About Untold Narratives

Untold Narratives works together with writers marginalised by community or conflict, to develop and amplify their work. 

In many parts of the world, local writers (fiction and non-fiction) don’t have access to the cultural infrastructures necessary to develop their writing and to find new platforms. Untold supports these writers to develop their writing; share their stories with wider communities in their own languages and reach new global audiences in translation.

Write Afghanistan

Afghanistan has 60 million Pashto and Dari speakers with little or no local support for creative writing, literary translation, or literary editing.
Afghan women’s voices have long been under-represented and support for their creative work is hampered by cultural norms, chronic instability, and internal displacement – we believe a region’s upheaval cannot be understood without local, and particularly women’s, perspectives.
Untold’s project Write Afghanistan has been working with women fiction writers since 2019 and continues to work with them today.

“As the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan grows… it seems more important than ever to read the work of these courageous writers.” Financial Times

My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women, the first collection of its kind, published by MacLehose Press, came out of the Write Afghanistan project.

“These stories take their readers into rooms that television cameras and journalists never reach.” The Economist

Write Assamese

The translation ecosystem in India suffers from a lack of training opportunities. At the same time, aspiring fiction writers are often marginalised due to circumstance, language, and lack of opportunities to develop their work.

Untold’s project Write Assamese  brings together mentor editors and translators with writers working in Assamese to develop their creative writing, connect them to one another, share their stories with readers in their own languages, and reach new global audiences in translation.

Write Assamese is a collaboration between Untold in the UK and BEE Books in Kolkata to promote Indian literature in translation.

“There are stories in this country that people elsewhere have no way of knowing. This is why it's so important that our work is recognised beyond our borders.
- Writer from Write Afghanistan.

Untold Narratives CIC – Directors

Lucy Hannah – Founder and Director

Lucy specialises in setting up and delivering creative initiatives with marginalised communities. She founded and led Commonwealth Writers which operates across 53 countries, particularly in areas with little or no creative industries. While at the BBC, she established BBC Writer’s Room which discovers, develops and champions new writing talent across the UK. She has worked with writers in areas of conflict and post-conflict, including: Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and N.E. Nigeria. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, London, and Director of the BOCAS LitFest in Trinidad.

Sarah Gardner  – Chair

Sarah Gardner has 30 years’ experience as a leader in the culture sector, covering policymaking, networking, governance, public affairs, marketing, research and international project management. From 2001-2017, she was the founding Executive Director of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and is now an advisor to cultural organisations.

Bill Hicks – Director

Group Financial Controller at DS Smith PLC. Bill has over 20 years experience in UK FTSE 100 public company finance functions leading on external and internal accounting for companies including Tate & Lyle and AstraZeneca.

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Untold is a Community Interest Company (company number 12654173). Prospero World (UK registered charity number 1163952) receives charitable donations in support of our work through its fiscal sponsorship programme, and receives tax efficient donations from UK donors on our behalf.