Carthew plans UK tour to address publishing diversity and inclusion

Carthew plans UK tour to address publishing diversity and inclusion

Natasha Carthew, the artistic director of The Festival for Working Class Writers, is planning a UK tour in 2022 to address diversity and inclusion issues in the industry.

The Breaking Class Tour will visit festivals, universities, libraries, bookshops and conferences around the UK throughout 2022. Carthew will talk about the issues that face working-class writers including barriers to success, as well as talking to publishing industry professionals regarding how best to tackle discrimination and unconscious bias in the industry. 

As part of the tour, which will also include podcasts, TV and radio shows, Carthew will be joined by writers and social commentators, which she hopes will bring “a fresh, ground-breaking perspective to festivals and events in 2022”. 

The festival was highly commended in the Discover category at The Bookseller’s FutureBook Awards last week, and Carthew said: “It’s incredibly important to me that the myths that exist around diversity and inclusion, when it comes to working-class writers and publishing employees, are highlighted. It is easy to think that boxes are being ticked, but unless good practice is embedded in policy and publishing staff are given time to work on meaningful strategy that surrounds diversity, change will not come, and certainly not fast enough.” 

Carthew is the author of nine books, with titles published by Bloomsbury, Quercus and the National Trust. Her latest book, Born Between Crosses, is a sequence of prose-poetry celebrating the working lives of working-class women and was published with Hypatia in 2021. 

To find out more about becoming a sponsor of the tour, publishers and event organisers can get in touch with her at workingclasswritersfestival@gmail.com.