It's not all 'Grey': EL James's 50 Shades' spin-off is causing consternation

An online campaign that has taken social media by storm

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An online campaign launched yesterday to stress that there is more to British fiction than the Grey phenomenon has received millions of shares in support.

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize set up the social media campaign using the hashtag BritishwritingisnotallGrey in hope that EL James’s sequel to the 50 Shades trilogy would not eclipse the rich and diverse offerings being offered by the nation’s authors.

Sophie Rochester, Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize's founder, said they were not taking an “anti-Grey stance” but reminding readers of the fact that there was plenty of other reading material out there this summer: “We all understand the book publication as literary event phenomenon….We also understand that often it is the huge sales success stories such as EL James that can afford publishers to take risks in other parts of their commissioning.

“This is not an anti-Grey stance, but the singular focus on the book (Grey) is exemplary of an issue regularly seen – a fanfare of attention around one or two writers with many talented writers not getting the attention they deserve. This is an arm being waved to ask that the spotlight shifts again to our other talented British writers.”

Fiction Uncovered, supported by Arts Council England, offers a £5,000 prize for each of its eight winning novelists. The jury, led by India Knight, announced its winners in the same week as Grey was published. This year’s winners are:

A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar (Hodder & Stoughton)

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth (Canongate Books)

Mobile Library by David Whitehouse (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Mother Island by Bethan Roberts (Chatto & Windus, Penguin Random House)

Significance by Jo Mazelis (Seren Books)

The Incarnations by Susan Barker (Doubleday, Transworld)

The Offering by Grace McCleen (Sceptre, Hodder & Stoughton)

The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies (Salt)