The White Pube Creatives Grant
funded by Creative Debuts
The White Pube Creatives Grant is a one-off £500 grant to be given out to a different working class creative practitioner based in the UK once every month. This grant has been set up to support creatives of all ages who are early in their careers and would benefit from this no-strings attached financial support to help them in whatever they like - be that money to cover time to make, or fund materials, equipment, research, subscriptions, development, travel, or even rent and bills.
This grant was previously exclusively for writers but in light of the cost of living crisis in the UK, we have opened it up to include anybody who makes stuff. Art, performance, sound, music, craft, comedy, games, anything and that includes writing. Therefore, if you submitted when this was still ‘The Writers Grant,’ your work continues to be up for consideration.
The White Pube will be selecting recipients, and these will be chosen based on their ongoing research as well as anybody who would like to put themselves forward. There is no formal application process. If you would like to get in touch, please email email@example.com with a very brief introduction to yourself, contact information and of course, an example of your work. This could be in links or attachments. There is no deadline as this is a monthly rolling grant, and the grant does not expect any outcomes or reporting. If you are not awarded the grant one month, your submission is still taken into consideration for future months so there is no need to re-submit. We will also be sharing the work of each recipient on The White Pube homepage.
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FULL FAQS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE!
Creative Debuts is a disrupting and democratising art platform that champions emerging artists through an artwork subscription service, bespoke projects and event management. Acting as a bridge between the creative and commercial worlds, Creative Debuts is focussed on shining a light and supporting artists and designers from underrepresented communities that may otherwise go under the radar. The free online platform also provides artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work, as well as giving buyers – whether individuals or businesses - the chance to unearth the superstars of tomorrow. Recent collaborations include the likes of adidas, Apple, Disney, eBay and Spotify.
The White Pube is the collaborative identity of Zarina Muhammad and Gabrielle de la Puente through which we write about exhibitions, video games, the art world and more on this website & across social media as @thewhitepube. We are based in London and Liverpool respectively.
February 2024: Recipient 042, Georgia Madden
The 42nd recipient of the Creatives Grant is Georgia Madden! The Liverpool artist sent in ‘Divination Dave,’ and… I know this is a weird thing to say, but the set-up kind of felt like the animated equivalent of the stories I have been writing lately about what it feels like to make do in Liverpool. In the animation, a man buys a salt lamp from a TV advert, runs out of the good crisps in the multipack and finds there’s only plain potato left. He eyes his treasured salt lamp, eats it, and — magical realism ensues. Every detail in every shot drags the story along its pot-holed bumpy road. It’s great!
Based in a darkened room on the outskirts of Liverpool, Georgia spends the majority of her time in the miniature, meticulously making films frame by frame using the medium of stop motion. Her most recent short, ‘Divination Dave’ was commissioned by BBC Arts as part of their New Creatives programme and has gone on to see festival success, taking home ‘Best Animation’ at the BFI Future Film Awards 2022.
Currently in development, Georgia’s next project ‘Rubberleg’ surrounds 10-year-old Nigel and his journey through past lives- eating the eggs he came from to grow back a missing limb! This grant will be a massive help in getting the ball rolling on the long, long process of stop motion!
January 2024: Recipient 041, Dino Zhang
Kicking off 2024 with the 41st recipient of The Creatives Grant, meet Dino Zhang! We were big fans of his 2023 piece Upon that River, a gently paced film that pieces together family photographs with contemporary, hazy, almost twinkling video that rocks on the choppy surface of the water, under a story about one family’s migration through China in line with social and economic changes. We love art that grapples with the realities of class, and Zhang’s film felt so rich in its visual and editorial treatment of the subject matter. We look forward to following his career!
Dino Zhang is an artist based in London and Shanghai. Shifting across mediums, his works examine the complexity of Chinese history, culture and contemporary society. By reimagining alternative narrations of historical events, Dino obsesses with building up a personal connection with historical characters. In a research-led practice, he looks for a myriad of insights into the linear but bifurcated entanglement between the memory of the past and the subject gazing into history. Mostly working with sculpture and filmmaking, Dino introduces his methodology of reactivating historical events by deconstructing the meaning of identity in modern-day China.
Dino received a BA degree in Fine Art (first class) from the Central Saint Martins in 2022 and an MFA degree (distinction) from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford in 2023. His works have been shown in: Beijing International Short Film Festival; Shanghai International Short Week; Roseberry Road Studios, Bath; MOUart Gallery, Beijing; Gallery 4B103, Shanghai; Chelsea Marquee, London; The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, London; Christ Church College, Oxford.
December 2023: Recipient 040, Emily Unwin
This is the 40th grant we’re giving out… holy moly. What a way to round out 2023. Thank you Creative Debuts for letting us do this!!!! The 40th recipient of the Creatives Grant is Emily Unwin. Emily shared with us a collection of surrealist horror stories in which her casual grasp of surrealism makes the horror all the more threatening, because it could almost be real. She writes with the exact kind of sharp, bodily, contemporary imagery that we both love and we hope that this grant can buy Emily some time to produce more perfect weirdness we can share in.
Emily Unwin (she/her) is a queer writer who splits her time between the American Southeast and the United Kingdom. In 2023, Emily was endorsed by Arts Council England to live and work in the UK under the Global Talent Visa, with Exceptional Promise in Literature. She’s the co-founder of Finley Light Factory and tacky! Magazine. Emily has published in The London Magazine, Polyester Zine, and Gigantic Sequins, among others.
November 2023: Recipient 039, Udochukwu Emeka-Okafor
We’re pleased to announce that November’s recipient of the Creatives Grant is Udochukwu Emeka-Okafor. Udochukwu a producer, writer, and director based in England. She is due to release her debut short film, Between You & Me. We really enjoyed the work she sent in, Beings (link below), an exploration of masculinity and femininity through androgynous fashion. We found it really interesting – the way she was able to blend critical engagement with aesthetics, style, making her subject feel full and slippery in all its nuance. We hope you enjoy her work as much as we did!
Udochukwu Emeka-Okafor is a producer, writer, and director based in England, United Kingdom. With an unwavering passion for the art of storytelling, she founded EPA Productions in 2021, realizing her dream of bringing captivating narratives to life. Udochukwu’s creative journey includes the upcoming release of her debut short film, “Between You & Me,” a poignant exploration of first love within the complexities of an interfaith relationship. Through this film and those to come, she aspires to amplify underrepresented stories and voices on the big screen. Beyond her film career, Udochukwu is a versatile creative, channeling her cinematic love into photography, notably capturing soft, pastel cinematic moments that convey the stories she crafts.
October 2023: Recipient 038, Tony Onuchukwu
We’re pleased to announce that October’s recipient of the Creatives Grant is Tony Onuchukwu. Tony is a sound artist, a composer and audio engineer based in South London. He makes music under the name Nu Garçon. The tracks he sent over were so genuinely good – the kind of music I’d listen to anyway. I was really happy to find his work! It’s slinky, rhythmic, this smooth bodily music that j sparkles and pops. I’m really excited to have it on the homepage, really excited to present it to you because I’m sincerely so jazzed about it, have put it on my spotify playlists n all ha! We hope you enjoy Tony’s work as much as we do!
Tony Onuchukwu is a composer, sound designer, audio engineer and former practising medical doctor based in Lewisham, South London. He makes Podcasts, Audio Documentaries and Soundscapes for digital formats and small spaces.
Born in Lagos, Tony’s audio work explores Afro-Caribbean visions, identities and memories interspersed with neo-colonial confrontations. Tony’s work centres on building cultures and creating discussions around race and innovation. In 2022 Tony received an honourable mention at the 2022 Sound Walk Awards with his soundscape ‘Birling Gap’ - an intimate meditation on walking, eternal transformation, and the interconnection between memory and place. Tony’s sound design won Gold for ‘Best History Podcast’ at the British Podcast Awards 2023 for his work on the ‘Sounds of Black Britain’ (Unedited/The Black Curriculum).
Alongside his audio work, Tony is also a recording artist. He explores the multi faceted category of pop music, and sub categories from hip hop to ambient, to jazz with his burgeoning pop project Nu Garçon.
“I’m interested in song structure, song-writing, song texture, production techniques and their manifestation in genres such as ‘bedroom pop’, ‘outsider’, jazz and electronic music.” Tony’s work has a naive quality. It’s raw, rhythmic, slinking, intimate, twinkling, and can be brooding as well as uplifting. “With my work, I’m trying to make people feel empowered and fulfilled like they’ve stumbled in and interrupted a deeply personal conversation and come out of it encouraged.” Nu Garçon is all about the timing being right. It’s a relatively new project but it arrives sounding already full realised. It’s a story of a personal collaboration years in the making, a dovetailing of my desire to change my direction in life, and the timing to allow me to do just that.
September 2023: Recipient 037, Rachael Button
We’re pleased to announce that September’s recipient of the Creatives Grant is Rachael Button. Rachael is a fashion photographer based in the South West of England, and is a recent graduate from Arts University Bournemouth. I know we say this about every recipient, but obviously we think her work is great. So dreamy and grainy, she manages to capture those subtle, fleeting moments that happen just as you blink – then they’re gone. Her work is bound together by an interest in Girlishness, a word I’m using with a critical capital G. The Girlish as an aesthetic signifier, a vibe and a mood rather than a distinct formal category or something as cynical as a visual style. In the way the images are colour graded, framed, softly blurred. It makes her work feel crunchy and compelling, satisfying and rewarding to look at. It’s also something I am endlessly fascinated by, unable to settle it into a neat shape in my mind, so coming across her work was personally and professionally exciting. We hope you enjoy her work as much as we do!
BIO: Rachael Button is a photographer from the South West of England. Her work embodies a distinct femininity and serves as a personal journey through the complexities of womanhood. Often, she chooses her close friends as subjects, aiming to capture genuine moments while maintaining a careful thought into composition. Although the innocence of her subjects may be mistaken for vulnerability, a closer look reveals a subtle, inner strength and defiance reflected in their gaze.
In the past, Rachael has delved into personal themes such as sisterhood and her experience as a twin, as well as engaging in thought-provoking discussions about the representation of curly hair. Her series, Admire From Afar, is currently being showcased in an online exhibition, Hair: Untold Stories, at FACE x Horniman Museum, where she explores the intricate connection between hair and identity. Furthermore, her series, Missy, delves into the theme of the infantilisation of women. In this collection, Rachael reimagines female nursery rhyme characters in adulthood, aiming to confront the demeaning way in which some men belittle and underestimate women’s capabilities.
Rachael’s approach isn’t centred around fancy equipment or technical expertise; instead, she embraces the simplicity of film photography and the spontaneity of point-and-shoot cameras. Her work cherishes the heart of each moment without getting lost in the technical details.
A year following her graduation with First Class Honours in BA (Hons) Commercial Photography from Arts University Bournemouth, Rachael has an exciting portfolio of work behind her and is eager to embark on her artistic career journey.
August 2023: Recipient 036, Laviea Thomas
The Creatives Grant recipient for August 2023 is… 🥁… Laviea Thomas! A music and culture journalist from the Midlands, we really enjoyed reading her opinion pieces, as well as her interviews with bands. Writing is difficult enough, but writing about music is something I’ve never been able to pull off. Thomas’ language is so evocative, and so well-handled, that I know what she’s talking about before I’ve pressed play on the music in question. The writer recently went freelance and we hope that the grant, supported by Creative Debuts, will help bolster her work because we wanna read plenty more of it.
BIO: ‘I’m Laviea, a working-class Black British writer from the Midlands currently based in north London. I’m an experienced music and culture journalist with 5 years of experience writing for print and digital platforms with statement pieces spread across lauded platforms such as NME, Skiddle, The Quietus, Rock Sound and more.
I showcase a wide range of my work via my personal portfolio [www.wordsbylav.co.uk], which features pieces such as interviews, live reviews, features and more that best reflect my variety. I take a huge interest in writing about popular culture and discussing Black and POC creatives who are taking the rock and heavy metal scenes by storm.
Since my first ever piece was published in 2018, I have written for a variety of publications, covered a range of music festivals, connected with amazing, like-minded talent and honed down on my tone of voice as a music critic. I have a deep love for writing, whether it be advocating for Black creatives in a thought-provoking opinion piece, discussing the most candid popular culture moment from the early 2000s, or dissecting the current state of our incompetent government – my writing is an honest glimpse into my animated mind and charismatic personality.’
July 2023: Recipient 035, James McColl
We are happy to announce that the 35th recipient of The Creatives Grant is James McColl. We really enjoyed the way his practice encompasses so much, seemingly bound together by an interest and delight in ideas themselves. His work is recognisably thoughtful, which is a quality we really admire. We hope you enjoy his work as much as we do!
BIO: I’m an artist, writer and researcher based in the North West whose work is often the intersection of other collaborators. So much of what I do is with people and what I want is to make art with others. My goal is to make work in which the individual isn’t lost but is not the focal point.
I’d describe my work as the seeking out of others and coming together around an object, idea or cause. Sometimes my work can be film, abstract text or performance, this usually comes later and depends on who I’m working with. All my most recent work has been the result of long research periods.
By working with other artists, I’ve investigated ways of being together that disrupt the individualisation of creative practices. I want to know how people could work together better, more honestly and with more listening, mutuality and understanding.
June 2023: Recipient 034, Joanne Gallagher
We are happy to announce that the 34th recipient of The Creatives Grant is Joanne Gallagher. She sent in the full script for her play, The Bouncy, and I read all 93 pages in one sitting. I got completely lost in it – I thought it was amazing, the kind of writing that makes the inside of my skull feel like its fizzing. You can read an excerpt on our homepage.
BIO: Joanne Gallagher is a writer from Linwood, Scotland. She grew up in a gable end house with an Irish father, and a mother all kindness, in a deindustrialised town. In 2021 Joanne was mentored by the Playwright’s Studio Scotland to write her debut play The Bouncy. After studying English Literature at University, Joanne trained as an actor. She worked every shite job known to man, alongside the odd acting job, before realising she was a writer. The Bouncy explores sectarianism, deindustrialisation, and wild working-class female solidarity. It is about two sisters in Linwood trying to save each other when they’re both caught in the mire, worried if there’s a tomorrow. The Bouncy is written in Scots and occasionally in verse. In The Long Grass, a short, is Joanne’s latest work. Written in 2023, set on the eve of the Scots Referendum, it looks at how small communities deal with sexual assault depending on their preferences for the players involved. In 2023 Joanne was shortlisted for the Adopt a Playwright Award. As a result, she is being mentored by Kenny Emson on three different projects.
May 2023: Recipient 033, JN Benjamin
We are happy to announce that the 33rd recipient of The Creatives Grant is JN Benjamin. We really enjoyed reading the two pieces she sent. Her project, our mothers’ stories, explores who people are before we came to know them. It’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about recently, and we look forward to more from that project as it comes.
BIO: JN Benjamin is a writer, broadcaster, and multidisciplinary artist from South London. Before turning her hand to writing, she trained as an actor and has performed on stage in London including most recently at the Young Vic theatre. As a critic she regularly writes for leading industry publication The Stage and is an occasional contributor on BBC radio 4’s flagship arts programme, Front Row. Her features and opinion pieces have been published online and in print in Skin Deep, Exeunt Magazine and The Peckham Peculiar, amongst others. JN Benjamin is also the author of an irregular cultural highlights newsletter, which you can sign up to here.
In addition to her journalistic writing practice, JN Benjamin is the creator of our mothers’ stories, an ambitious multidisciplinary artwork about the lives of our mothers before they had any children. The project uses printed photographs of women that were taken in the time before they had children as a prompt to facilitate intergenerational conversations.
April 2023: Recipient 032, Ivilina Kouneva
We are happy to announce that the 32nd recipient of The Creatives Grant is Ivilina Kouneva. Ivilina sent us a selection of her new paintings. Instead of throwing older, discarded works away, she was inserting them into her new paintings as cut out shapes. These jagged, twisted shapes that made colourful abstracts out of body, form, colour. Mythic shapes and fantasy spaces with mystery, magic and real actual energy. This ongoing fluid process where work could live on in new forms, constantly evolving and shifting. We found it so exciting, and we’re really glad to be able to support Ivilina’s practice in this way.
BIO: Ivilina Kouneva is a Bulgarian born visual who lives and works in the South East of England. Through colour, drawing and paper cut outs compositions she articulates her concerns about fragility of relationships in the current times. She moved to the UK from her home country over a decade ago, in her mature years. She studied painting and had been trained as an Art teacher.
Ivilina has gathered experience through different fields of life alongside maintaining a studio based practice. Between 2013 and 2014 she was a studio holder at Openhand Openspace (OHOS, Reading). Since the summer of 2019 she has been part of Artstudio 18, Bexhill-on-sea.
She has been reaching out for communities to belong and to contribute to. Her longing for love and togetherness overcoming distance and alienation reflects in her compositions with multilayered narratives. She is interested in how archetypal myths, stored in our collective memory, relate to our life today. Storytelling is vital for her work where often a resilient female braves her way through various adventures. She creates fresh stories employing her discarded work or abandoned creations of other artists. She sees the latter as collaborations through time and space.
In 2022 Ivilina took part in several art residencies – at Artscape Gibraltar Center of the Arts, Toronto Islands; Writers and Artists residency in Val David, Quebec and the Open Plan Studio at Towner gallery, Eastbourne. Her studies in Mindfulness brought her to further research in how the awareness in the present moment helps engaging with Imagination as a gateway to creativity. Most recently she received a bursary from a-n the Artists Information Company to explore artistic approaches where Art and Mindfulness meet.
March 2023: Recipient 031, Sergio L. Lopez Borja
The 31st recipient of The Creatives Grant is Sergio L. Lopez Borja. Sergio is the first photographer we have awarded this Creatives Grant to. We loved their portraits, they are glamorous and tender in equal measure. There is a nice tension between the static posed elements and slight casual quick movements that feel candid, human – tender! We hope you find these qualities & more in their work.
BIO: As an Artist, I create bold, filmic imagery with an edge in creative lighting, which reflects my passion for narrative-based storytelling. My name is Sergio, you can usually hear me coming during the rush hour of the mornings as I cycle around the city, playing music and trying to cheer up our gloomy London. Currently studying Architectural and Interdisciplinary studies at UCL, with the hopes of being the first university graduate in my family.
Inspired by my Latin heritage and upbringing in London, I strive to capture images that tell a compelling narrative through a cinematic lens. My unique perspective allows me to create imagery that translates cultural experiences and speaks to a broad audience. Whether it’s through portraits, landscapes, or still life, my goal is to create visuals that are not only beautiful but also meaningful depictions of my people.
February 2023: Recipient 030, Alun Hughes
We are happy to announce that the 30th recipient of The Working Class Creatives Grant is Alun Hughes. Alun is a poet and singer living in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Alun sent us a selection of his poems and we were truly enamoured by them. The chunky weight of the words he uses, like they are strange and special, a kind of magic. I think his poems make language feel exciting or visceral - that’s so rare. Mostly, we love that his work can be enjoyed as words on a page and as music! As something heard and felt in so many ways. It felt like a good fit for him and his work, and we are really pleased to be able to support him in his work towards becoming a full time writer.
BIO: Alun Hughes is a poet and singer, a single parent of two teenage boys, living in Stroud, Gloucestershire. In 2020, he received a MA Creative Writing with Distinction from Bath Spa University. In 2021, he was a digital writer in residence with Dialect at the Cotswold Water Park and won third prize in the Troubadour International Poetry Competition. In 2022, he was shortlisted for the Laurie Lee Prize. Alun started working on land in 2000 as a farmhand on an organic farm just north of Lewes, Sussex. Since then, he has worked as a woodsman, yurt maker, hedge layer, teacher of woodland management and green woodwork. In 2008, he became involved in designing and facilitating courses in nature-based practice and wilderness work. Alun’s poetry pamphlet Down the Heavens, is published by Yew Tree Press. Somewhere Somewhere, an album of nine poems from the collection to original soundtracks, made with the band Lensmen, is out now on the Irregular Patterns label.
He is currently in the research and development phase for a book of poems/prose poems that begin their life in natural ecologies. The primary source material are moments during prolonged solo exposures in nature. This involves extensive field research in various British landscapes to glean this material. The element of desk-based research and writing time involves looking at their individual and joint qualities from the perspectives of myth, folk/tree lore, sonic (including indigenous languages), botanical, biological and historical. These diverse prisms of understanding may create assemblages, ensembles, eco poetic, polyphonic experiences. His hope is that these polyphonies begin to locate song lines in the land, a dialect of co-existence with the non-human.
January 2023: Recipient 029, Urte Janus
We are happy to announce that the 29th recipient of The Working Class Creatives Grant is Urte Janus. Urte is an artist based in London, working in sculpture, installations, writing and video. We loved the way she spoke about her work: the soupy blend of fiction and real life, the world the work lives in, the processes, the shapes. It made it feel full of actual imagination, full of magic too maybe. That felt rare and special and we are excited to be able to support her work, so thank you to our funders Creative Debuts for allowing us to do so!
BIO: Urte Janus is an artist from Lithuania currently living in London. She explores the corporeal relationships between bodies and their environments in sculptural installations, writing and video work. After initially gaining a degree in photography, she taught herself sculpture and video making.
Material exploration plays a vital role in Urte’s practice. She uses chemistry to develop her pieces and likes to initiate slow reactions, especially with acid. Urte blends raw elements such as gelatine, charcoal, ash, limestone, salvaged metals and natural binders to build pieces that can later disintegrate back into their surroundings. Her sculptures usually live the life of their own - they change, develop or consume themselves over time. Urte is interested in the symbolism of the materials she works with, their transformation between creation and erosion and how matter moves between living and non-living states.
December 2022: Recipient 028, Sharifa
We are happy to announce that the Creatives Grant recipient for December 2022 is Sharifa. 18 year old East Midlands-born musician Sharifa is a singer, rapper, producer, artist and DJ now studying in London. He sent us his new song COME AND HELP ME and we immediately, easily loved it. This new wave, dreamy, disaffected performance made us think about what happens to writing when it is presented through a song like this — where the intonation of the lyrics gives a sense of crying and of urgency. We just think it’s very good and cool and we’re glad to be able to support more of it with the grant, so thank you to funders Creative Debuts for letting us do that.
BIO: Sharifa, a freshly 18-year-old musician, is a singer/rapper, producer, artist and DJ working in between different genres such as rap, r&b, alternative and pop . With a unique and interesting style, he shows an undeniable potential and a future full-of-promise. Being born in the East Midlands and raised in a close-minded town, Sharifa is now living and studying in London where he continues to grow and collaborate in the creative industry. He takes influences from his daily life and emotional struggles, and portrays and expresses it through his work.
November 2022: Recipient 027, Sean Prentice
The 27th recipient of The Creatives Grant is Sean Prentice, a writer with a background in visual art and oral histories. Over email, the writer sent us a collection of poems that we felt in our gut. The poems seemed full of names from his own life, past and present. They were characterful without being patronising or coming off as a parody; characterful in a knowing, studied way that manages to captures the twang of someone’s personality in so few words. Sean has a background in visual art and oral histories, and much of his work deals with the intersections of class, disability, and place with memoire and personal biography as the starting point. All of that comes through with pure lucidity in the work, so be sure to follow Sean’s Instagram for more.
BIO: I was born in 1966, raised in Northamptonshire and presently live in Herefordshire with my partner and our soon to be teenage daughter. My father was born in rural Ireland in 1916. His father in 1880. I come from a long line of blacksmiths, farm labourers, steelworkers, spiritualists, mediums, and bare knuckle prize fighters and have a background in contemporary visual arts and also history writing. My past work which has encompassed film, performance, embroidery, drawing, and sculptural forms as well as text art has more often than not centred around issues of class and disability - the spaces we are given and the spaces we take for ourselves - from an autobiography starting point. My most recent texts, which find themselves in the form of poems, seek to explore and memorialise uncelebrated and overlooked working class lives, began as a way to negotiate and possibly heal psychic trauma which exists in my ancestral line. I began with the confused narratives passed down within my own family - the kind of stories and fragmented histories which exist in all families - lists of names, dates, places, occupations - half remembrances which have a limited life span and are destined to become unanchored, emptied of meaning unless they are saved, and given life and context. What at first seemed to be a collection of random glimpses that I was trying to make sense of as a whole have perhaps ended up as a series of gaps and absences, pockets waiting to be filled.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sean_prentice/
October 2022: Recipient 026, Carrie Stanley
The 26th recipient of The Working Class Creatives Grant is Carrie Stanley, a figurative artist based in Brighton. We really enjoyed her paintings: fingers with hula hoops, bodies caught in hot colours, low angles, flowers painted like petals melting into water, a cake with a floppy rocket balancing on top of it, scratchy shadowy trees. When Stanley got in touch with us, she also shared information about the research & development project she is undergoing at the moment about grief as a suicide widow. We felt like it could be an important time to grant this to her so she can continue looking into these subjects as her R&D time comes to an end next month.
BIO: Carrie Stanley is British figurative artist based in Brighton, England. She was a student on the Turps Banana Correspondence Course 2020-2022 and was awarded an Arts Council DYCP grant in February this year to develop her work around trauma and suicide loss. She uses the mediums of painting and drawing to make work that is visceral, physical and colourful and that reflect emotional and psychological responses to her subjects. Carrie often uses family as a starting point, these works often develop through an automatic process to allow for memory and personal symbolism to emerge. She’s currently researching ways to access healing through creative imaging, the use of petunias in shamanic journeying and alternative paint surfaces including velvet and interfacing.
- Instagram @carriestanleyartist
September 2022: Recipient 025, Tomisin Adepeju
The 25th recipient of The Working Class Creatives Grant is Tomisin Adepeju, a Nigerian-British filmmaker based in London. We really enjoyed the work that Adepeju sent in. He presents stories in film with this careful, measured handling that almost makes them feel real – and not in the sense that they become documentary, but more like we are eavesdropping as the audience; like the filmmaker is taking us gently by the hand and bringing us in close to listen. Tomisin is currently looking to transition from short films to features, and we wanted to grant him now to support him in that moment.
Bio: Tomisin Adepeju is a Nigerian-British filmmaker based in London, England. His multi award-winning shorts have been selected at over 150 international film festivals; including multiple Oscar-Qualifying festivals. His award-winning short, The Right Choice, had its World Premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and also screened as part of Sundance London. The film has screened at over 50 international film festivals, including various Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying ones such as the Pan African Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival & HollyShorts Film Festival. His most recent short, Appreciation had it’s North American Premiere at the Oscar- Qualifying Aspen Shortsfest and screened at BFI London Film Festival 2019. The film was also nominated for Best Irish/British Short of the year by the London Critics Circle. He is currently developing his debut feature.
August 2022: Recipient 024, Dallon Robinson
For the 24th recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant, we are psyched to announce that August’s recipient is Dallon Robinson. We read and loved Robinson’s submission ‘The Rabbit Knows How To Bury Itself,’ a short story about twins being reunited, or a brother and sister falling apart. The writing feels like the nervous rush of thoughts in an awkward silence, specifically an awkward silence with somebody you know very well. Tense and unnatural and evocative. It’s great. Read it on the link below!
Bio: Dallon Robinson (he/him) is an autistic, transmasculine writer from Somerset. He studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield and plans to stay for a Masters in Creative Writing. He likes to write about moral ambiguity and complicated queerness. Currently he’s slowly working on two books: a historical novel about queer art and healing in the 1980s, and a literary novel about a closeted trans man moving back to his coastal hometown and his pseudo-maternal relationship with his sister. In the meantime he’s working on a collection featuring stories about trans baptism, orcas, toxic twins, bat-obsessed girls and lesbian medieval re-enactment battles.
July 2022: Recipient 023, Lottie Walker
For the 23rd TWP Writers Grant, we’re excited to announce that July’s recipient is Lottie Walker. Lottie sent us a collection of poems and we were immediately smitten with their cleverness and dexterity. Lottie’s poems had a sharpness, this citrus kick that felt like salt on a wound. They stung us and in the same, offered a full complexity that we could chew on. We’re sharing that collection of Lottie’s poems as well as the first chapter of the novel she’s working on: Wild Garlic.
Bio: Lottie Walker is a writer from Somerset currently based in Cambridge. She is a graduate of Literary and Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam and is currently pursuing her Mst in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge. Lottie takes a creative and critical approach toward Queer Ecology and the concept of Paradise to investigate our relationship with the environment. Her eco- critical approach moves through interdisciplinary ways of thinking about the more-than human, her forthcoming work of creative non- fiction How does your Garden Grow? will explore the culture behind horticulture through conversations in and with the garden. In her poetry she renegotiates narratives of the natural world, her collection Eden was part of Laurel Collectives exhibition ‘Why Oracle Now- on grief, craft and foresight’ and was performed at Reading Climate Festival. Lottie is co-host of the poetry podcast Beetroot which aims to broaden discussions surrounding poetry for a new generation of readers. She has established several poetry evenings in Amsterdam, London and Cambridge and enjoys connecting with writers through workshops and performance.
June 2022: Recipient 022, nil00
Happy June everyoneeee! We are pleased to announce that the 22nd recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant is nil00151, a writer and artist from Liverpool who makes music, visuals and interactive digital artworks. We have been following their work for a while now and not to sound spooky or weird but I do think nil00 is gonna be a star lol and I am saying it here now so later on I can say I told you so. For the Writers Grant, nil00 sent in writing in the form of a zine, a game, and an EP. The zine has poems, stories, lyrics, and slippy essays. One of the texts is called ‘why being hot is the meaning of life and justifies evil,’ another is a story that nil00 started when they were 15 and finished aged 25. Everything bit of writing framed with art, layered, angular, casual and full of genuine imagination, we are v happy to support more of it being made :)
BIO: nil00 is a writer and artist from Liverpool, making music, visuals, and interactive digital artworks. Their main interests are digital mysticism, folklore/magic/myth, and the beauty of letting the world break your heart.
- Read 00 EP songbook/zine
- Listen to 00 EP
- Watch the music video for Reject
- Play doom gatez (coded by Yank Scally) on itch.io
- A collaborative short film by Nick Smith & nil00
- Read this article about Digital Mysticism, a bot for axisweb
- watch/listen to HYPHN, a semi-live bedroom performance for earwax
[image of nil00 credited to Laleh Kamalian]
May 2022: Recipient 021, Rutendo D. Bradley
For the 21st recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant, we are very excited to support the work of Rutendo D. Bradley. Rutendo sent us an excerpt from the novel she started as part of her dissertation, ‘The Devil’s King,’ a project she is now hoping to work on full-time. The opening we read was so effective in its world-building, with its historical language and raw landscape, and its intense population of kings and knights and soldiers and the ways that they speak. The chapter also has this kind of fateful promise that this story is going to be different, it’s going to be important, just hold on — and we loved that, and we wanted to read more. So, with the help of Creative Debuts, we are glad we can support Rutendo with this month’s Writers Grant.
BIO: Rutendo D. Bradley studied and practiced journalism before undertaking an MA in Creative Writing. She enjoys writing across a broad spectrum of forms including contemporary poetry, Young Adult/children’s fiction, short stories, and plays. As a keen lover of history, her most recent work, The Devil’s King, is her first foray into the genre of historical fiction. With this ongoing project, she hopes to engage characters of diverse ethnicity – some of the forgotten few lost in lesser explored history.
April 2022: Recipient 020, Trans Safety Network
We’re on the 20th TWP Writers Grant if you can believe it! For the 20th grant, we are really happy to give it to Trans Safety Network. TSN track organised harm and wider campaigns that aim to incite public hatred against the trans community. We believe this is hugely important work, work that we are especially keen to support through offering this grant because the writing on Trans Safety Network is all done on a voluntary basis. Their website brings together the knowledge and skills of data scientists, community activists, journalists, social media analysts and tech professionals; we hope they can continue this generous work, although we wish they didn’t have to do it in the first place.
Bio: Trans Safety Network is a research collective formed in October 2020 to monitor organised harm efforts and threats targetting the trans community. We gather data on and archive anti-transgender hate materials submitted to us by members of the community, follow and report on the activities of hate campaigns and investigate groups spreading disinformation about trans people.
- Read Whipping Girls: Attacks on the Women’s Sector in Pursuit of a Trans-Free World
- Read ‘EHRC caught tampering with Human Rights tracker at request of anti-equality organisation’
- Read ‘New Guidelines at Swedish Health Service’
- Read ‘#ThisIsAnExploit: How We Hacked The Twitter Trending Page’
- Follow on Twitter
- Follow on Facebook
March 2022: Recipient 019, Robin Craig
We are excited to announce that the March 2022 recipient of the Writers Grant is Robin Craig. Since Robin started his newsletter ‘Looking at Porn’ early last year, we have been enjoying reflecting on his writing around sex, pleasure and pain. He writes so sensitively about fetish — the way they can reveal the body’s limits, play up to the edge of them, and pave the way to a euphoric and comforting state. I shared the text ‘Pain and Control’ with so many people, in which Robin writes about chronic pain in contrast to sexual pain. ‘There is no safe word’ that can end chronic pain; ‘I have been fantasising of pain I have asked for, inflicted on terms I have agreed.’ So much of his writing has circled in my head and I’m glad we can support more of it being created in this way.
Robin Craig is a writer and communications worker currently living in Brighton. He has previously written journalistically for outlets like VICE, Refinery29 and Huck Magazine, with a focus on trans issues and author interviews. He also has poetry published in HOAX and writes personal essays for his Substack newsletter. His creative writing is usually about sex, particularly BDSM practices and sexual violence. Lately he’s been working on a collection of transmasculine body horror stories and drafting out a novel about a nightmare queer house share. Links below if you want to read his work, or follow Robin online:
- Read Sext
- Read Pain and Control
- Read In A Transphobic World, Your Chosen Family Means Everything
- You can find Robin on Twitter here
February 2022: Recipient 018, Tuğçe Özbiçer
We’re very happy to announce that the 18th recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant is Tuğçe Özbiçer. @tugce_ozbicer is a London-based Turkish journalist, writer and photographer from Istanbul. We found real care and value in her writing, which reaches from searing human rights-focused articles to softer texts that reflects on lyrics, home and love. Not only did we feel this in Tuğçe’s work, but so did a friend who emailed us to back her submission, writing that ’I’m constantly in awe of the way she writes in a language that is not even her own. I’d love for your audience to be able to read her work too and for Tuğçe to realise that her stories are worth telling here.’ We agree and we hope you enjoy getting to know Tuğçe’s work as well.
Tuğçe Özbiçer is a writer and photographer from Istanbul. She worked for Turkish left-wing newspaper Gazete Duvar after having graduated in journalism. Tuğçe moved to London in search of writing opportunities in August 2020, due to the increasing oppression of the media in Turkey. She covers mostly LGBTIQ+, women, arts and culture and human rights-themed stories, for newspapers and magazines including Independent, New Internationalist and Arts of the Working Class.
Links below if you want to read her work:
- Read Arabesque
- Read ‘Femicide in Turkey is rising. If you took part in #ChallengeAccepted, you need to amplify the cause you overlooked'
- You can find more of Tuğçe’s work on her linktree
- Tuğçe’s Instagram
- Tuğçe’s Website
January 2022: Recipient 017, Rasha Baraka
We are excited to begin 2022 by announcing that the 17th recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant is Rasha Baraka. Rasha sent us two pieces for consideration: one turns the language of politics inside out to create a searing poem in a ‘Letter to my Coloniser.’ The other piece was more elusive, like a character study of something or someone unstable, writing around the subject of ‘Jealousy.’ The language across both pieces was dense, hard, hurt, and clever. We would love to support more of this work being produced!
Rasha Baraka is a freelance journalist and writer currently studying an MA in Culture Industry. She promotes, shares, and writes about a shape-shifting culture while striving to platform a plethora of voices and stories that are often underrepresented or marginalised in the media. She is currently working on a digital exhibition with a group of multidisciplinary artists to explore the metaphor of the margins in relation to space and identity.
Links below if you want to read her work:
- Read Letter to my Coloniser
- Read Jealousy
- Read ‘Ethical fashion with a Tunisian flair, courtesy of the new brand Chez Nous’ for Dune Magazine
- You can find more of Rasha’s work on her portfolio
- You can find Rasha on Instagram
December 2021: Recipient 016, Molly Gough
We’re happy to be ending 2021 by announcing that the The White Pube Writers Grant’s 16th recipient is Molly Gough @mollyelizagough. Molly emailed us some examples of her writing but we have actually been subscribed to her mailing list for years. She sends out very short pieces of writing where the language is physical, fast, undressed. And her hope now is to bring all these pieces together into the shape of a book - which, as long time readers, is something that we would love to see.
Molly Gough is a British writer, currently living in the West Midlands. Her genre-bending prose sits on the proverbial fence between memoir writings and flash fiction. Presently she runs a bi-weekly mailing list called Press & Release where she sends out the experimental writing to subscribers, interrupting the monotony of work emails and day to day admin. They are quick, intimate and vulnerable, exploring themes of desire, shame, sexuality and loss. Molly is currently working on a larger collection of her writings with the aim for it to become a book.
Links below if you want to read her work:
November 2021: Recipient 015, Polly Manning
We’re well into the second year of The Working Class Writers Grant now and we are thrilled to announce Recipient #015 is Polly Manning. Polly sent us two texts that both got me right in the gut in different painful ways. One was a quick, sharp stab and a gasp; the other was an uncomfortable hug from the behind that got tighter and tighter until I felt sad and sick. Acute, emotional, affecting and bleak. I read both texts back to back and I immediately wanted to read more - and that’s how I knew we’d found our next recipient.
Polly Manning is a Welsh writer, and currently lives in the upper Swansea Valley in south Wales. Whilst she has worked in screenwriting and film direction, her main interest is in prose fiction - in particular, the short story. Her stories focus on life in rural and de-industrialised parts of Wales, with a particular interest in the ways in which young people find subversive meaning within these often ‘bleak’ realities. She is disinterested in the sentimental depiction of Wales as a mystical, Celtic wilderness detached from the miseries of capitalist neoliberalism, preferring to write stories about the people that actually live there. She is a Welsh-speaker, and currently working on a collection of short stories.
Links below if you want to read her work:
October 2021: Recipient 014, Cilla Lafayette
We are excited to announce the 14th recipient of The White Pube Writers Grant is Cilla Lafayette. Cilla sent in a non-fiction piece about solidarity between people of colour and the white working class, as well as a short film titled ORDO I : X (1:10). The 6 minute film brings together a cast that discuss division amongst different identities. Lines like ‘propaganda assists us in the formation of our perception of one another’ are cut between found audio and music, while the actors move around and gesture to one another in high fashion, under high production. We loved the rhythm and the precision of the writing, the aesthetic and the politic of the whole thing. We hope this grant supports Cilla as she works towards a new video essay series.
Cilla Lafayette is from Ghana, but born in UK, London. She began her creative journey in Theatre as a Director and writer; she now identifies as an Interdisciplinary Storyteller, working in a non-binary way that incorporates music, dance, visual art, text in film and live performance work. Cilla says, ‘I’m in love with writing that provokes deep and critical thinking, encourages empathy and community; writing that feels lyrical and gives life.'
Links below if you want to read her work:
- Read: The Best of Enemies: Why people of color and the white working-class must unite in the struggle for justice
- Watch: ORDO I : X (1:10)
- You can find Cilla on Instagram and her website
September 2021: Recipient 013, Andy Grace Hayes
We’re entering the SECOND year of The White Pube Writers Grant if you can believe it. We are very pleased to announce that the 13th recipient is fellow art critic Andy Grace Hayes. Writing from Glasgow, his substack Another Gay Handout brings together exhibition reviews, book reviews, and essays on aesthetics and the climate. We haven’t been able to run around Scotland’s many different art scenes in a long, long time but reading Andy’s reviews felt like the light, piercing criticism and gossip that comes of visiting exhibitions with clever friends. We very much support that, and we’re subscribed to the mailing list so looking forward to reading more. We hope you enjoy it too!
Andy Grace Hayes is a Scottish writer living in Glasgow. He writes exhibition reviews and records video essays that engage with local work, queer art, terrible art, and mass media. Hayes writes to be confrontational and to flirt. He aims to create an archive of gossip, institutional criticism, and off-the-cuff diatribes.
Links below if you want to read his work, or follow Andy online:
- Read: A Dumpster Fire and ‘Dampbusters’
- Read: Carpeted Bathroom, an Exhibition Review of ‘Sex Club’
- Watch: Pleasure Park and the Legacy of Tom of Finland
- Watch: The Aesthetics of Calm: Whitecubing in the White Cube
- Another Gay Handout on Substack
- You can also find Andy on Twitter & Instagram
August 2021: Recipient 012, Ibrahim Hirsi
We’re pleased to announce, the 12th recipient of the Writers Grant has been given to Ibrahim Hirsi. Ibrahim sent over a poem, written in reply to a poem by a previous Writers Grant recipient (Asmaa Jama)! We just really really enjoyed Ibrahim’s work; the language, rhythm, structure, and mood. We enjoyed the fact that his work sat within a wider lineage, and was looking to be in conversation, expansive. Beyond that networked-ness, Ibrahim’s work itself has got hold of a pace and rhythm, like a kind of staccato. And in that rhythm, there’s a flowering aesthetic that we couldn’t shake. We’re so glad we can support Ibrahim through this grant, and we hope you find a similar joy in his work too!
Ibrahim Hirsi is a student, writer and peer researcher for the Centre for Mental Health. A digital Somali cultural archivist and independent researcher, his work explores changes in Somali culture from colonialism till now. His work has appeared in PBLJ and he has worked as a consultant on Asmaa Jama’s interactive short film: ‘Before We Disappear’.
Links below if you want to read his work, or follow Ibrahim online:
July 2021: Recipient 011, Dora Maludi
We’re pleased to announce, the 11th recipient of the Writers Grant has been given to Dora Maludi. Dora sent over a collection of poems, and they stood out and grabbed us. Dora’s poems are like small concentrated squares full of infinite detail. She writes about writing; the writing process like vomiting. She describes scars like borders. She writes like she is speaking to someone over your shoulder. And she summons whole scenes out of sketches to create these acute and honest atmospheres. We’re so glad we can support Dora through this grant, and we hope you find a similar joy in her work too!
Dora Maludi is a fine artist and poet from London. Her practice is centred around exploring the relationship between form, language and landscape through the means of sound, video, text and movement. Anti poetry, surrealist poetry and Dada techniques inform her writing style, with the notion of rejecting traditional forms being a thorough line in her artistic endeavours. Alongside this, she is currently working on a soundscape series exploring the theme of endings and writing poems towards her first collection.
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow Dora online:
June 2021: Recipient 010, Natalie Dunning
We’re so pleased to announce, the 10th recipient of the Writers Grant has been given to Natalie Dunning. This feels like a really special and emotional moment, not just because this is the 10th grant to go out(!), but because I feel such an affinity with Natalie’s writing. Her text ‘Why I sometimes like my chronic pain’ made me reflect on my relationship with long covid — something I am struggling with, but something that means I no longer sweat the small stuff precisely because of that struggle. Another text, ‘Hiking the uncanny valleys of Red Dead Redemption 2,’ made me fall in love all over again with the vast experiences we can have in video game spaces; and how vital and wonderful access to adventure can feel in a sick body. She writes through these subjects with such clarity - her tone is raw and optimistic, and basically I have been thinking about her texts ever since she sent them our way. We’re so glad we can support Natalie through this grant, and we hope you find a similar joy in her work too.
Natalie Dunning is a writer and designer from Manchester. Art school led her to work in bars, schools and temp agencies. A health scare led her to write about the things that she cares about; health, food and culture. Her recent work has focused on alternative perspectives of chronic pain, gaming and pain management. She is currently writing about the joys of chicken splits, dystopian wellness cafes and cooking with fire.
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow Natalie online:
- Read Hiking the uncanny valleys of Red Dead Redemption 2
- Read Why I sometimes like my chronic pain
- Find Natalie’s website here
- You can also find Natalie on Twitter and Instagram
May 2021: Recipient 009, Natalie Tan
We are thrilled to announce that the 9th grant has been given to Natalie Tan. Natalie has a bi-weekly newsletter called Simmer Down that reflects on food and memory. After we started our own /food page on The White Pube last year, we've been hoping to be able to support somebody else's writing around the subject. When Natalie’s work came along, we were won over by the sensitivity, descriptions, atmosphere and how personable the writing felt. It’s political, historical, and just very enjoyable to read.
Natalie Tan is a cultural practitioner and writer based in London. Expressed with an unbridled passion influenced by the forever-classic emo tracks of the 2000s, she examines maladaptive wistfulness, traditions formed from migration, and the impact of colonialism on Hong Kong and its diaspora. She is the author of Simmer Down, an ongoing, bi-weekly reflection on food and memory, and is currently writing her first play on family, loss, and Hong Kong as part of Bush Theatre’s West London Playwrights’ Group. Her work has been included in diaCRITICS, Radio Slumber, and the Breakfast B Reading Series.
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow Natalie online:
April 2021: Recipient 008, Orna Kazimi
Time flies, we’re now on the 8th recipient of the Writers Grant, and we are so happy to announce it has been given to Orna Kazimi. Orna sent us a short publication, called Catfish (which you can read below). We haven’t had the chance to support many Artists (with a capital A), but we were really excited by Orna’s approach to writing as a component in a wider visual practice, and we identified with it too. Catfish is sensitive and lucid. We love the way it presents complexity, memory, the spatial weirdness of navigating embodied states, its nuance and subtlety. We’re so glad to be able to support Orna & her work, and we hope you’ll see the tenderness that we saw.
Orna Kazimi is an afghan artist based in London. Orna’s work and research explore personal encounters of migration in relation to collective memories of displacement through drawings, installation and writing. Her works have been shown at sight and sound workshop at Tate Exchange- Tate Modern- London 2018, overprint at Centre de la Gravure et de l’image imprimée museum-Belgium 2018, Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan-TCNJ Art Gallery- New Jersey 2014, 4th Afghan Contemporary Art Prize Exhibition- Queen’s Palace- Afghanistan 2013. She was awarded the Caspian Arts Foundation Scholarship (2016) and studied at Central Saint Martins in London (2018).
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow Orna online:
March 2021: Recipient 007, Cameron Hill
We’re onto the 7th recipient of the Writers Grant and we are so happy to announce it has been given to Cameron Hill. I was already aware of Cameron’s writing because of his game review of Dear Esther that was published in Heterotopias last year. I hadn’t seen anyone handle writing around a game in that way before - so careful, visual, paced and layered. Just starting to write about games myself, I felt very inspired and excited by his approach. It’s great to now be able to pay that forward & we thank Creative Debuts for funding the grant and allowing us to support working class writers in this way.
Cameron Hill is a writer from the North East of England. Having recently finished a research Masters on the woodland-based poetry of John Clare and other nineteenth-century working class writers, he now writes on environmental and societal issues through popular culture, with a focus on film. Alongside this, he is currently working on a non-linear text-based game, as well as a collaborative photo-essay book about the River Esk, with friend and photographer George Hutton. His work is shaped by growing up between woodland, sea and industrial decay, and this performance by FKA Twigs.
Links below if you want to read his work, listen to it, or follow Cameron online:
- Read [Dear Esther] which was originally published in Heterotopias. All issues of which can be purchased online [here]
- And you can listen to Cameron reading Dear Esther below & on our Soundcloud
- Read [Saint Maud - Modern Horror at the English Seaside]
- Cameron has just set up a Substack for ‘essays on the climate, the cinema and us’ which goes out every 2 weeks. You can subscribe [here].
- You can find Cameron on Twitter here @Cam__Hill
February 2021: Recipient 006, Asmaa Jama
We are very excited to announce the sixth recipient: Asmaa Jama. Asmaa sent us a selection of their poems, and we just fell in love. Their work contains the rumbling thrill of fitting together the knot of words, the puzzle of spaces, breaks, alternative endings, no pauses, all flow. We think it is the kind of writing we enjoy because it feels like the poet enjoyed writing it too; we’d like to think this is true, that it has an aura when you’re in its proximity. We hope you feel that enjoyment too.
Bio: Asmaa Jama is a danish born Somali artist and poet. They work in the liminal spaces between languages and think a lot about ghosts, spirits, saar and other hauntings. They've been published in places like - The Good Journal, ANMLY, Ambit. Most recently, they've been commissioned by BBC New Creatives to make 'Before We Disappear' an interactive experience on invisibility.
Links below if you want to read their work, listen to it, or follow them online:
- Read [Africa is the Land of Wide Empty Spaces]
- Read [AUBADE WITH ALTERNATE ENDINGS (ON LEAVING SOMALIA, WHILE DURDUR BAND PLAYS FOR THE LAST TIME)]
- Read [For Ahmeds]
- Read [The ramadan awoowe returned]
- Read [Consider my father as a child]
- Read [aan ku soo laabano awoowgay]
- You can find Asmaa on Twitter & Instagram
- You can listen to Asma reading their poems below, or on our Soundcloud
January 2021: Recipient 005, Muksood Shaikh
We are very excited to announce the fifth recipient: Muksood Shaikh. Muksood sent us a chapter extract from a longer work, and we were honestly blown away by it. His writing is extensive and sprawling, looking searchingly at racism, corruption, local party politics, and individuals in search of power. The work he sent over is auto-biographical; but it’s also this fluid, challenging, pace-y thing. It pulls away from more comforting narratives about marginalised sections of society, towards an honest dark realism, written with an astonishingly lyrical but unsentimental prose. We’re big fans.
Bio: Muksood Shaikh is 66; born in India, he has lived in Tower Hamlets since the age of 7. Growing up in East London in the 60s, he faced racism and violence, leaving school without the ability to read or write. He went back into education at 34, and began working as a youth and community worker in Tower Hamlets, soon establishing youth projects that received national acclaim. Since then, he’s been writing continuously; about his life and experience, friends and people that he meets and events throughout.
Links below if you want to read his work:
- Read Rahim's Story
December 2020: Recipient 004, Amelia Lane
We are very excited to announce the fourth recipient: Amelia Lane. Amelia sent over two samplers and a short story. As writers ourselves, it often can be hard to settle into other people's writing styles and rhythms. But Amelia’s way of writing, in this whimsical fictional space, with so much lightness and weirdness, is what we both love and enjoy ourselves - as readers and writers each. It’s so whole, decorated, strange, light, weird, exact; a pleasure to read, and we’re glad to be able to support her work in this way.
Bio: Amelia Lane has been a bookworm all her life, and she has always had the urge to tell stories. She is inspired often by her surroundings; the strangeness of small towns, the bleakness of the English seaside, hot summers. Since graduating from the University of Kent with an Art History degree (2:1) Amelia lives at home in Medway with her family. She is currently working on completing her first novel.
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow her online:
November 2020: Recipient 003, Keziah Hodgson
We are very excited to announce the third recipient Keziah Hodgson. Keziah sent over a monologue alongside some videos of performances and we honestly just felt so entertained by them and by the writing within them - tight knots of words and rhymes, big characters, pieces that felt whole.
Bio: Keziah Hodgson is a multi-disciplinary writer & performer originally hailing from Merseyside. Graduating from BIMM London with a 1st Class Honours in Creative Musicianship in 2017, she went on to become a successful applicant of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective (17’-18’). Here, she devised her first one-woman show ‘Ausual & Other Illusories’ which saw its debut at Toxteth TV in Liverpool before being programmed for the ‘Last Word Festival’ at The Roundhouse in 2018. She seeks to be a conduit for connection by creating subversive and truthful work with a particular focus on sexuality, the Femxle experience, injustice, intersectionality, intimacy & loss.
Links below if you want to read her work, listen to it, or follow her online:
October 2020: Recipient 002, David Ishaya Osu
We are very excited to announce the second recipient David Ishaya Osu. David sent over a selection of his poems, and we both loved the care, shape and feeling of the words he put together, the way they feel like they rub up against each other.
Bio: David Ishaya Osu is a poet, memoirist, street photographer and wanderer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies across Nigeria, Uganda, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, India, France, Bangladesh, South Africa, Austria, and elsewhere. He is the poetry editor of Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, and a board member of Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation based in Uganda. David has an MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the University of Kent, and is the author of the poetry chapbook, When I’m Eighteen (2020). His life revolves around poetry, photography, architecture, wanderlust, jazz and other ordinary things.
Links below if you want to read his work, listen to it, or follow him online:
September 2020: Recipient 001, Ruskin Smith
We are very excited to announce the first recipient Ruskin Smith. He sent over an email with 2 examples of his work and they were both short stories we fell in love with. I want to read a whole book of his work - I want to spend more time in the worlds and with the lives he describes so carefully.
Bio: Ruskin Smith is from Hull but lives in Lancaster now, with his partner and their two young daughters. He has done lots of different jobs over the years—including admin, factory, retail, labouring—between spells of incapacity for work with mental health problems. He started writing consistently around the age of forty. He has had fiction published in thi wurd and on the common breath community blog. Despite not having a degree he was offered a place on the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, and graduated with Distinction in 2018. He was long-listed for the Fish Short Memoir Prize 2020.
Links below if you want to read his work, listen to it, or follow him online:
What is your definition of working class?
We are very keen to make sure this grant goes to people who need it most. We expect people to only put themselves forward if they are coming from a lower socio-economic background than the successful writers we see in culture in general. We may contact a potential recipient with some questions relating to: the type of school you might have attended, the highest level of qualification achieved by parents/guardians by the time you were 18, the type of work the highest income earner of your household did when you were a teenager, and your eligibility for free school meals. These questions are based on a resource published by the Civil Service as recommended measures for employers and which we think will help us in this process. We are putting a lot of faith in the people getting in touch with us and we hope you all respect the remit here. We want to help champion a more diverse writing scene, so please refrain from applying if you know you do not need this money.
What type of ‘stuff’ are you looking to award grants to?
Just send us whatever you are most proud of. You could send us something you think gives us a good idea of your wider practice, a few things, or even a work in progress that you need money to complete (but if you do that, bear in mind other people will be sending in finished works).
Is there a time limit or a word count you have in mind?
Any length is fine but please bear in mind that we are selecting the recipient alongside our usual workload. If something is very long, we might not be able to give it its due attention - in that case, a synopsis is very helpful. But bear in mind that other people will be sending short/fast content in.
What contact information do I need to provide?
If you do not check your email regularly, please provide a phone number as well. We would try to contact recipients via email at first but if they do not reply, we would then reach out by phone. This is because we will be announcing a recipient every month and as we have a deadline, we would have to postpone a grant and award that month to somebody else if there is no response.
Will you offer feedback?
No, we wish we could, but we are doing this on top of our usual workload and it will be a lot of work already just to read through all of the applications that come in. Hopefully we are better set up one day soon so that we can engage in a proper dialogue with everyone who does want to have a chat over email, but for now, we are very sorry that we have to say no. We wish it were otherwise.
Can I email multiple times?
Yes, if you’re emailing again to send more writing you’d like to submit for consideration, we’d appreciate it if you sent it in reply to your first email (so we can keep track of them both together in the thread). But it’s a rolling grant, so it’s not necessary to re-apply if you haven’t heard back from us immediately.
Will I hear back from you after emailing?
Unfortunately we are unable to provide a reply beyond the automated receipt email - we are just not set up to be able to write personalised replies to all of the applications that come in, sorry. If you have any questions, please check these FAQs in full before contacting us.
If I don’t hear back beyond the automated reply, does that mean my application wasn’t successful?
This is a grant that will be awarded to a different applicant every month, and we are planning on keeping a record of all emails and contact information that come into firstname.lastname@example.org. A lack of response on our part does not indicate a permanent rejection because we will be referring to the same growing record, as well as our own research, in order to select recipients for the grant as we go forward.
Can I email on behalf of somebody else?
As long as you have their express permission to do so, this is fine, especially as we know that finding the time to email over your work can be difficult, especially in the current economic climate; and also some people might need personal assistant support for various reasons, so just as long as you’ve got their permission, go for it.
Can I be paid in instalments?
Yes, you can be paid in instalments. We offer this option incase a lump sum would effect Universal Credit payments, etc.