Words of Colour Productions is founded by Joy Francis and Nicole Moore as a community partnership to nurture and train ‘a new generation of writers from racially and culturally diverse communities’ to enable their work to be published and performed.
Words of Colour is officially launched.
Words of Colour Productions secure a £5000 Awards for All grant to run a literature programme in Hackney, delivering consultancy, workshops, online training, personal development and careers advice to increase the number of visible poets, authors and journalists from excluded communities to be published, including self publishing. Words of Colour partners with Hackney Museum and Centerprise for the project and in 2007, after a funder evaluation, it was identified as one of Awards for All’s top London projects.
Joy Francis becomes Director of Words of Colour and works with Paul Macey on transitioning Words of Colour Productions into a London-wide initiative, broadening its remit to include scriptwriting for film, TV and radio, blogging, digital enterprise, literature events, and develops an online magazine for reviews, opinion and interviews.
Launches the Get Started programme in Hackney for writers of colour, of all genres, which runs for seven years and attracts a range of budding writers including Patrice Lawrence who is now a multiple award-winning YA author.
Words of Colour launches its first Short Story Competition in 2008. The winner, Ola Awonubi, went on to win the Wasafari Fiction Category Prize (2009) and is now the author of three books, two novellas and a book of short stories. In 2019 she was named Best Author at the CA Awards and in 2022 she secured a deal with HarperCollins imprint One More Chapter for her historical fiction novel A Nurse’s Tale.
Runner Up Mahsuda Snaith is writing her third novel and has won the Bristol Short Story Prize and SI Leeds Literary Prize, both in 2014.
Joy Francis becomes Executive Director of Words of Colour Productions with Paul Macey as a Company Director.
Words of Colour is commissioned by Hackney Museum to develop and run a three-year citizen journalism and newspaper publishing programme for the acclaimed Mapping the Change programme in Hackney and Waltham Forest, recording the changes to the lives of East London communities in the run up to the London 2012 Games. All the community newspapers, written by over 40 citizen journalists and published during the three year project, are part of Hackney Archives.
Joy Francis works with the Media Diversity Institute to develop and launch the UK’s first MA in Diversity and the Media with the University of Westminster and develops and teaches a core module – Reporting Migration, Race and Ethnicity Module – during its inaugural year.
Words of Colour rebrands and relaunches with a new strapline: Empowering writers, creating legacies. The logo and website is created by Sundar Singh and the strapline is co-created with Andrea Enisuoh.
Words of Colour successfully applies for social enterprise status through HMRC Charities Division.
Joy Francis and Julie Tomlin, representing Words of Colour, establish Digital Women UK, which is supported and launched by Assembly Member Jeanette Arnold OBE at the Greater London Assembly.
Words of Colour collaborates with Spread the Word to launch Writing the Future: Black and Asian Writers and Publishers in the UK Market Place at the London Book Fair.
Words of Colour relaunches with a new logo, designed by Milos Pesic, boasting a new strapline: Reshaping the [single] narrative with a website designed by Michael Joda.
Suzanne Lyn-Cook replaces Paul Macey as Company Director and becomes Words of Colour’s Director of Creative Wellbeing and People.
Joy Francis, representing Words of Colour, is appointed as the Media Liaison Lead for award-winning Civil Rights Law Firm Birnberg Pierce on behalf of families of 77 of the 96 deceased.
Words of Colour launches The Black Love Project, co-founded by Joy Francis and Patsy Isles, with AMC Media as a producing partner.
Words of Colour, QMUL and the University of Manchester partner and launch the Synergi Collaborative Centre after being awarded the largest grant ever issued by the Lankelly Chase Foundation (at the time), to run a five year national initiative to develop innovative and creative methods and new science to help reduce ethnic inequalities in the experience of severe mental illness.
Joy Francis, Suzanne Lyn-Cook, Patsy Isle and Kenny Mamarella D’Cruz collaborate to develop the creative wellbeing hub pilot for writers, artists and creatives of colour.
The Synergi Collaborative Centre receives the Observer/NESTA New Radical Award 2018.
The Synergi Collaborative Centre wins the QMUL Community Engagement Award 2018 for its PhotoVoice project.
Words of Colour expands into Bristol and opens an office at The Watershed.
The Black Love Project launches the initial findings from its online survey, to a capacity audience at Bush Theatre with Dr Rob Berkeley, Leone Ross, Natalie Lue, Rhael ‘Lionheart’ Cape and Victoria Adukwei Bulley as guest speakers.
Words of Colour partners with Kickstarter UK and venue partner Watershed Bristol to facilitate diverse creatives to engage with Crowdfunding and to shape their project ideas for success through tailored workshops and events.
Joy Francis and Dr Angela Martinez Dy (Loughborough University London) establish the Founders in Formation personal development programme for Digital Women UK, targeting budding and emerging women founders in creative, tech and entrepreneurial sectors.
Irenosen Okojie becomes Words of Colour’s first writer in residence, during Black History Month, in partnership with Waterstones with the aim of identifying talented black women writers and hidden black history in Bristol.
Words of Colour collaborates with Bernardine Evaristo, Bristol Old Vic, Waterstones and Bristol Libraries for the Bristol Literary Takeover – where Evaristo curates list of 20 Black British writers, hosted a career and professional development workshop for black women writers, and was interviewed at a live recorded event attended by over 200 people.
The Creative Response to Covid virtual programme for creatives of colour is launched, covering topics such as finance, systems design, creative wellbeing, digital engagement, counselling, reviewing and content creation and runs for five months.
Words of Colour joins forces with Dr Melanie Ramdarshan-Bold (UCL) and Ruth Harrison (Spread the Word) to devise and launch the Take Flight Hub, a new five week professional and creative development programme for emerging Black and Asian writers, featuring masterclass tutors, literary agents, publishers and guest speakers such as Gary Younge, Inua Ellams, Salena Godden, Patrice Lawrence, Mary Jean Chan and Johny Pitts.
Words of Colour partners with the award-winning Jacaranda Books on its bold Twenty in 2020 initiative to publish 20 Black British authors in 2020, a target which was achieved in partnership with the London Library, Audible and Foyles against the odds during Covid and three lockdowns.
Rethinking Diversity in Publishing researchers and authors Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra Van Lente, and partners Spread the Word and The Bookseller commission Words of Colour to curate a week long digital launch of the report’s findings, featuring leading and impactful literary figures of colour.
Words of Colour is commissioned by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) to develop a suite of branding, communications and multi-media activities across a multi-level, two year research project:
- The Covid Race and Ethnic Inequalities Programme, a coalition of 10 universities in England and Scotland researching Covid-19’s social and economic impact on racial and ethnic minority people.
- The Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS), the UK’s first and largest survey of its kind to document the impact of Covid-19, and the lockdowns, on the lives of 14,000 ethnic and religious minority people.
Joy Francis is invited to be the Keynote Speaker for the National Centre for Writing International Literary Showcase 2021 entitled: Recovery & Reimagining the Literature Sector.
Words of Colour, led by Heather Marks, collaborates with the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin, to devise and launch Uplift, a professional development programme for future literature leaders of colour in Ireland and the UK, funded by the British Council and National Centre for Writing.
The Museum of Colour partners with Words of Colour and Renaissance to co-curate My Words, the UK’s first Digital Poetry Gallery featuring black poets and poets of colour spanning 250 years.
Words of Colour relaunches as The Immersive Change Agency with a new brand identity by Milos Petrov and a website in progress by Mike Joda.
Joy Francis is announced as a Judge for the British Book Awards 2022 Judge (Trade category).
Words of Colour’s Executive Director Joy Francis is announced as a British Book Awards 2003 Judge (Trade) for the second consecutive year.
On 22nd March, Words of Colour in association with Synergi-Leeds, hosts a packed public screening of ‘The Journey to Racial Equality in Leeds Mental Health Services’, a documentary directed and produced by Joy Francis and Adrianne McKenzie for the Synergi Collaborative Centre at Seven Arts (Leeds).
Joy Francis is a keynote speaker (Inclusive Collaboration) and a panellist (Imposter Syndrome) at the two-day Fifteen Seconds Festival, Europe’s leading future conference on personal growth, in Graz, Austria
In June, Words of Colour in collaboration with Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University, announces a new 12-month mentoring and creative development incubator for emerging poets of colour in the North of England.
Award-winning science journalist and writer Angela Saini joins Words of Colour’s In conversation… series to discuss her acclaimed fourth book ‘The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule’ (HarperCollins) in partnership with Libreria at Second Home, London.