ClassFest calls for debut writers for launch event

Lucy Nathan
News - Festivals Friday, 11th June 2021

Artistic director Natasha Carthew plans 'an evening of readings, storytelling and industry gossip'


Natasha Carthew, artistic director for the Festival for Working Class Writers, is calling for editors, agents and publicists to put debut writers forward to join the festival's launch event on 22 October. The festival, running from 21-24 October, aims to provide exposure to working class writers and bring inspiration to young people from similar backgrounds.

Carthew said: "As part of ClassFest I'm looking for debut working class authors to join us for a launch extravaganza! We're planning an evening of readings, storytelling and industry gossip in a relaxed bar environment on Friday 22 October. This is the chance for new writers to showcase their work, sign books and share their experiences with new audiences and industry professionals in a relaxed atmosphere."

The festival uses both physical and digital spaces, and will have panel discussions, speaker events and workshops, including an event with Hat Trick TV Productions; panel discussions on tackling socio-economic inequality in the UK with Policy Press, folktales and feminism with Virago Press, and demystifying publishing with Hachette UK; 'Write Now' Author Showcase with Penguin Random House and workshops and masterclasses with writers; and a chance for aspiring writers to speed-pitch to editors from Hachette UK and literary agents. The event will be affordable and accessible, and aims to provide a platform both for those who are established as well as those making their debut.

The full programme will be announced this summer. Writers set to appear include Stella Duffy, Val McDermid, Paul Mendez, Mohsin Zaidi, Holly Bourne, Tracy King, Graham Caveney, Mahsuda Snaith, Kerry Hudson, Sam Friedman, Dr Pragya Agarwal, Graeme Armstrong, Sadie Hasler, Andre Naffis-Sahely, Malaika Kegode, Mohsin Zaidi, Lorraine Brown, Mark Hodkinson, Juno Roche, Justin Myers, Patrice Lawrence, Tony Walsh, Cash Carraway, Courttia Newland, Dave O'Brian, Tanya Shadwick, Mona Arshi, Simon Kvosi, Mary O'Hara, Joelle Taylor, Amer Anwar, Jessica Andrews, James McDermott, Sharon Duggal and Cole Moreton.

Writers and publishing professionals who want to get involved in the debut showcase should email workingclasswritersfestival@gmail.com