New initiative launches to give trans people a voice in the UK publishing industry

A picture of Harry Nicholas, in a denim jacket, holding a book that reads "A Trans Man Walks into a Gay Bar."

Trans author Harry Nicholas has launched a networking space to “bring together experiences and voices” of trans creatives and allies in book publishing.

The senior marking executive of Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP), and the author of A Trans Man Walks into a Gay Bar announced the founding of the Trans Publishing Network (TPN) on Wednesday (12 July).

Nicholas said he aims to create a space for publishing professionals and those working in the industry to meet with like-minded individuals and build connections.

He said the decision to found the TPN was in response to the disparity in the “lack of trans inclusion” in representation within book publishing, including on author panels and HR policies.

Speaking to PinkNews, Nicholas said: “We’re hoping to create a positive and supportive space for trans and non-binary people working in the book publishing industry where we can build connections, collaborate and flourish, as well as provide a collective voice with which to enact change.”

He added that he is “excited and encouraged” by the response the announcement has had so far.

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‘A positive space to come together’

The network is already underway in its promotion of trans and non-binary authors with its first post on Instagram being a set of book recommendations by non-binary authors as part of non-binary awareness week.

It also made an announcement post which included several of its planned events and policies that hope to bring the trans and non-binary publishing community together.

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These include regular meet-ups for members, campaigns “championing trans & non-binary authors,” sign-posting events, and activism aiming to promote better inclusion within publishing houses.

While Nicholas commended the work that other LGBTQ+ networks are doing to promote representation in publishing houses, he said that the TPN will specifically cater to the needs of trans and non-binary people from all areas of the book business.

He told The Bookseller: “We are living in a time where transness is seen as ‘debate’, trans authors are being hounded online and often trans voices are missed from panels discussing diversity and inclusion.

“The Trans Publishing Network will provide a positive space to come together, collaborate and bring about change in our industry.”

The author recommended that those interested in applying for the network send in an application via the email address found on their Instagram page.

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