New programme launched for writers of colour in Sussex

A new programme of online events and opportunities for writers of colour in Sussex has been launched.
Catherine JohnsonCatherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson

New Narratives is the latest programme from Writing Our Legacy and has been developed in response to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Spokeswoman Rowena Price “Writing Our Legacy is delighted to announce its new online literary programme New Narratives: We Need to Change the Stories We’re Telling.

“Designed in response to the Covid-19 lockdown, the programme will enable Brighton-based organisation Writing Our Legacy to continue delivering its mission to raise awareness of the contributions of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers, poets, playwrights and authors born, living in or connected to Sussex & the South East.

“The programme begins on June 19 and features ‘pay what you can’ online talks, socials, workshops and a retreat, featuring leading names from the literary world, including Dean Atta, Catherine Johnson, and Jacob Ross.

“Writing Our Legacy, in partnership with New Writing South, is also launching a new literary magazine Covert, with a call-out for submissions from writers and artists of colour for the upcoming first edition.”

Lesley Wood, chief executive of New Writing South, said: “Over and over again, with the smallest budget and the biggest heart, Writing Our Legacy brings excellent new work by BAME writers and artists out into the world. Covert magazine is a bold old/new way to showcase some of the UK's most exciting emerging writers whose fresh ideas and strong voices inspire our minds and nurture our souls. New Writing South is proud to support this work and we warmly encourage all writers of colour to submit stories and poems to the magazine.

“Other aspects of the programme include mentoring sessions and a project to distribute Writing Our Legacy’s Hidden Sussex (2019) anthology to universities across the UK. Hidden Sussex is an anthology of poems, prose and short stories from writers of colour who live in or have connections with Sussex.”

Amy Zamarripa Solis, chairman and programme manager for Writing Our Legacy, said: “Now more than ever is it vital for BAME-led arts organisations such as Writing Our Legacy to support our writers, creatives and communities and create safe spaces to come together. We are witnessing the world in a critical situation with global protests against the murder of George Floyd, challenging racism and inequalities in the US and the UK, as well as C-19.

We are also experiencing potential for positive change by working together as a human race. Literature and the arts gives hope and inspiration, gives people new ways of expressing themselves. Our programme aims to unify people of all walks of life together online and shine a light on the amazing writers, musicians and artists we have in Sussex and the South East.”

For details of events and how to book, visit

The first edition of Covert will open for submissions on July 1 and invites writers of colour to send through original fiction, poetry and art work for this first edition. The theme for the inaugural magazine is Sussex Fortuneteller: What do writers see in the future?

The magazine will be aimed at writers of Black, Asian and ethnic minority background (BAME) living in the South East of England, with an emphasis on supporting Sussex-based writers. We positively encourage writers from marginalised backgrounds to submit.

15 writers will be selected for the publication. Each writer will also receive mentoring and editorial feedback on their writing with a Guest Editor before publication.

The deadline for submissions is September 31 2020. The magazine will be launched at an online event in December 2020, with copies for sale and to read online.

Selection will be made by guest editors Umi Sinha and Dean Atta, with an editorial team made up of Amy Zamarripa Solis (Writing Our Legacy), Sharon Duggal (New Writing South) and others.

Programme listings

New Narratives: We Need to Change the Stories We’re Telling includes:

Thomas Highflyer Online Talk in partnership with Brighton & Hove Black History / 19th June, 7pm

Monthly writer/creative socials and networking with special guests:

Kadija Sesay / 26th June, 5pm

Catherine Johnson / 31st July, 6pm

Dean Atta / 28th August, 6pm

Jacob Ross / 26th September, 5pm

Sharon Duggal & Eleanor Hope/ 30th October, 6pm

Umi Sinha/27th November, 6pm

Creative writing workshops with Farah Edwards Khan / 13th, 19th, 23rd & 26th July, 6.30pm

Writer & artist retreat with Alinah Azadeh / 8th-9th August (full and half day)

Online literary event: Open mic, performance & poetry with special guests to be announced

5th September, 7pm

3rd October, 7pm

7th November, 7pm

Creative food writing workshop with Sean Wai Keung / 5th September, 2pm

Covert Literary Journal Launch and Celebration Event / 5th December, 7pm

Visit for full details and booking links

Covert literary magazine submissions


Submissions will be accepted from 1 July 2020 to 30 Sept 2020, following the below guidance.

Rowena said: “The main categories for submission are: fiction, poetry, or art work. Fiction can include short stories, flash fiction or self-contained extracts. Art work can be photography, illustrations, video and other visual art works (please note video/film will be a screenshot with link to view online if printed).

“Entries may be unpublished or previously published. If it has been published before, please give us details of where it was published and when.

“You can send up to 6 poems or 3 pieces of fiction (up to 7k words in total) or 3 pieces of art work.

“Submit your work through an online portal link (released on 1st July 2020).

“If you are unable to use this online portal, please submit your work by email following these instructions: Entries should be typed in black, double spaced, 12 point size, and in an easy-to-read typeface such as Times New Roman or Arial. On a separate covering page, include your name, address, email address and phone number. Do not put the title or your name on your entry. Please email to [email protected].

“If you need access support, contact on [email protected].

“We will confirm we have received the pieces and be in touch if we need any additional information. Please do not contact us to ask about the selection progress as we expect high volume of submissions.

“All contributions will be selected by a blind sifting process by our Editorial Team and then be presented for final selection by our Guest Editors.

“You must be available for mentoring and feedback sessions with one of our Guest Editors in October and/or November 2020.

“The magazine will be published in December 2020 and each contributor will receive a free copy of the digital magazine (and print TBC). A magazine launch will take place online on 5 December 2020. Selected contributors will be invited to read an excerpt of their work.”


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Gary Shipton

Editorial Director

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