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The Amplify Project - Help fund Series 2!

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We’re raising funds to support Series 2 of The Amplify Project podcast which features conversations with Black British writers for the page, stage and screen about their life, craft and art.

Why we created The Amplify Project:

Imagine a world without storytellers and their stories. Stories entertain, challenge, comfort and inspire us. Stories have the power to divide us, but they also have the power to unite people and promote mutual understanding. We need storytellers of every background and persuasion to not only enrich our lives but to help us understand one another and our place in the world.

We created The Amplify Podcast last year because we wanted to address the problem of underrepresentation of Black British writers within the publishing and theatre industries. We’re both writers ourselves; Pat’s a playwright, and Pauline writes short stories and is writing a novel. Pat works in theatre and radio drama, and Pauline’s worked with a wide range of writers in theatre and publishing.

We know how tough it is for a Black British playwright to make a living. The Black Writers Guild was set up in June 2020, calling on the publishing industry to tackle systemic inequalities.

Our podcast is a practical response to the systemic inequalities in society that were brought sharply into focus in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd and the #MeToo movement. It's a response that we could shape ourselves and that reflected our interests as writers, in the lives, work and practice of Black British writers, not just when their latest book, play or programme comes out but as thinkers and artists in their own right.

How we created The Amplify Project:

We applied to Arts Council England (ACE) for a grant and, after our second attempt, were successful in getting funding to produce our first series of podcasts. Have a look at our website www.theamplifyproject.co.uk and listen to these fabulous and eclectic writers who shared their fascinating stories of what inspired them to write, what it means to them to be writers and writing now.

Their passion for telling stories as either poets, novelists, playwrights and memoirists and in some cases writing in more than one genre, was inspiring. We’re in awe of their talent: Oladipo Agboluaje (award-winning playwright), Trish Cooke (children’s author and playwright), Diana Evans (award-winning novelist), Colin Grant (memoirist), Theresa Ikoko (award-winning playwright and screenwriter), Anthony Joseph (award-winning poet, novelist, academic and musician), Rachel Long (poet listed in Time’s 100 must-read books of 2021), Nick Makoha (award-winning poet), Juliet Gilkes Romero (award-winning playwright), Alex Wheatle MBE (award-winning novelist and YA writer), Hafsa Zayyan (debut novelist, winner of #Merky Books New Writer’s Prize).

As of the first week of February, in just four months, we've had over 1200 downloads for Series 1 and we've got listeners in the USA, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and China!

How you can help:

By donating you’ll be supporting:

  • the production process (research and prep, recording and editing)

  • writers (we always pay the writers a fee)

  • readers (we pay actors to read extracts from the writer’s work)

  • marketing and PR (promoting each episode)

We hope to begin researching and recording the new series by the end of March 2022.

Transparency:

Times are tough right now. Rising inflation is challenging for many people so we'll be grateful for any donation, however small or large.

We’re used to reporting back to funders like ACE on how we’ve spent the grant that they’ve awarded us, so for the donations that we’ll receive from the crowdfunding campaign, we’ll publish in a future blog on our website, how we've used your donations.


Thank you for taking the time to read about why we’re doing this wonderful project. We hope we’ve inspired you to donate to Series 2 and help support Black British writers.

Organiser

Patricia Cumper
Organiser
England

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