Common People: Breaking The Class Ceiling in UK Publishing

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The United Kingdom has just one percent of the world’s population but is the largest exporter of books in the world. As a thriving creative industry, UK publishing also makes a significant indirect economic contribution to the British economy via immediately adjacent sectors including retail, printing and marketing. However, the under-representation of British working class writers in UK publishing has been identified as a major social and economic challenge by both the publishing industry and the British government. In 2018, Arts Council England funded the first ever writing development programme for British working class writers that aimed to address this imbalance. This article assesses for the first time the impact of this unique initiative on both creatives and the creative industry in the UK, as well as on wider awareness of the presence and impact of the class ceiling in UK publishing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-227
Number of pages14
JournalCreative Industries Journal
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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