Stormzy Joins Forces With Penguin to Champion Young Writers

Stormzy at the Ivor Novello Awards 2018
Stormzy at the Ivor Novello Awards 2018 | © David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
#Merky Books is the latest addition to the grime star’s growing empire, which includes a music festival and a record label, and will “form a home for a new generation of voices.”

Stormzy has announced a new publishing venture, #Merky Books, launched in collaboration with Penguin Random House.

“We will be using this as a platform for young writers to become published authors,” he wrote on Instagram. “I know too many talented writers that don’t always have an outlet or a means to get their work seen and hopefully #Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say ‘I can be an author’ and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal.”

The first title, Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far will be released in November and is written by the grime star himself. Tracing his meteoric rise, the book is a “story about faith and the ideas worth fighting for,” and will feature “never-before-seen photographs, annotated lyrics and contributions from those closest to him,” according to Penguin.

As well as publishing several titles a year, #Merky Books will be offering a paid internship in 2019, and run school competitions to scout emerging writers. “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. Proper proud of this!” wrote Stormzy.

Speaking on the collaboration, Penguin’s Editorial Director Tom Avery said: “[Stormzy] is not only an exceptionally talented and dedicated musician, but also an artist who is shaping British culture.” Since rocketing to fame with his 2015 YouTube freestyle video ‘Shut Up’, Stormzy has earned himself an impressive list of industry accolades including two Brit Awards and an Ivor Novello for Album of the Year. More recently, footage of Stormzy pausing his own set at #Merky festival in Ibiza to watch England’s penalty shootout against Colombia went viral.

Stormzy is only 24 and already enjoys widespread influence, something he wants to use to inspire other young talents. “We want #Merky Books to be a source of confidence and I look forward to publishing writers from all different walks of life, especially those who may have never had the opportunity to get into the industry so early,” he wrote.