leodora Darlington, Commissioning Editor at Canelo:

After a year of cancelled workshops due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s so exciting to have another Owned Voices initiative in action. To this day, I still receive messages from previous workshop participants to say that they have found involvement with Owned Voices life-changing. Writers have gone on to secure book deals, win grants, secure coveted placements in mentorship schemes and successfully enrol in postgraduate writing programmes. I’m very excited, therefore, to be launching this new initiative, through which I hope to help create more success stories. Something I have really wanted for Owned Voices is for it to become more regionally diverse and so I hope that hosting this award virtually will encourage writers from outside of London to apply. I can’t wait for submissions to start coming in!