Common People: Breaking the Class Ceiling in UK Publishing

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

166 Downloads (Pure)


The under-representation of British working-class writers in UK publishing has been identified as a major challenge by international publishing houses including Penguin Random House and Hachette UK, and also by the British and Scottish governments. The challenge not only impacts the publishing sector, but adjacent creative industries: the outputs of the UK publishing industry provide source material for other creative industries, including theatre, television, film and video games, meaning issues of representation in publishing can have magnified economic and cultural consequences.

The Common People project arose out of an on-going programme of work that New Writing North has undertaken in recent years within the publishing industry to highlight issues of regional and class diversity and representation. With Writing West Midlands, New Writing North brought together the other regional writing development agencies: New Writing South, National Centre for Writing, Writing East Midlands, Literature Works and Spread the Word with the writer Kit de Waal, the publisher Unbound and Arts Council England, to create a new book and an associated development programme for the new writers involved. The project ran for 12 months from 2018-19. It aimed to create a strategic model of intervention to address the under-representation of working-class writers in publishing today.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherNew Writing North
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Common People: Breaking the Class Ceiling in UK Publishing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this