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Publisher appoints Wales’ first two full-time editors of colour thanks to new scheme

09 Apr 2022 3 minutes Read
Jannat Ahmed and Samiha Meah

A Cardiff based magazine and publisher is set to be led by Wales’ first full time editors of colour having received substantial funding designed to reach and develop new audiences in Wales.

The Book Council for Wales is to fund Lucent Dreaming, a book and magazine publisher, which launched the first edition of its volunteer-run creative writing magazine for new and emerging authors in April 2018 and has since published 10 issues.

Now, Lucent Dreaming has announced it has been awarded £40,000 from Books Council Wales’ New Audiences Fund and hopes to platform new and emerging writers and foster new editors and publishing professionals from under-represented backgrounds in Wales.

Lucent Dreaming’s first book project, which is due to be released June, is supported by Literature Wales and takes the form of an anthology showcasing work from Literature Wales’ first Representing Wales cohort, a year-long scheme to develop writers from Wales.

Lucent Dreaming has already worked with Cardiff-based theatre and arts group Fio on their Arts Council Wales funded project Winter Sparks, supporting them in the design and publication of Riverside Zine 2022.

The zine shares the creative writing and artwork of Muslim girls in Riverside, Cardiff in English, Welsh and Arabic.

Long standing barriers

Editor-in-chief and Lucent Dreaming co-founder, Jannat Ahmed who was formerly Marketing and Subscriptions Officer at Poetry Wales, begins her full-time paid role at Lucent Dreaming press and magazine this April, and will be joined by Samiha Meah as Fiction Editor this summer once she graduates from Cardiff University.

Lucent Dreaming was founded in 2017 by Cardiff University alumni Jannat Ahmed, Jess Beynon and Joachim Buur, with Jonas David.

On receiving news about the successful grant application, EIC and co-founder Jannat Ahmed says: “As far as I know, yesterday, there were no full-time editors or publishers of colour employed in English-language literary book publishing in Wales. Today, there is.

“There is space in publishing for us, for publishers of fiction and poetry who focus on partnerships and collaboration. I hope, with our friends at Lumin–a small press, radio and curatorial collective (and another POC-led recipient of the grant) we can create a publishing landscape with a working culture better suited to a more diverse literary community and redress the long-standing barriers that people of colour and other marginalised people disproportionately face in the arts.

“Lucent Dreaming as it currently exists is reflective of the minimum energy I’ve been able to give the magazine for almost 3 years due to a lack of finances. To be given the chance to work in a new way, full-time 4 days a week, will be transformative, for me, and for publishing in Wales.”

Lucent Dreaming is currently open for novel submissions from writers living in the UK, especially from writers of colour and working-class writers living in Wales.

Lucent Dreaming has also recently launched its Lucent Dreaming Prize for poetry, flash fiction and short stories, on the theme of hope.

The competition closes for entries 31st May 2022, with its flash fiction and poetry longlists to be judged by Matt Kendrick and Kandace Siobhan-Walker respectively.


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

It’s great to see both Jannat Ahmed and Samiha Meah becoming full-time editors of a Cardiff- based magazine. But I wish one day there will be no need for us to refer to them by their sex, religion or colour, but how capable they are at their job.

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