Liverpool indie Dead Ink has received £66,880 from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants in support of its Publishing Step-Change project aimed at bridging the gap in publishing between London and the North of England.
The project will fund the publication of six books over two years, including Karen Havelin’s Please Read This Leaflet Carefully (May 2019), Lucie McKnight Hardy’s Water Shall Refuse Them (July 2019), Lee Rourke’s Glitch (October 2019), and Naomi Booth’s Exit Management (October 2020).
The Publishing Step-Change project itself was developed in response to Arts Council England’s
Literature in the 21st Century report, which argued for a crisis in literary fiction, and saw Literature Director Sarah Crown pledge that funding would be given to "improve our direct support for individual authors, broaden our support for independent publishers to include those who focus on literary fiction, and develop diversity across the sector."
The project began with the appointment of a new Dead Ink advisory board earlier this year, with authors Kit de Waal, Mark Richards, SJ Bradley and Will Carr, and consultant Sam Missingham, on board.
ACE literature relationship manager Alison Boyle said: "Through this £66,880 National Lottery funded Project Grant for two years of programming, Arts Council England is demonstrating its continued support for the production of literature in the North, where the vision transcends geographic borders. Book and library tours will build readerships for literary fiction at the same time as developing indie publishing support for talented writers. Outsider Networking events will increase opportunities for up and coming publishing professionals in the North too."
Dead Ink's publishing director Nathan Connolly added: "Since 2015 Dead Ink has grown at a rapid pace and we’ve been able to demonstrate our ambition on a national and international scale. This has all been possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England and this new funding will allow us to reach the next stage of our development. Dead Ink will continue to challenge industry norms and advocate for the north and working class access."