Vivek Shraya gives writers a path through barriers with VS. Books

Toronto’s unstoppable Vivek Shraya — superstar musician, prolific writer, and committed force of community-building — has done it again. In partnership with Arsenal Pulp Books, a press that continually shows itself committed to social justice, Shraya is launching the imprint VS. Books.

VS. Books — which, as you can tell by its name, is proudly against the grain — will be driven by a mentorship project Shraya launched last year, meant to give opportunities to young writers who are Indigenous, Black or people of colour. Now, this program comes paired with a publishing contract.

As she enters her 15th year as a professional artist, Shraya writes that she’s been reflecting “on the kinds of supports I required in the first decade of my career to push through systemic barriers in relation to cultural production in Canada.”

In recognition of those barriers, Shraya shaped her mentorship program to fill the void of support young writers need and crave.The program’s application deadline is September 15, 2017. Along with a publishing contract for a book release in Spring 2019, the successful applicant will receive an abundance of feedback, and a guiding hand throughout the publishing, grant-writing and promotion process. Check out apply. (Anisa Rawhani)