Illustration by @sumuyya

This summer, we’ve teamed up with Jacaranda and Audible to bring you Listen Up!, an audiobook club celebrating new Black authors.

As part of Jacaranda’s Twentyin2020, which will see the publisher releasing 20 new books written by Black authors throughout 2020, we’re creating a space to listen in, discuss, and learn from some of the most exciting new talent on the scene.

From Bad Love by Maame Blue, the story of London born Ghanaian Ekuah Danquah and her tumultuous experience with first love, to Lote by Shola von Reinhold, a book about the obscurement of Black figures from history told through the lens of the main character’s fixation on a “forgotten” black Scottish modernist poet, the books will be as entertaining as they are informative.

Jacaranda’s founder, Valerie Brandes, told gal-dem: “We are elated that a whole new audience will get to experience our outstanding books through the audio. The narratives come to life in a way that is as rich as the print book, just in an new vibrant dimension.”

She added: “Any collaboration with gal-dem is one we at Jacaranda treasure. This audiobook club is a perfect, brilliant, expression of that.”

Audiobooks hold a special place in many people’s hearts. As written by Faridah Abike-Iyimide for gal-dem, audiobooks can be lifesavers for people with learning disabilities and anxiety.

“As a person with severe anxiety and mild-to-moderate dyslexia and dysgraphia, audiobooks have quite literally saved my life,” she writes. “I have had to come up with ways of coping and improving my state of mind and audiobooks, functioning as an alternative type of ASMR, have provided a relaxing escape or have helped me deal with certain feelings.”

The Listen Up! audiobook club will be hosted online in monthly zoom sessions. Each session will cover a different book, provided free by Audible, and have gal-dem journalists and hosts, including the hilarious and charming Black Girls Book Club, guiding members through conversation and love with our featured author.

Each event will begin at 6:30pm and will be no longer than 1hr 30 mins. The deadline to apply is Weds 15 July, midday.

We are especially encouraging applicants who are Black women or Black non-binary people. Good luck!

Apply to join gal-dem’s audiobook club today!

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