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Bernardine Evaristo backs new scholarship for Black and Asian writers

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Booker Prize-winning author Professor Bernadine Evaristo is to back a new scholarship for Black and Asian writers.

The Bernardine Evaristo Scholarship will help one student study for a part-time Master’s degree in Brunel University London’s well-regarded creative writing department.

“I believe in giving back and paying it forward and winning the Booker Prize has given me a larger platform and new opportunities to support the next generation of writers,” said Prof Evaristo, whose fellow teaching staff at Brunel includes poets Professor Benjamin Zephaniah and Daljit Nagra, and author Max Kinning.

“It feels like the right thing to do for me at this stage.”

The scholarship will initially cover the fees for a two-year part-time MA postgraduate degree in Creative Writing, starting in September 2021, with all applicants needing to submit a personal statement and 2000 words of fiction writing or ten pages of poetry in order to be considered. Applications close at midnight on 2 July 2021.

Applications are only open to Black and Asian writers, with both groups being historically under-represented in the publishing industry.

“Brunel is leading the field in recruiting a wonderfully multicultural student body, and this includes our Creative Writing students. But the literature sector is only really starting to wake up to the lack of diversity in publishing,” said Prof Evaristo.

“Black and Asian writers are still under-represented, as are working class writers, and so this scholarship is a gesture towards addressing the problem.”

Prof Evaristo won the 2019 Booker Prize for her book Girl, Women, Other, becoming both the first black woman and first black Briton to win the illustrious award. She has published eight novels and numerous other works throughout her writing career, and has been honoured for her services to literature, first with an MBE in 2009 and then an OBE in 2020.

To apply for the scholarship, please visit goingto.brunel.ac.uk/form/evaristoaward/

Reported by:

Tim Pilgrim, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268965
tim.pilgrim@brunel.ac.uk