Sharmilla has worked in publishing since 1994, training at Virago and at Heinemann’s African and Caribbean Writers series. At Heinemann, she was the first publicist to get an African Writers Series novel (by Buchi Emecheta) reviewed in Vogue. She was Deputy Editor at Wasafiri magazine for eleven years, where she built strong relationships with writers ranging from the world-famous, including Ngugi wa Thiong’o, to the newly published, like Christie Watson, who Wasafiri published prior to her current success with her best-selling novels and non-fiction. Sharmilla has also worked at the George Padmore Institute, a black archive based in north London, learning to write applications to funders including the HLF and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. She continues to offer freelance editing to both big publishing houses and small independents, as well as to individual writers.
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Sarah has worked in literature for 24 years. After graduating from Leeds with a specialismin Political Theatre, she took various permanent positions at large organisations including The National Theatre and BBC Education as well as marketing jobs at several publishers, running her first national book tour for The X Press in 2001, one of the only black-led, black fiction housesat the time. She ran the first few years of the Arts Council Writers’ Awards and a series of poetry tours around the UK featuring artists such as Francesca Beard and Skorpio the Nemesis. As the Literary Events Director of PEN International she and Sharmilla promoted writers whose languages were being lost, authors and journalists who appeared on stage at great personal risk,as well as world-renowned writers such as Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood.
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Nick started working in the literary sector and first met Sarah and Sharmilla tenyears ago, interning at PEN International. He has since worked in the British Council’s Literature Team organising international visits for British authors, run projects including International Translation Day, and was Communications Coordinator for the visual arts organisation Artangel, overseeing and implementing marketing and press strategy. He is currently Events and Workshops Manager for the Poetry Translation Centre, programming tours for international and UK poets and planning the logistics of the translation workshop series, alongside working with Speaking Volumes.
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