Penguin books is officially a "#Merky academy ting." Stormzy, coming off the release of an acclaimed album that pushed the boundaries of Grime with huge gospel songs and more intimate singing tracks ("mans thought that Stormzy couldn't sing"), has partnered with Penguin books to found the new publishing imprint #Merky Books. A partnership like this is unprecedented in the history of hip-hop. There have of course been books written by rappers (like Lil Wayne's Gone Till November) but breaking into the publishing world at the level of Penguin and Random House, two of the most prominent and respected names in literature, is a big deal.

To kick off the imprint, Stormzy will be releasing his own book in November, called Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far. After Rise Up, submissions will be open to all: "#Merky Books is not currently accepting unsolicited submissions. In 2019 we will announce details of an open submission competition for new works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, with the winner receiving a publishing contract with #Merky Books." They will also be offering a paid internship starting next year.

Stormzy announced the news in a touching Instagram post yesterday, saying "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.'" The badman of the South went on to say that "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!" As he should be!