Look Like Me Book Challenge

Short read: The Solution

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                     I Am I Can by debut author Jasmine Smith 

Can you HELP me to raise awareness of this pitiful plight of the under-representation of BAME main characters in children's storybooks? I want to unearth precious diamond stories like little Amy, who told me this week about her ‘Popcorn House’ and has excellent drawing skills. My vision is to raise 10K to teach 30 children, aged 7- 11-year olds how to tell their collective stories, starting in spring 2020. We want to create a:

- 30-page square book with a full-colour interior
- A gloss cover finish
- Size is 20 x 20cm 

I would like my company Peaches Publications to support and deliver the following:

·         3 x Storytelling and character development workshops to create our book concept

·         2 pre-launch rehearsals

·         Grand finale book launch and family celebration

·         Provide a safe learning environment

·         Creating 30 children authors

·         Each child will receive 5 free copies of their books  

·         Each child will have an opportunity to become a book distributor for their book 

·         To nurture entrepreneurial skills in children by selling their books
·         To educate young people about the book publishing industry

Even Whitney Houston knows how precious our children are and said to us: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside”.

Meet our youngest author Makaylah, who was interviewed on BBC https://www.makaylahwilliams.com/ 
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The Problem

It breaks my heart to see institutionalised racism still alive in football, the doll experiment, and corporate workplaces. Never would I have dreamed that these prejudices would encompass the book publishing industry. Kanye West said it best: “Racism still alive, they just be concealing it”. The question I pose is why are BAME children underrepresented in literature and what is the basis for this?

The Guardian newspaper reported that only a mere 1% of BAME characters are in United Kingdom books compared to the 32.1% BAME children in the school educational system. I am sure you would agree this is shockingly outrageous and totally unacceptable. I constantly worry on a daily basis about my beautiful twin nephews, who are black boys growing up in a society designed for them to fail, due to the perpetuated negative stereotypes that are portrayed and reinforced in the media and in schools.

Shocking: The black and white doll experiment. 



I Need YOU!

Can I count on YOU the supporter to help be a solution to this problem? Could you provide your backing to help share this important message on our social media networks and television stations? Together we can change the narrative of BAME characters being disproportionately underrepresented within the UK book industry.

My birthday weekend starts on Friday 25th October to Sunday 27th October and I want to dedicate the next three days of my life to raising awareness on this subject. Please share, comment and follow our challenge. I cannot do this without your kind support and donations. Imagine seeing 30 little children's faces lighting up because they are going to create their own story and become an author. Thank you all in advance and please use our hashtag #looklikeme2020 on your social media. Bob Marley said it best ‘One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alight’.

Peaches Publications

I am one woman with a HUGE vision and I’ve been in the book publishing industry for more than 13 years. My name is Winsome Duncan and I am an author of 11 books, writing is my life’s work and purpose. I work with budding authors and entrepreneurs to help them realise their book-writing dreams with my company Peaches Publications. We are a hybrid publishing house that tells the stories and voices from people colour in particular.

We provide JUST WRITE IT MASTERCLASSES at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington and Chelsea, London England. Our next masterclass will be in March 2020.

We have a workbook called JUST WRITE IT – Tell your Story, Write your Book, to help budding authors to start the sometimes daunting  task of book writing and is available for you to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winsome-Duncan/e/B0034Q93UU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 

Follow us on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peachespublications/  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peachespublications/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyricalhealeruk 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/winsome-duncan-84622137/ 

For more information visit: www.peachespublciations.co.uk 

Our Author Code: I am an author; an author am I!

Our Motto: #wepublishbooks

Warmest regards,  

Winsome Duncan

Book Confidence Coach

www.peachespublications.co.uk   

                                                      ~The End~


 
Long Read: Introduction


Let’s start sowing together seeds of greatness while our children are young, let’s us start while their minds are still impressionable and susceptible to positive influences and environments. It is a fact that children of colour are poorly represented in the regal world of literature and the book publishing industry.

The Guardian newspaper wrote:

Only 1% of children’s books have BAME main characters. This compares to the 32.1% of school  children of minority ethnic origins in England identified by the Department of Education last year.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jul/17/only-1-of-uk-childrens-books-feature-main-characters-of-colour 

I must admit that I was intensely vexed, angered and frustrated by this article, it really irritated me for a long while. I simply could not comprehend this statistic, it made no sense to me and gave me short-term brain freeze.  Then I had to dig a little deeper and think about how can I contribute to changing this narrative? I have decided not to wait for corporate publishing houses to give our children a voice and thought it was best to reach out to my wider community and see if they had the same passion and zeal as me to promote and impact change.

“It’s been a long time coming but I know a change gon to come”. – Sam Cooke  

Well here we are at our very first Go Fund Me challenge to help raise awareness about the issue of lack of representation of children from ethnic backgrounds and mixed heritage. I don't know what the response will be, let us collectively try and be a part of the solution.

I want to provide opportunities for young people from deprived areas to overstand the importance of economics, residual income and generating wealth with their talents. Having a book, they can sell speaks to the entrepreneur in them. I am appealing to the King and Queen in YOU to HELP us share this Go Fund Me challenge with as many people as you can in your networks and please make a donation with a GENEROUS HEART. There are so many ways you can get involved in this project. Remember unity is strength and one hand can’t clap.  

Gratitude is a must – Toast- Koffee

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The Invisible BAME Children

What we know is BAME child authors are underrepresented in the world of books. We have somewhere embedded in our psyche, that it is not okay for us to be seen in the mainstream. As slaves, it was illegal for us to learn how to read. Elements of this consciousness still resonate with us today, this is further established when we are told ‘if you want to hide something from a black person put it in a book’. These repeated lies only serve to fuel us in negative stereotypes.

It was not that long ago that former Prime Minister Teresa May was ushering the Windrush generation back to their countries of origin (shaking my head). We had a huge uproar and a fake apology just like Grenfell Tower, ask Stormzy - he knows! However, one thing that is clear to me is that the ELITES of this world do not give a flying “saucer” about us or our children representation. So the story goes…. The rich get fatter and the poor get thinner, just take a look at Africa being robbed of all it's resources and minerals!

Is anyone else paying attention to this or is it just me? When will we learn? Will they write me down in the history books as being a paranoid or a mad black woman? One thing that Is prevalent to me is what is expected from our black community is:

·         Low literacy levels

·         Benefit babies

·         Gang bangers

·         Prison monkeys

·         Hoodies

·         Knife crimes

·         Rapes

·         Thugs  

·         Murderers

·         Drug addicts

·         Thieves  

·         Baby fathers

·         Baby mothers

What we are left with is a perpetual cycle of negative images being bombarded to our inquiring young minds by the media and whatever else the tel-lie-vison wants to heap on our children’s shoulders. It is stressful growing up as a child in the twentieth century, let along trying to be a Top Boy, ask Drake and Ashley Walters he knows! Stay woke my brothers and sisters, real recognises real.

What we need to do is to show our children empowering images to enable them to see their own powerful reflections and to slay in their universe. It saddens me to know we were getting slack because we were dressing up in actors’ costumes to go and see Wakanda. People were asking what the big deal was? However, when Star Terk films get released how many droves of Trekike's are in outfits to represent the film?

What the world needs now is to present children of colour in an inspiring light as being:

·         Superheroes

·         Doctors

·         Astronauts

·         Pilots

·         Barristers

·         Princes

·         Princesses  

·         Kings

·         Queens

·         Entrepreneurs

·         Chefs

·         Influencers

·         Scientists

·         Royalty

·         CEO’s  

Together with our Look Like Me Book Challenge, we can change the narrative and tell the positive stories that we want the world to hear. If you care and want to join us in this movement, here is how the program works.


Changing the Narrative

We are committing to the following challenges: 

Phase one: – We aim to have a cohort of 7 to 11-year olds (Pilot Spring 2020)

Phase two: – We aim to have a cohort 12 – 16 - year-olds (Date pending the pilot completion)

Phase three – To organise an educational trip to Atlanta to visit Tyler Perry’s Film Studio and to write a book.

 
The Book

- 30-page square book with a full-colour interior
- A gloss cover finish
- Size is 20 x 20cm 

We will work on the official title and subtitle during our workshops.
 

Workshops

The children will attend a series of three drama and storytelling workshops that will take place on the weekends, over a 3-month period.

- Month one – A think tank workshop for book ideas generation & concepts

- Month two – Story and characters development

- Month three – Storytelling workshop finale

Once the stories are finalised by our 30 child authors and a launch date has been confirmed a further 2 x rehearsal dates will be required leading up to the grand book launch finale. 

Our drama and storytelling workshops will take place in Southeast London area.

 
The Benefits

Imagine what the ripple effect is going to be when 30 children come together to create one story. We are touching the lives of their families too, think about how far we can spread such a positive message. The benefits are:  

·         The legacy that each child will be leaving for those who will follow in their footsteps

·         Your child may become the first of a long line of authors

·         Our book will be available on Amazon

·         Our book will be downloadable onto Kindle

·         Promotes peer positivity

·         Enhance teamwork skills

·         Develop communication skills

·         To promote ownership of their work

·         Enhance confidence in written, verbal and physical storytelling  

·         Explore the drama and acting spaces

·         Learn the step by step process of how the book publishing industry works

·         Re-frame a positive narrative in our BAME stories

·         The child author will learn about economics via the sales of their books

 

Incentives and Sponsorship

We are offering only six businesses or individuals an opportunity to have their logo and website located at the back of our book as one of the official sponsors. You may remain anonymous if requested. Your business will be represented on our flyers, promotional press release and website.

·         Book sponsorship package + a signed copy of our community book: 6 x £500  

·         Secure your child space with our bypass submission: 10 x £250

·         Book acknowledgements for donations of £100 +

·         Online shoutouts for backers who donate £99 or less

 
Submissions

We require a short two minutes or less video sent to us via an unlisted YouTube video link. We will provide you with a form to complete also. Remember to include the following:

1 Say your name and introduce yourself  

2 What your book idea about?

3 Why do you want to write a community book?

Relax, be yourself, have fun and lots of giggles when recording.

Submissions will open for two weeks, in spring 2020 so keep a close eye on our page for more details of how your child can be a part of a historical moment. 

 
The Selection Process & The Rules

Our team of friendly Judges will get together and review all entries. You will be notified via email should your child be selected. We will have a waiting list for the remaining children in case a child can no longer participate. We expect a large volume of interest for this project, and it is therefore limited to children living in the UK.


The Rules

1.       Two sibling’s maximum entry per household.

2.       Children must be between the ages of 7 and 11 years old and in primary school.

3.       Your child’s 12th birthday must be after 1st September 2020 to enter.

4.       The parents must make sure that the child can attend ALL dates for the workshops, rehearsals and launch finale.

5.       For successful candidates, a parental form will need to be released and signed.

6.       We have 20 free spaces based on a selection process of video entries.

7.       To help raise funds for this project, we have 10 sponsored bypass places for £250 each. This will secure your child a bypass space with no audition.

8.       Workshops will be held in London, United Kingdom.

 
Publication Date

This is dependent on funds raised and how quickly we can spread the word. We do aim for a 2020 publication release date.


Group Economics

Here is where it gets interesting. I want to use a simple model to help BAME children to pursue their entrepreneurial skills. I aim to do this in the following ways:

·         Each child who participates and completes the project will receive 5 complimentary copies of their book to sell to family and friends. This will help them raise pocket money and capital to reinvest back into their books.

·         Parents of the child will be able to purchase copies of the book at a discounted rate, which will enable them to sell on the book and achieve a 100% mark up, on their investment. There is no limit to how many books can be purchased at this special discounted rate.

Sustainability

We believe that is important to help raise funds via our direct book sales and online royalties to action phase two and three of our project of working with 12 – 16-year olds. Once costs are covered any profit will go into our second cohort of authors.

Peaches Publications

I am one woman with a HUGE vision and I’ve been in the book publishing industry for more than 13 years. My name is Winsome Duncan and I am an author of 11 books, writing is my life’s work and purpose. I work with budding authors and entrepreneurs to help them realise their book-writing dreams with my company Peaches Publications. We are a hybrid publishing house that tells the stories and voices from people colour in particular.

We provide JUST WRITE IT MASTERCLASSES at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington and Chelsea, London England. Our next masterclass will be in March 2020.

We have a workbook called JUST WRITE IT – Tell your Story, Write your Book, to help budding authors to start the sometimes daunting  task of book writing and is available for you to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winsome-Duncan/e/B0034Q93UU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 

Follow us on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peachespublications/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peachespublications/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyricalhealeruk 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/winsome-duncan-84622137/  

For more information visit: www.peachespublciations.co.uk 

Our Author Code: I am an author; an author am I!

Our Motto: #wepublishbooks



Meet the Team

We have put together a team of community champions and entrepreneurs to help deliver this massive task. Project Manager Winsome Duncan has worked in the educational system as a Teacher Assistant, Learning Support Assistant and taught drama to large groups of adults and children with London Bubble Theatre company.

Winsome Duncan – Peaches Publications

Davis Williams – Manhood Academy

Sister Angie – AGA Tours  

Andrew Beckford – Teacher & Author 

Judith Jones – Teacher & Author

Antique Smith – One Wing Project

Tony Cealy – No Budget Films

Charmaine Fyffe – Khepera CIC

Annna Sexton - Open to Create 

 
Our Expenses  

This is not an exhaustive list. The funds you help us raise will go towards the cost of:

·         Project Manager

·         Administrator 

·         Videographer x 2

·         Photographer 

·         Accountant

·         Workshop Facilitators x 6

·         Stage Manager

·         First aider 

·         Senior Marketing Consultant

·         Marketing team

·         Refreshments by Khepera CIC

·         Volunteer expenses  

·         Room hire

·         Storyteller

·         ISBN

·         Barcode

·         Paperback books

·         Graphic Designer

·         Illustrators

·         Typesetter

·         Proofreading

·         Editing

·         Arts and crafts (Pens, sugar paper, felt tips, and crayons)


The Future

After the post-mortems of this pilot, we would want to duplicate this process with 12 - 16-year olds. We aim to do this twice a year.
 

Inspirational songs for our children

The Greatest love - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYzlVDlE72w 

Live it up – John Legend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEzQrKhGAeM 

I know I can – Nas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvVfgvHucRY 

Dreams – Ashanti – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85fnsdC9rjI 

Toast – Koffee -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8HoEvDh70Y 

Alim Karmara – Dreams - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdXk8_TrI8M 

Impossible – Royal Priesthood - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkMeTgPptAA 

A change gon come – Otis Redding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyhL0ioST_U 

Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqe5NP86OCc 

Proud – Heather Small - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OygsHbM1UCw

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Organizer

Winsome Duncan 
Organizer
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
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