The Future is Back: Black Teachers’ Edition


The Future is Back again! Led by Olumide Popoola, the Future is Back was originally launched in 2018 as “Futures in the Making” creating a new opportunity for LGBTQIA+ creatives to develop their writing and learn about the publishing industry. We’re so pleased to be working with Olumide again to bring you: “The Future is Back: Black Teachers’ Edition”.

“The Future is Back: Black Teachers’ Edition” is a FREE creative writing and mentoring scheme for LGBTQIA+ writers. Black and brown folks are especially invited to apply. The scheme is to help writers who wish to take their craft to the next level by providing a safe, supportive and stimulating environment, and giving insight into the professional writing world.

All facilitators and materials of The Black Teachers Edition are (by) Black writers. The 10 workshops, offered as part of the scheme are connected as a series and explore topics of craft. We will therefore expect attendees to attend all of the workshops. You’ll give feedback to on each other’s works, and receive feedback on your own writing.

The Black Teachers’ Edition is a direct response to this year’s Black Lives Matter uprising and wishes to contribute to our global efforts with a dedicated anti-racist focus. It asks you as a creative person to reflect on questions of representation, voice, and anti-racist commitment. We are not writing about anti-racism (unless you choose to) but we are making sure that these questions are part of all our undertakings.

This scheme is led by writer Olumide Popoola, and features four guest facilitators: Ama Josephine Budge, Jay Bernard, Keith Jarrett, and Troy Onyango. Ten prose writers will be selected for this opportunity and will receive:

  • 10 creative writing workshops;

  • 3 additional sessions with experts on funding opportunities, publishing and university routes;

  • Individual feedback on 30 (polished) pages of your writing by one of the guest facilitators.

There are also two funding grants available to writers who would like to be on the scheme (see more below).

How to Apply 

To apply you must:

  • be 18 years or older;

  • be based in the UK;
  • self-identify as LGBTQIA+;

  • be available to attend all the sessions listed (see dates below);

  • submit a writing sample (prose) of between 500-1000 words;

  • submit a short paragraph on why you want to be on this course and why now, of up to 500 words.

Disabled writers are welcome to submit audio/visual files for their submission.

The deadline to apply is Sunday 15 November (11:59pm). Please apply via Submittable:

All participants will be informed by 23 November on the outcome of their application. If you have any queries about your application or this opportunity, please get in touch with [email protected].

Grants and Accessibility

There are two funding grants available to writers who would like to be on the scheme.

  1. Funding for two people who have gone through the immigration system and/or have precarious immigration status. This will offer you:

  • Full internet subscription for duration of course;

  • financial help towards childcare cost or getting a mobile device (this would not cover a whole new laptop but can be a contribution towards a second hand device if nothing is available) to take part, or anything similar that can aid access;

  • a mentor for the duration of the course (for only these two) to help navigate anything that comes up related to this course, and provide light editing.

If you’d like to apply for one of these places, please tick the box on the application page.

2. General access grant available to writers who need it. This funding is limited and as such only for writers who are in need. Please only apply if you are in need for financial support towards your internet subscription.

If you’d like to apply for this, please tick the box on the application page.

Workshop dates (all workshops will be delivered via Zoom)

Saturday 28 November 2020, 11am-1pm

Saturday 12 December 2020, 11am-1pm

Saturday 9 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 16 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 30 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 13 February 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 27 February 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 13 March 2021, 1pm-3pm

Saturday 27 March 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 10 April 2021, 11am-1pm

There will also be three extra sessions with guest speakers on funding opportunities, publishing and university routes. We will confirm these dates in due course.

The Future is Back is funded by Arts Council England, and supported by Spread the Word.

Published 12 October 2020