With funding from the Books Council of Wales, Lucent Dreaming is set to become the first Welsh publisher to have two full-time editors of colour.
The Books Council of Wales has pledged £40,000 to fund two full-time editors of colour at independent publisher Lucent Dreaming. The money will come from the Books Council of Wales’ New Audiences Fund. It is claimed that this will be the first publisher to have two full-time editors of colour in Wales.
The soon to be editor-in-chief and Lucent Dreaming co-founder Jannat Ahmed, former marketing and subscriptions officer at Poetry Wales, begins her full-time paid role at the press later this month. She will be joined by Samiha Meah as fiction editor this summer once she graduates from Cardiff University. The press was founded in 2017 by Cardiff University alumni Ahmed, Jess Beynon and Joachim Buur, with Jonas David.
‘As far as I know, yesterday, there were no full-time editors or publishers of colour employed in English-language literary book publishing in Wales,’ said Ahmed. ‘Today, there is. There is space in publishing for us, for publishers of fiction and poetry who focus on partnerships and collaboration. I hope, with our friends at Lumin – a small press, radio and curatorial collective, and another person of colour-led recipient of the grant – we can create a publishing landscape with a working culture better suited to a more diverse literary community, and redress the long-standing barriers that people of colour and other marginalised people disproportionately face in the arts. Lucent Dreaming as it currently exists is reflective of the minimum energy I’ve been able to give the magazine for almost three years due to a lack of finances. To be given the chance to work in a new way, full-time four days a week, will be transformative, for me, and for publishing in Wales.’
The Cardiff-based company launched the first edition of its volunteer-run creative writing magazine for new and emerging authors in April 2018, and has since published ten issues. Its first book – an anthology showcasing new writers from Literature Wales’ Representing Wales scheme – will be published in June 2022.
The publisher hopes to platform new and emerging writers, and foster new editors and publishing professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. The press is currently open for novel submissions from writers living in the UK, especially from writers of colour and working class writers living in Wales. It has also recently launched its Lucent Dreaming Prize for poetry, flash fiction and short stories, on the theme of hope. The competition closes for entries 31st May 2022, with its flash fiction and poetry longlists to be judged by Matt Kendrick and Kandace Siobhan-Walker respectively.
Find out more about the press on the Lucent Dreaming website.
Header image: Jannat Ahmed, Lucent Dreaming