The Emma Press

The Emma Press receives £28k Arts Council England funding for Birmingham Editorial Readers Group

We are delighted to announce we have secured £28,074 in funding from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants. With the money we will develop a pilot Editorial Readers Group scheme, giving Birmingham residents the opportunity to develop their critical reading and editorial skills. 

Across 6 sessions from September 2023 to January 2024 the group will work on shortlisting Emma Press submissions, ultimately selecting the next books to be published by the press in 2024. Sessions will be led by Emma Press staff and writer Kate Wakeling, with guest speakers including Birmingham author Malachi McIntosh, Staffordshire-based publisher Fawn Press and The Literary Consultancy. 

The Emma Press mission is to make literature and publishing as open and accessible as possible. With relatively few publishers in the Midlands, the project aims to develop skills and understanding of the publishing industry and processes within Birmingham communities. There will be an application process for local people aged 18+ to join the Birmingham Editorial Reading Group, open until 15 August, seeking keen readers from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. 

The project is supported by local partners including Writing West Midlands, Hosking Houses Trust and Megaphone Writers, and Birmingham venues Sense Touchbase Pears and Balsall Heath Second Saturdays. For more information on the Birmingham Editorial Readers Group and to find out how to apply visit

The funding will also enable a writing workshop series from authors such as Nina Mingya Powles and Kereen Getten. Join our newsletter to be the first to find out about these.

“I have learned so much from working in publishing for the past 13 years. The industry and profession is frustrating and slow to modernise, but publishing itself is magical and can (should) be a radical act. I believe firmly that publishing should be for everyone, and I am so pleased that Arts Council England is supporting this project and allowing us to start sharing the fun of publishing with people in the Midlands.”

Emma Dai’an Wright, The Emma Press Founder/Director

The Birmingham Editorial Readers Group will be reading manuscripts from the next Emma Press Call for Submissions, which is open from 1 – 8 August 2023. The press seeks previously unpublished poetry, fiction and non-fiction pamphlets, as well as children’s fiction and poetry. For more information visit

In partnership with The Literacy Consultancy, any submission from a low-income writer based in the Midlands will also be considered for further free development support. You can read more about that opportunity and the criteria here.

The Emma Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books. We are trying to make publishing and literature as welcoming and accessible as possible.
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