Stormzy Celebrates 5 Years of #MerkyBooks
The new children’s book Superheroes celebrates real-life heroes. Stormzy and the team at Merky Books, a joint venture with Penguin Random House.
Did you know only 7% of children’s books published in the UK (between 2017-2019) featured characters of color? This project was explicitly launched to address that inequality. The book features 50 people who ‘have a secret strength’ – activists, artists, sportspeople, chefs, writers, scientists, and NHS workers. The book is illustrated by 21-year-old Denzell Dankwah, who reached out to the Merky Books Team with his work online.
This year at Hay Literary Festival, Stormzy was bigging up the publishing imprint he created. He claims to publish books “that will own and change the mainstream culture”.
One of the ways they’re doing this is by holding a writing competition to find talented young writers. The winning writer will receive a publishing contract with Merky Books, The Good Literary Agency representation, and access to writing workshops and talks from bestselling authors.
The prize will be launched later this month. The winning author will also be invited to a special event in London featuring presentations from authors who have already been through this process. The prize also includes a meeting with the authors and other writers and receiving personalized one-on-one feedback from editors.
Merky Books Literature Festival
Similarly, the Merky Books literature festival will feature established authors like Jade LB (Keisha The Sket) and Jyoti Patel (The Things That We Lost) alongside up-and-coming writers such as Malorie Blackman (Just Sayin’). The event aims to spark a passion for reading in young people and light their imaginations about careers in the creative industries.
In addition, the imprint has also recently teamed up with Adidas to tackle the problem of diversity in football. As the first event of this kind, Rise Up is a collaboration between the two companies that will allow 20 young Black players to develop their skills with professional coaches and develop their leadership qualities.