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Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers

By Kit de Waal (editor)

book cover

Want to help unpublished working class writers get into print? Join Kit de Waal and her contributors to give new writers a platform…

Publication date: May 2019
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About the book

In a recent documentary, novelist Kit de Waal asked ‘where are the working class writers?’ The answer is right here.
Inspired by a shared concern that working class voices are increasingly absent from the pages of books and newspapers, Kit de Waal has come together with Unbound and the regional writing development organisations, including New Writing North and Writing West Midlands, to do something about it.


Common People will be a collection of essays, poems and pieces of personal memoir, bringing together sixteen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of brand new as-yet-unpublished writers from all over the UK.


These new writers will be selected by the regional writing development agencies, who will support and mentor them in the run-up to publication.


Too often, working class writers find that the hurdles they have to leap are higher and harder to cross than for writers from more affluent backgrounds. Common People will see writers who have made that leap reach back to give a helping hand to those coming up behind.

We read because we want to experience lives and emotions beyond our own, to learn, to see with others’ eyes – without new working class voices, without the vital reflection of real lives, or role models for working class readers and writers, literature will be poorer. We will all be poorer. Pledge for Common People and join these writers to help to make a difference.

Contributors Include:
Damian Barr
Malorie Blackman OBE
Lisa Blower
Jill Dawson
Louise Doughty
Stuart Maconie
Chris McCrudden
Lisa McInerney
Paul McVeigh
Daljit Nagra
Dr Dave O’Brien
Cathy Rentzenbrink
Anita Sethi
Adelle Stripe
Tony Walsh
Alex Wheatle

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