Thalia Suzuma is seeking to fill a gap in the books ecosystem: professional editing and book assessment for writers in the Middle East and North Africa:
Suzuma, previously of PanMacmillan and HarperCollins in London and the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing project in Doha, has started a new venture: helping authors from the Middle East and North Africa refine their manuscripts and find them homes.
Suzuma who describes herself as having been “desperate to work with authors whose experiences were different from my own, desperate to work with translators who could open up worlds different from my own” enjoyed her work at BQFP, “identifying talent across the Middle East and working to promote it internationally.”
“The aim was so simple: to get these voices heard, to give them as wide, and diverse, an audience as they deserved.”
The Bloomsbury Qatar partnership came to an end. Now Suzuma is based in Dubai. In her new project, The Literary Consultancy – Middle East, her aims are “still very much the same.”
Looking at both the talents and the gaps in the region’s literary ecosphere, Suzuma decided she wanted to collaborate with the London-based book assessment agency, The Literary Consultancy.
“Over the past twenty years, TLC have built up an outstanding reputation for helping aspiring writers learn more about the business of publishing, and how to bridge the gap between their creativity as a writer and the commercial realities of the publishing market.”
Through her new venture, TLC Middle East, Suzuma hopes to provide emerging and developing writers based in the MENA region with honest, detailed, and professional manuscript appraisal, either from herself or other editors with knowledge of the publishing world and a firm grounding in the particularities of a manuscript. “The service will help writers understand whether they stand a chance of success in the commercial literary market place, and what they can do to improve their work,” she said. “It can also advise about the world of self-publishing.”
The TLC – Middle East is starting out with writers who work in English. But, Suzuma said, “My dream would be to expand this soon to include writers working in Arabic, too, and work collaboratively with partners and publishers in the region and beyond.”