The winner of the inaugural TLC Scholarship, run by The Literary Consultancy in partnership with Canongate editor-at-large Ellah P. Wakatama, has been announced.
Daniel Adediran will be working one-to-one with Wakatama through TLC’s Chapter and Verse Premium mentoring programme on his manuscript Xenopolis, an urban fantasy novel about a young Black man, Dolapo, who finds himself pulled into London’s supernatural underworld after being rescued from death by a female wizard in charge of an ancient and sacred pact that is now under threat. As part of the Scholarship, Daniel also receives a year’s free membership to TLC’s Being A Writer platform, a membership community prioritising writers’ creativity and resilience through online courses, podcasts, and resources.
Adediran’s work was chosen from a list of 46 applications to the Scholarship. Wakatama, who selected her winner from a strong shortlist of five, found the extract submitted by Adediran to be “confident, assured and immediately seductive…The prose is electric – contemporary, emphatic and absolutely compelling.” She added: “I have long been concerned with the paucity of Black British male writers who speak from their own perspective and tell us all so much about who we are as a society. Things have improved in just the last two years, but Daniel’s voice adds an edge to this unique perspective that I found exciting.”
On his win, Adediran said: “I am ecstatic about winning the inaugural TLC Scholarship. It feels like a validation of the years of hard work I had put into my craft and a sense of belief in the direction my novel is supposed to take. Ellah is a publishing titan with years of accolades and experience under her belt, so the opportunity to work with her is a dream come true. I hope that this chapter of my life leads to more success in getting work published, and I’d like to give my sincerest thanks to everyone involved. This means so much to me.”
The TLC Scholarship is open to low-income and marginalised writers and will be funded by TLC on an annual basis. It sits alongside five bursaried mentorships already provided by Arts Council England funding through its Free Reads Scheme. The scheme is administrated by 17 literature partners across England including Arvon, Writing East Midlands, the National Centre for Writing, New Writing North, and Creative Future, and supports around 100 low-income writers each year. Submissions for the 2021 Scholarship will open in the Summer.