A Writing Chance report launched at London Book Fair

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The publishing and media industries, supported by public funders and the third sector, can and should do more to support writers from working class and underrepresented backgrounds. Recommendations for the industry are identified by the A Writing Chance report, written by Professor Katy Shaw of Northumbria University and published by New Writing North, which will be launched today (Thursday 20 April) at London Book Fair.

The report addresses the challenge of access and opportunity in industries that set the tone of our national conversation through books and media, and which remain stubbornly over-representative of a narrow, privileged cross-section of society. Professor Shaw was an embedded researcher on the first year of A Writing Chance, a talent development programme co-funded by the actor Michael Sheen and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and produced by New Writing North with support from the New Statesman, Daily Mirror, Northumbria University and literature organisations nationally.

The programme aimed to identify effective ways to support new writers from working class and underrepresented backgrounds into journalism and writing careers.

Today, Shaw publishes her findings on the programme, analysing data of more than 700 new writers who applied to be part of A Writing Chance and the experiences of the eleven successful applicants who were selected to take part. The report identifies common barriers to success for these writers and recommends a range of measures that can be adopted across the writing industries to overcome such barriers.

Read Professor Katy Shaw’s A Writing Chance report

Read more about A Writing Chance