We are delighted to welcome Director of The Literary Consultancy Aki Schilz as a new trustee.
Aki Schilz said: ‘I am so delighted to be joining the Board of English PEN, an organisation I have admired for many years. The PEN Charter, in fact, is affixed to my writing desk, as a reminder of the powerful and necessary work we must all do to protect and champion writers at risk, in need, and whose voices others would try to silence; to protect literature itself. In times of challenge, English PEN is a beacon of hope. It is a privilege to join them and to become part of a collective and necessary effort to fight for, and necessarily challenge, our understanding of free expression for all.’
Maureen Freely, Chair of Trustees, English PEN said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome Aki Schilz to join our Board. The essence of English PEN is the creation of community as a way to think and campaign together for freedom of expression and access to literature. With The Literary Consultancy, Aki has developed the crucial work of outreach and mentoring to campaign for an inclusive literary community. We are immensely privileged to have Aki Schilz’s expertise at such an important point in our own history, as we reflect on the past 100 years with a celebration of the diversity of literature and, together, strive toward a world with free expression and equity of opportunity for all readers and writers.’
Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy for writers, providing editing services, mentoring and literary events. In 2020 she launched the Being A Writer platform, which focuses on the importance of cultivating creativity and building resilience. Aki is a judge for various literary awards including the Bridport Prize First Novel Award, and appears regularly at conferences and events to talk about the value of editing, about publishing, and the importance of building inclusive cultures in the creative industries. She regularly campaigns for systemic change, including as founder of the #BookJobTransparency campaign for which she was shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Women in Publishing Award. In 2020, Aki was named as one of the Bookseller 150, a list of the most influential people in UK publishing. She is also the founder of the Rebecca Swift Foundation, a registered charity that celebrates and advocates for women poets in the UK, and is home to the Women Poets’ Prize and the Women Poets’ Network.