Harlequin Announces Diverse Voices Scholarship

Toronto-based publisher Harlequin recently announced the launch of its Diverse Voices Scholarship, as part of its ongoing efforts to acquire more books by writers from underrepresented communities.

Toronto-based publisher Harlequin recently announced the launch of its Diverse Voices Scholarship, a program developed in partnership with the Humber School for Writers in Toronto,  and Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. The award is part of the publisher's ongoing efforts to acquire more books by writers from underrepresented communities and will award $2,000 to each recipient. Faculty from the two writing programs will select the winners.

Harlequin logo“We’re excited about encouraging talented writers to pursue their writing goals by accessing high-caliber programs where they can hone their craft and share their diverse perspectives and stories,” said Harlequin's executive vice president and publisher Laurie Sacilotto. “Creating a scholarship program is one way we’re actively working to support greater diversity in books and publishing.”

At the Humber School for Writers, the scholarship is awarded through its Graduate Certificate Program, a one-year writing mentorship that pairs writers with faculty mentors to complete a work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. This year’s scholarship was awarded to Mike Sholars, a journalist, podcaster, video host, and writer based in Toronto. In addition to publishing his first novel, ReMemories, Sholars has written articles on the intersection between race, pop culture, technology, and politics for numerous publications, including HuffPost and Vice. “An overlooked part of the creative process is the simple privilege of having the time and space to make something,” explained Sholars. “The Harlequin Diverse Voices Scholarship gave me the financial breathing room to tell my story and invest in myself. I cannot wait to see more voices like mine be given the space and safety to succeed.”

Harlequin’s other partner, Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program, will offer the scholarship to incoming students starting in January 2021. According to a Harlequin press release, the grant is designed for writers specializing in the romance genre who “show exceptional talent and passion for pursuing a writing career." The Seton Hill MFA program is offered online and caters to writers interested the fiction genres of romance, sf, fantasy, horror, and mystery in both the adult and YA markets.

Harlequin is also looking to add two additional scholarships at U.S. schools that attract a diverse community of writers to their programs. Those interested are encouraged to contact the schools mentioned above directly about enrollment opportunities.

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