Publisher appoints first two full-time color editors in Wales through new scheme

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Jannat Ahmed and Samiha Meah

Two Cardiff-based women are set to become Wales’ first full-time editors after receiving substantial funding aimed at reaching and developing new audiences in Wales.

The Book Council for Wales will 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 .

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

Now Lucent Dreaming has announced it has received £40,000 from Books Council Wales’ New Audiences fund and hopes to set up new and emerging writers and nurture new publishers and publishing professionals from underrepresented backgrounds in the world. Wales.

Lucent Dreaming’s first book project, due out in June, is supported by Literature Wales and takes the form of an anthology showcasing the work of Literature Wales’ first book Represent Wales Cohort, a one-year program to develop writers from Wales.

Lucent Dreaming has previously worked with Cardiff-based theater and arts group Fio on their Arts Council Wales funded project winter sparkssupporting them in the design and publication of Riverside Zine 2022.

Long-standing barriers

Editor and co-founder of Lucent Dreaming, Jannat Ahmed, who was previously head of marketing and subscriptions at Poetry Wales, begins her full-time paid role at Lucent Dreaming press and magazine in April, and will be joined by Samiha Meah in as Fiction Editor this summer after graduating from Cardiff University.

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

On receiving news of the successful grant application, EIC and co-founder Jannat Ahmed says, “As far as I know, yesterday there were no full-time color editors or editors employed in the publishing of English literary books in Wales. Today there are.

“There is room in publishing for us, for publishers of fiction and poetry who value partnerships and collaboration. I hope that together with our friends at Lumin – a small press, radio and conservation collective (and another grant recipient led by POC), we can create an editorial landscape with a work culture better suited to a more diverse literary community and redress the long-standing barriers that people of color and other marginalized people disproportionately face in the arts.

“Lucent Dreaming as it currently exists reflects the minimum energy that I have been able to give to the magazine for almost 3 years due to a lack of means. Having 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 to novel submissions from writers living in the UK, particularly writers of color and working class writers living in Wales.

Lucent Dreaming also recently launched its Lucent Dreaming Prize for Poetry, Flash Fiction and Short Stories, with the theme of hope.

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

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