Seventeen emerging working-class writers from around the country have now been selected for inclusion alongside well-known authors in the crowdfunded anthology helping new voices be heard.
In her recent BBC Radio Four documentary, novelist Kit de Waal asked an important question: ‘Where are all 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 agencies, including New Writing North, Writing West Midlands, Spread the Word, Writing East Midlands, Writers’ Centre Norwich, New Writing South and Literature Works to do something about it. Common People is a collection of essays, poems and pieces of personal memoir, bringing together seventeen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of brand new as-yet-unpublished writers from all over the UK.
We are pleased to announce that the seventeen new writers have now been selected by the regional writing development agencies, who will support and mentor them in the run-up to publication. They are:
Paul Allen, Ruth Behan, Astra Bloom, Jenny Knight, Katy Massey, Julie Noble, Louise Powell, Emma Purshouse, Loretta Ramkissoon, Riley Rockford, Jodie Russian-Red, Adam Sharp, Eva Verde, Lynne Voyce, Helen Wilber, Elaine Williams and S M Wilson. Their work was carefully selected from hundreds of pieces submitted to the agencies all over the country.
Kit de Waal, who is editing the collection, comments:
‘What stories! What lives! It’s been so great to read these seventeen memoirs of working class writers. All life is there; hard, (inevitably) but also wry, bizarre, sad and proud, there’s some kick-ass ones too, all of them laced through with a determination to see the funny side, to do more than survive, to celebrate. It’s always a privilege to read a record of someone’s life and I’m absolutely delighted to welcome all these new writers to Common People, and can’t wait to see them all in print.’
Unbound will publish the Common People anthology in May 2019.