Leila Rasheed

Children's writer, Writer for young adults
De Montfort University

Leila Rasheed writes literature for children and teenagers. Her first book, Chips, Beans and Limousines, was published by Usborne in 2008 and won a Red House Read of the Year award. As well as her own books, she has written publisher-led fiction for Working Partners and Disney-Hyperion. In 2019, her forthcoming projects included a contribution to the decolonised curriculum, The Smiling Stones, which tells the story of early Egyptology from the point of view of an Egyptian child, and two books for Scholastic UK: a biography of the NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, and a novel about a girl who travels from Leptis Magna to Britain in the late Roman period.

In addition to writing, Leila teaches creative writing in universities. In 2015, responding to the well-documented lack of non-white voices, and presence of structural racism in British children’s literature, she set up Megaphone, a one-year mentoring and development course for ethnic minority writers for children. As a result of Megaphone, five new writers from ethnic minorities secured agent representation and publication. In 2019, she was featured in Breaking New Ground, a round-up of British writers of colour produced by Book Trust and Speaking Volumes.

Leila is British-Bangladeshi, but spent her childhood in Libya and Barnsley. As an adult she lived in Brussels for several years. She is married to a Dane and lives in Birmingham. Interests outside children’s literature include the experience of ethnic minority people across Europe, creative nonfiction and the pedagogy of creative writing.

Leila Rasheed

Fellowships

De Montfort University 2019/20