A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Common People report

Added on May 4, 2020. View this resource

The Common People report, published 1 May 2020, identifies the pervasive barriers in the way of working-class writers; makes a clarion call for changes in the publishing industry and strongly recommends more effective and better-funded collaborative working across the commercial and subsidised sectors.

The report suggests that the full diversity of voices active in British society is neither heard nor acknowledged in UK publishing today. It calls for the publishing industry to be more
representative; to work collaboratively with regional cross-sector partnerships; and for new forms of investments to level the playing field in the regions.

The report makes the following recommendations: 
  • New public and private investment to support new publishing ventures outside of London, which will be bring publishing closer to broader audiences and generate more entry points to the industry for talent throughout the UK
  • Increased investment in regional writing development agencies, resulting in improved talent pipelines; fairer, more equitable talent development practices; and improved access to professional support and networks.
  • Decentralisation of the UK publishing, including more literary agents to be established outside the capital to facilitate change and broaden the base of the industry’s taste makers.
  • Improved access to the publishing industry through clearer progression routes into the industry; transparent pay and job opportunities; and accessible recruitment campaigns, in order to enhance diversity among agents, editors and publishers and change the profiles of gatekeepers
  • Awareness and acknowledgement of the multiple barriers facing working-class writers through meaningful designed and sustained support programmes across the UK
  • An industry-wide recognition that developing and supporting new working-class writers will ultimately benefit us all
  • New government policy and policy development – to create new policy options for overcoming barriers and incentivising partnership work through public funding and regional initiatives.

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