Common People – An Anthology of Working Class Writing

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Are you an unpublished working class prose writer trying to get into print?

Submit to Common People by 12 noon on Friday 2 March for a chance to be published in this ground-breaking anthology celebrating working class writing, edited by novelist Kit de Waal.

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 New Writing South, alongside the other regional writing organisations, to publish new writers with established writers and to provide a writing development programme.

Common People will bring together sixteen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of new writers.

This is your chance to be published alongside 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, and Alex Wheatle.

New Writing South is seeking submissions of personal memoir from writers in the south east who are largely unpublished for inclusion in the anthology. The two writers selected will be published in Common People and will be offered writer development support from New Writing South.

To be eligible you must:

Live, work or study in the south east of England
Consider yourself from a working class background
Be an ‘emerging writer’ (with only modest previous publications)
Not have an agent or publishing contract

To enter, you must submit:

A piece of prose memoir between 2,000 and 3,000 words in length
A brief description of why you consider yourself to be working class (max. 200 words)

If selected you must be happy to take part in our Regional Working Class Writers Development Programme, which is currently seeking funding, and will run for approximately 1 year from April 2018. This Development Programme will provide support through mentoring and training and a bursary to cover some costs that may be incurred through this work. We will contact the selected writers to ensure that any particular needs they have are considered when planning the development programme.

The deadline for submission is 12noon, Friday 2 March 2018.

Please email your application to

Terms & Conditions

The Common People Writer Development Programme is not a creative writing course. It is a development programme during which writers will be offered advice and guidance. The programme will not offer direct commentary on writing and will not publish or represent writers.

Copyright, as in all cases with programmes of this nature, remains with the writer.

Please be patient during the judging process. We expect a large volume of applications and may not be able to write directly to everyone who applies. Please be assured that if you are shortlisted or successful, we will get in touch with you.

The judges’ decision is final and we will not enter into discussions about the outcome of your submission.

We regret that we cannot return anything submitted with this application.