Cassava Republic Press launches “Being Black in Publishing” forum and internship programme

Cassava Republic Press has unveiled a pioneering initiative titled “Being Black in Publishing.” This transformative month-long programme is designed to foster connections, offer guidance, and open doors for African and Afro-diasporic individuals seeking entry into the world of publishing.

At the heart of this groundbreaking initiative is the “Being Black in Publishing” forum, which will serve as a bridge between experienced Black publishing professionals from around the globe and aspiring young talents eager to explore careers in publishing. The month-long forum promises to equip participants with invaluable insights, skills, networks and expert guidance required to break into the publishing industry.

With a focus on addressing the underrepresentation of African and Afro-diasporic voices in the global publishing landscape, the initiative aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Sharing Expertise: Esteemed Black professionals across various publishing domains will share their personal journeys, experiences, and expertise. These insights will provide aspiring publishers with a profound understanding of industry roles, responsibilities, and everyday challenges.
  2. Career Pathways: Attendees will gain insights into the diverse career opportunities within publishing, including editorial, design, marketing, and sales. They will also receive guidance on how to navigate and excel in these roles.
  3. Networking: The forum will facilitate networking opportunities, fostering a sense of community among participants and enabling them to connect with both peers and industry professionals.

Distinguished figures in the forum include Thabiso Mahlape, Publisher at Black Bird Books; Anwuli Ojogwu, Publisher at Narrative Landscape; Ebyan Egal, Studio Manager at Penguin Random House; Leah Jacobs-Gordon, an award-winning book cover illustrator; Natalie Jerome, a literary agent at Originate Agency; Layla Mohamed, editor at Cassava Republic; and Kemi Ogunsanwo, a literary agent at The Good Literary Agency, among others.

The “Being Black in Publishing” forum is open to African and Afro-diasporic individuals worldwide and is entirely free. As part of this initiative, young people based in Nigeria can apply for a three-month internship commencing in January 2024. This internship programme will offer hands-on experience in various aspects of the industry, including editorial, marketing, and sales. Key partners in this endeavor include Nigerian publishers and booksellers such as Masobe Books, Narrative Landscape Press, Rasmed and Roving Heights.

Applications for the internship programme will be accepted throughout October, with successful applicants set to be announced in December 2023.

Boluwatito Sanusi, Editorial Assistant at Cassava Republic, expressed the motivation behind this initiative, saying, “Navigating the intricate world of publishing from Ibadan, Nigeria, it felt like I was feeling my way through the arcane dark web of publishing. After a year of interning at Cassava Republic, I felt that there was a need for a simpler and more accessible path for young bookish people to get a sense of career opportunities in publishing.”

Cassava Republic Press is dedicated to empowering and inspiring the next generation of Black publishing professionals, thereby making a lasting impact on the African and Afro-diasporic publishing landscape.

For comprehensive details about the “Being Black in Publishing” forum, including the schedule, speakers, and registration information, visit the Cassava Republic website. For media inquiries, please contact Rhoda Nuhu at

With offices in Abuja and London, Cassava Republic has been publishing high-quality, award-winning African fiction, non-fiction and children’s books to a global audience since 2016, with a mission to change the way we all think about Black writing. This groundbreaking initiative is a significant step toward realizing that mission and promoting diversity in the publishing world.


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