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UK working class writers’ festival planned for 2020

In the UK, authors, publishers and trade professionals will launch a working class writers’ festival, reports the Bookseller.

Author Natasha Carthew initially tweeted to her followers in July: ‘Comrades! This is a call to arms—we’ve got to get ourselves a #WorkingClassWriters Lit Fest! I’ve been doing the circuit and we’re a bit underrepresented int we?’

Since then, offers of support have come from author Kit de Waal, BookTrust head of children’s books promotion and prizes Emily Drabble, as well as Prima books editor Nina Pottell, and Lounge Books founder Samantha Missingham, among other industry figures.

Carthew, an author of poetry, fiction and YA, said of the underrepresentation of working class writers at literary festivals in the UK: ‘I feel we are an equally talented group of people that do not get enough exposure, young people from similar backgrounds especially need to have something to aspire to, something that is reflective of their society and writers they can relate to and look up to.’

Slated for a 2020 launch, Carthew and her colleagues are now discussing how the festival will be delivered and its accessibility, especially ‘in terms of cost’. ‘It’s also my ambition to fill the festival with free or minimal fee writing workshops so people from all backgrounds can access knowledge and encouragement without worrying about cost,’ Carthew said.

The announcement follows the publication of a UK report earlier this year titled ‘Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries’, which found that working class people continue to be underrepresented across the arts, perpetuating a ‘class pay gap’.



Category: International news