Attention BIPOC writers over the age of 50: Vivek Shraya wants to see your work.
It’s the third call for submissions for Shraya’s VS. Books imprint with Arsenal Pulp Press, which offers an annual mentorship and publishing contract for one recipient.
The majority of literary awards and programs in Canada equate early-career authorship with being younger in age, often excluding those who begin forming their writing practices after the age of 35. While the age limits for previous VS. Books calls were much younger (18–24 in 2017 and 18–28 in 2018), Shraya says in a press release, “I also thought about how the resources and opportunities available to artists in marginalized communities, however few, tend to favour youth (and how I myself missed out on many opportunities for queer and trans youth because I came into these identities as an adult).”
In 2019, Téa Mutonji – the first VS. Books mentee (and a Q&Q cover star) – was nominated for the $50,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for her linked short-story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty. The next book scheduled under the imprint, a poetry collection by Cicely-Belle Blain titled Burning Sugar, will be published in fall 2020.