Tangled Roots anthology out now!

The Tangled Roots anthology is now available to buy here.

Tangled Roots cover

The book features a total of fifteen true stories of mixed and multi-racial families from Yorkshire and the North of England, including my short memoir ‘The Memory Album’.

It has been a privilege to be involved with this Arts Council-funded project devised by Katy Massey, and I’ve really enjoyed reading the often unexpected and deeply moving tales that make up this collection.

Two more bits of news: long-listed for Mslexia Novel Competition and publication of my Tangled Roots memoir

An email arrived in my inbox on Tuesday afternoon bearing the wonderful news that my first novel A Tiny Speck of Black and then Nothing is on the long-list for the Mslexia Novel Competition.

Then on Friday I received another very welcome message, this time from the writer Katy Massey, to let me know that my memoir about being brought up in a mixed English and Japanese household in York has been published on her Tangled Roots website. The same piece should appear in book form some time in early 2014.

I’ve blogged about Tangled Roots before here. One of the things that I’ve most enjoyed about this project has been meeting the other featured writers, and having the chance to read their stories and poems about their own experiences of a being part of multiracial families in Yorkshire. I strongly recommend that you take a look at their work.

Tangled Roots project launch

Tangled Roots flyer

I’m really happy that Katy Massey has asked me to play a part in her Arts Council-funded project, Tangled Roots – writing mixed-race Yorkshire. I first met Katy through last year’s SI Leeds Literary Prize. Jane Steele (another SI Leeds competitor, who ended up coming joint-third with me) will also be involved in Tangled Roots, which will include an anthology of work, to be published in early 2014.

Other contributing writers are Michelle Scally Clarke, Adam Lowe, Sai Murray and Seni Seneviratne. It was good to meet up with them and share stories about our families when we gathered to have our pictures taken by Anthony Farrimond.

I’m looking forward to viewing the results at the launch. If you live in or near Leeds, and are free on 19th, it would be great to see you there too.

SI Leeds Literary Prize award evening

I’ve just returned home after a lovely twenty-four hours when I travelled down by train to the Ilkley Literature Festival with my good friend Sarah. I’ve known Sarah for years and having her there to accompany me to the inaugural SI Leeds Literary Prize award evening helped make the experience even more special.

Bonnie Greer and Margaret Busby opened the evening at the Ilkey Playhouse with a fascinating talk about their own personal histories as writers and some reflections on the publishing world of today and the spaces that Black and Asian writers occupy within it.

Then the prizes were announced, with Minoli Salgado being awarded the winner’s trophy, followed by Karen Onojaife in second place, and Jane Steele and I in joint third.

A high point of the evening for me was being able to hear the other winning writers reading their work aloud. I hope to hear lots more from them and the other shortlisted writers, Katy Massey and Anita Sivakumaran, in the future.