‘Coming out from Lockdown’:
Black Gay Ink is back!

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Black Gay Ink is a creative writing development scheme for emerging Black gay writers. Originally launched in 2017, T. Fairclough curated Black Gay Ink to create a space specifically for Black gay men. This scheme was a huge success and we’re very excited to be working with T.Fairclough again to bring you ‘Black Gay Ink: Coming out from Lockdown.’

‘Black Gay Ink: Coming out from Lockdown’ is aimed at encouraging a sense of wellbeing after a period of lockdown and creating a safe space for Black gay men to learn more about positive personal and professional development. The scheme will comprise of four wellbeing workshops and four career development workshops, alongside creative writing activities. The scheme will culminate in a new writing digital showcase event championing new writing from Black gay men.

Black Gay Ink aims to provide an inclusive environment where Black gay men can meet, share, and express their stories and experiences through writing. It is open to emerging writers based in the UK, writing across different genres. It will be beneficial to Black gay men who are seeking to develop their creative work and how to pursue writing as a future career.

Black gay men remain an underrepresented and overlooked group who can often face rejection from their own community and the wider gay community. This can sometimes lead to anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and depression. ‘Black Gay Ink: Coming out from Lockdown’ aims to continue the legacy of Black Gay Ink and create necessary development opportunities for Black gay men.

Workshops

Each workshop is two hours long and will involve a one-hour presentation by guest speakers listed below as well as a one hour session of writing activities. You will be encouraged to utilise your time in between the workshops to develop your craft. All workshops will be run via Zoom.

Saturday 17 October, 2-4pm
The course convenor, T.Fairlough will introduce the scope of the course, what participants can expect and ice-breaker activities to get you started! 

Saturday 31 October, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop led by Wayne Mertins-Brown on techniques and advice for enhanced wellbeing, followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough. 

Saturday 14 November, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop led by Rev Jide Macaulay on faith, followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough. 

Saturday 28 November, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop with Marc Thompson on sexual health, followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough. 

Saturday 12 December, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop with Khris Modeste on fitness, diet and nutrition. You’ll explore the links between healthy lifestyle and healthy writing, followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough.

Saturday 9 January, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop with Spread the Word, London’s leading writer development organisation on opportunities for writers, advice on taking your writing to the next stage and useful signposts; followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough.

Saturday 23 January, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop led by published author and poet, Dean Atta on being a Black, gay writer; followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough. 

Saturday 6 February, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop with Arts Council England highlighting funding advice for writers. Followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough.

Saturday 20 February, 2-4pm
A one hour workshop with Joy Francis from Words of Colour on the impact of ‘Rethinking “Diversity” in Publishing’ and key steps moving forward. Followed by one hour of creative writing activities led by T.Fairclough.

Saturday 27 February, 2-4pm
The course convenor, T. Fairclough will lead an evaluation of the scheme, closing thoughts and next steps for writers who wish to continue their craft. 

Showcase

The showcase event will be on Monday 20 February, 7-9pm. This will be run via Zoom.

How to apply 

This scheme is open to writers at any stage in their writing, writing across different genres.

To apply for this opportunity, you must meet the criteria below:

  • You must be a Black male writer

  • You must identify as LGBTQIA+

  • You must be based in the UK

  • You must be able to attend the workshop dates* and the showcase

*Failure to attend three workshops will result in your removal from the scheme.

Please note that five places on the programme are reserved for London-based writers.

Previous attendees and applicants to Black Gay Ink are welcome to apply for this opportunity.

Please send in:

  • A sample of your writing (one page maximum)

  • And explain why and how you feel the workshops will benefit you as a writer at this time (one page maximum)

Writers with a disability are welcome to upload video / audio files of up to 30 minutes long as an alternative submission.

You can apply via Submittable:

https://spreadtheword.submittable.com/submit

The deadline to apply is Thursday 1 October 2020 (11:59pm).

All participants will be informed by 7 October on the outcome of their application. If you have any queries about your application or this opportunity, please get in touch with aliya@spreadtheword.org.uk.

About T.Fairclough

T.Fairclough has been funded by the Arts Council, Scottish Arts Council, and the ‘Peggy Ramsay Foundation’. His work has been read at Soho Theatre, RADA, the BBC and the Royal Court. His first professional play ‘You Don’t Kiss’ won the Newham ‘Writing Out Award’ and was performed at Stratford Circus Theatre. The play was performed again at the Ovalhouse Theatre, followed by a 10-date national tour. ‘You Don’t Kiss’ was also revived again at The Brockley Jack Theatre.

T.Fairclough’s works include self-funded and produced productions: ‘I Cover the Waterfront-The Spirit of Billie Holiday’ showcased at ‘Richmix’ in London, as part of ‘Black History Month’ plus, Justin Fashanu in Extra Time’ part funded by Camden Council. His play ‘DADA’ was seed funded by Southwark Council LGBT Network as part of Southwark LGBT Month and had a reading at the New Culture Forum, in Westminster. He has also developed a one-man play on civil rights campaigner and LGBT activist Bayard Rustin.

In 2017, T.Fairclough set up a Writers Group at Brixton Library. The ‘Black Gay Ink’ initiative aimed at Black, gay men, is now partnered with writer’s agency ‘Spread the Word’ and funded by Arts Council England.

Published 3 September 2020

Updated 7 September 2020