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Reese’s Book Club by the famous actress, Reese Witherspoon, has launched LitUp, a writers’ fellowship for unpublished and underrepresented women.
LitUp aims to help elevate, mentor and champion first-time authors to ensure diverse stories are recognized and read by all. The new fellowship will be powered by The Readership — a pay-it-forward platform on a mission to raise up diverse voices.
“As our community and reach continues to grow, we have all collectively sought out innovative ways to create real change and leave an indelible mark on the greater reading community,” said Witherspoon.
“We know there are so many powerful stories from undiscovered voices, and now, more than ever, we need to hear them. We are so thrilled that LitUp will serve as a launchpad for a new generation of authors and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to forge formidable careers as storytellers,” she added.
In order to qualify, unpublished candidates without an agent must identify as a woman writer from a diverse background – a person of color, Native, LGBTQIA, a person with disabilities, or a person from an ethnic, cultural, or religious minority.
Submissions, which will be open through May 30, must be an original, completed adult or young adult fiction manuscript, written in English, and feature a woman at the center of the story.
Those selected for the fellowship will embark on an all-expenses-paid writer’s retreat next year where they will develop their manuscript and learn about the business side of publishing; a three-month mentorship with a published author; a first-look window with top agents and a book-launch marketing commitment from Reese’s Book Club and its partners. Books will also receive a “LitUp by Reese’s Book Club” seal.
For LitUp, Reese’s Book Club will join forces with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) and Madcap Retreats as operational partners and advisors. We Need Diverse Books will oversee an anti-bias screening process to review and help narrow the winning manuscripts, and Madcap Retreats will create and administer the writers’ retreats.
LitUp submissions are open now through May 30, 2021.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter