Runaways open call for three commissions 


We are seeking to commission two Black and South Asian writers or poets and one visual artist to be part of the Runaways project.   

The commission will involve: 

  • Working with the lead artists (Momtaza Mehri, Gboyega Odubanjo and Olivia Twist) and academics (Professor Simon Newman and Dr Peggy Brunache) to develop your own new work in response to the historic research;  

  • Developing content for the resource pack for young people, schools and youth clubs; 

  • Work being published in the Runaways anthology by Ink Sweat & Tears Press; 

  • Being part of and work featured in the Runaways film; 

  • Participating in the launch event at the Museum of London Docklands and one other engagement event. 

The commission fee for writers/ poets is £3,000 inc. each for approx. 10 days work. 

The commission fee for the visual artist is £2,200 inc. for approx. 6 days work 


  • You must be based in London and aged between 18 – 30 years old; 

  • Be of Black African, African Caribbean or South Asian heritage;  

  • Be a fiction writer or poet for the writing commission or a photographer, illustrator or visual artist for the artist commission;  

  • Be able to demonstrate a passion for and commitment to the art form you are working in; 

  • Be unagented and not have had a full-length work published or collection of work exhibited; 

  • Be available to work on the project between June – October 2021. 

Access support will be provided to disabled writers/ poets/ artists.  

You can read more about the Runaways project here:

All applications are to be made through our Submittable page. On some parts of the application, you can submit a video or audio file instead of a written response if that’s better for you. For reference, what the application form asks for can be downloaded in a Word document here: Runaways submittable notes

Only one submission can be made per applicant. 

Deadline for applications: 10am, Tuesday 25 May 2021 

We’ll let all applicants know the outcome of their submission by Monday 31 May 2021. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Zoom or by phone on Wednesday 2 June 2021.  


Please apply via our Submittable page:

If you have any questions about the open call please contact [email protected]


Photo credit:
Olivia Twist by Abigail Holsborough

Published 11 May 2021