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Raising the Visibility of Women in Non-fiction

The Literary Consultancy is delighted to be supporting The Thinking Woman’s Writing Award, set up by author Kate Jegede. Applications will open 14th September for the Award, which will gift a free full manuscript assessment to a woman writer writing a non-fiction work with a philosophical theme. The winner will also receive a free year-long membership to the RSA’s coveted Fellowship scheme, and will get the chance to meet and discuss publishing prospects with LAW Agency. Kate will judge entries to the award, and a winner will be announced in November.

For full details about The Thinking Woman’s Writing Award including How to Apply, please see this page on the TLC website. The Prize will be open to submissions September 14th – October 19th 2018.

In this blog, Kate explains why she decided to set up this new Award, and what she hopes will come from it.

Background to the Award

Following the June 2018 publication of my first book Infinite Possibility (Tarcher Perigee, US; Penguin Random House, UK), I felt inspired to help other women writers of Philosophy bring their work to the attention of the literary world. In deciding on what to offer and to whom, I made the decision to partner with TLC, an organisation which provided me with some much-needed support and life-changing advice at a critical point in my writing career.

Philosophy is woefully underrepresenting women. In fact, references to the greatest female philosophers of all time often include a dozen or so names of women who are now dead and none who are making notable contemporary contributions to the world or making strides in business or other fields of industry.

On the website for a popular bookseller, only a small handful of women writers feature in their top 100 books in the ‘Philosophy’ category.

Covers for books by women philosophers including Edith Hall, Eugenia Cheng, and Siri Hustvedt

I think of present-day philosophers as ‘thinkers’, and firmly believe that the role of these individuals is just as critical today as they were in the time of Plato and Socrates. What has changed, however, is what the global community considers to be important.

Philosophy has undergone a renaissance and those leading the charge need to know that their voices are being heard and taken seriously. To be an effective thinker in today’s world takes courage, it takes vision, but most of all it takes a platform – just look at the work of the women who brought us the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. I am impassioned by the discovery of contemporary voices that can help shape the modern world and steer in the direction of a vibrant future that serves everyone. This starts by encouraging those who want to share their ideas to come forward and once they do, ensuring that they are met with encouragement and support.

The Thinking Woman’s Writing Award is about this. It is about helping those with ideas who want to write about them to create books that are powerful, inspiration but above all are of a high standard.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to create opportunities for writers, especially those from marginalized groups, I think you should take them. There is something incredibly rewarding about working with organisations like TLC that are willing to help you bring your visions to life. I have known Aki for a long time, having met her through the late great Rebecca Swift. Aki understood me from the outset and that meant such a lot, more than she’ll probably ever know. She listened to what I wanted to do, listened to what I had to say and used her considerable expertise to bring to life this award which was at one point nothing more than a concept. Everything in existence started life as an idea and we’re sometimes unaware of just how much work goes into making ideas viable. Thinkers are not merely involved in the mechanics of life they’re involved in considering all aspects of the mechanics that impact us. They help politicians and lawmakers make ethical decisions when they lose sight of the individual, they help technologists, scientists, and corporatists to look beyond the bottom line, they drive change by telling society what can be possible for them when attention is focused in the right direction, and they do so much more.

Few things compare to the recognition of the literary world, from the largest publishing houses to the champions of the independent press. A well-written book with the power to inspire can open the doors of the imagination of millions and so I am calling on women writers to step on stage, share their stories, and become part of a new radical community of philosophers making the world a better place once and for all.

Book cover and author photo for Kate Jegede, founder of the Thinking Woman's AwardAbout Kate Jegede

Kate Jegede is a British television presenter and author with a background in science. She was first introduced to metaphysics as a teenager by her mother, a former yoga teacher and education specialist. She developed a penetrating and enduring fondness for the self-empowering teachings of Neville Goddard, and remains just as steadfastly devoted to spreading his message today. After completing her studies, Kate moved to Switzerland to work at the World Health Organization, developing educational resources for rural communities in Sub-Saharan African. In addition to her academic science career, Kate has worked with the BBC Science Unit and BBC Radio Oxford, and served as news editor of the international journal Africa Health, for whom she has conducted research trips, helping set up a learning resources and study center at one of Nigeria’s forefront teaching hospitals. She has been published in the internationally acclaimed science journal, Nature. Kate has also presented two science series aimed at young adults for Channel 4 in the UK, earning a BAFTA nomination. She lives between Lagos in Nigeria, and London.

Kate Jegede

2 Responses

  1. I have read this blog twice , and each time I cried. First tears of joy and then tears of relief. Kate your kind spirit has moved me, and finally allowed me to understand that my story is important. It has taken great courage to walk through my awakening life, and even greater bravery has been required for me to write against all the odds. I need the support and encouragement that you offer if I am to publish my works. I won’t stand alone with Kate Jegede by my side. Thank you.

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