Bernardine Evaristo picks black authors for London ‘short story stations’

The award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo has joined forces with the owners of Canary Wharf in London to publish a series of short stories by up-and-coming and notable black writers that will be available for free to thousands of people throughout Black History Month.

Five black authors, Paul Mendez, Irenosen Okojie, Nicola Williams, Judith Bryan and SI Martin, will have their stories published in Canary Wharf’s Short Story Stations, which are vending machines that dispense one-, tre- and five-minute stories.

Il Booker prize winner selected the five authors to raise their profiles as part of her Black Britain: Writing Back campaign. The initiative will help give exciting black authors the platform to showcase their work, as currently there is not a single black author represented in the Top 50 bestselling books in the UK.

The topics covered in the short stories include race, class, sexuality, freedom and religion across generations, time and cultures. Live readings from the authors will take place later this month at Canary Wharf. The Short Story Stations will also publish an extract from Evaristo’s new book, Manifesto, released this week.

Evaristo said: “This is such an innovative opportunity at Canary Wharf to shine the spotlight on black authors I admire and are deserving of a wider readership. Some of the chosen stories are part of my curated series with Penguin called Black Britain: Writing Back, and I hope that all of these writers find new readers. Great literature transcends all perceived boundaries and are for everyone.”

Camilla McGregor, the arts and events planner at Canary Wharf Group, disse: “The Short Story Stations at Canary Wharf are the first of their kind in the UK, having first gained popularity in the US, France and Hong Kong, with thousands of stories printed on recycled paper and read each week. Thousands of people visit Canary Wharf each month, which is a huge platform to showcase writing talent, so we’re proud to be able to play our part in helping Bernardine Evaristo put the spotlight on black authors to help them get the recognition they deserve.”

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