Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant – a collection of essays by 20 emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, poets, journalists and artists – talks writing, mentoring and his new literary agency.
What is your current job title?
Writer and editor of Rife Magazine.
What does your job entail on a typical day?
Mentoring young people to make digital content for Rife Magazine, coming home, feeling sad and tired, playing with my kids, putting them to bed, writing till one of them needs a night feed, feeding them, going to bed, waking up.
How did you get involved in writing?
I read a lot and one day I wanted to tell my own stories.
What prompted you to launch your own literary agency?
I do a lot of writer development and I mentor lots of young marginalised voices and I want to see them get more book deals, so why not just take matters into my own hands and do it myself?
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you want to be doing career-wise?
I’m only good at writing. Maybe a painter/decorator.
In terms of educational/career attainment, what are the main challenges facing BAME young people today and what do you think can/should be done to overcome them?
Having to work twice as hard as their white counterparts; their experiences not being seen as universal; gatekeepers who see them as other; Theresa May. Overcome all of these by knowing we need you, keep going, keep doing stuff. Keep being your best self.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young person who is embarking on a career in writing, what would it be?
As I said, keep going. We need you.
Follow Nikesh on Twitter at @nikeshshukla.