Stormzy to help young writers become published authors

Stormzy has announced a new venture to help young writers become published authors.

The award-winning London rapper is launching his own publishing brand called #Merky Books in collaboration with Penguin Random House.

In a post on Instagram, Stormzy said he knew "too many talented writers that don't always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen".

He said: "Reading and writing as a kid was integral to where I am today and I from the bottom of my heart can not wait to hear your stories, your poems, your novels, your sci-fis and then getting them out into the big wide world."

The grime music star said he was "proper proud" of the scheme, which will involve school competitions to find talented writers and offer a paid internship in 2019.

He also confirmed he will publish his own book, Rise Up: The #Merky Journey So Far, which will be released on 1 November.

Penguin described Stormzy, whose real name is Michael Omari, as the "voice of a generation".

The 24-year-old has been vocal in his criticism of the Government's response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

In a politically-charged performance at the Brit Awards in February, Stormzy rapped: "Yo Theresa May, where's the money for Grenfell?

"What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals, and you've got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this."

He also backed a petition calling for additional panel members to be added to the independent public inquiry into the disaster.

#Merky Books is the latest addition to the Mobo and Brit Award-winning artist's Merky empire, which already includes a record label and a music festival.

Penguin said the brand aims to publish two to three books per year, and "form a home for a new generation of voices".

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