New York academic to open London's 'first co-working space for writers'

New York academic to open London's 'first co-working space for writers'

American academic Sharon Fulton will launch Clean Prose, "London’s first co-working space designed specifically for writers", next month. 

The newly revedeveloped three-floor property will open its doors to founding members on 1st October, before its official launch on 24th October in artistic collaboration with the cultural anthology Postscript to create a unique photoshoot and literary panel.

 “Located in the heart of Shoreditch and Old Street at 2 Charlotte Road, the three-storey building offers a different atmosphere on each floor,” according to academic-turned-entrepreneur Fulton.

Fulton, who studied and taught at Columbia University in New York for her PhD and Post-Doc, said: “I finished teaching there in 2016 and tutoring and teaching all over New York, in libraries as well, I wanted to keep teaching literature. I am looking for something but found writing by myself quite isolating. I would write ‘out’ in the Southbank Centre or a library but it’s frustrating because you don’t meet other writers in this way. I love London but there was nothing like this in London. I had this idea of opening a co-working space for writers and wanted it to be more than co-working so I developed this idea of it having more than one storey.”

The ground floor will be an event space, offering talks with publishing experts, writing workshops, book launches, script table readings for film and theatre productions. The first floor will offer an open plan for writers. It is a space for them to connect, collaborate, write, socialise and develop their professional networks within the publishing, TV, film and creative industries. The second floor is a quiet space where members can concentrate and write with private desks, lockers, and a book collection of thousands.

Fulton was inspired by similar collectives in the US. “With a booming co-working industry, London is the perfect city to host a new and unique environment for writers,” she said. “London has cemented its position as the global leader for flexible workplaces, easily outstripping New York in terms of both space and number of operations, with over 10m sq ft of space across Central London. As the sector has expanded, niche co-working spaces targeting a specific audience have been growing in popularity.”

Clean Prose will offer a calendar of events that includes talks, workshops, roundtables, Membership perks include mentorships and professional networking opportunities such as talks with literary agents, editors, industry experts and readings and tutorials. Scheduled events include talks and workshops with Jasper Fforde, Juno Dawson, Rikki Beadle Blair, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Jason Donald, Katherine May, Joanna Penn and Irenosen Okojie. The space also offers a gallery space for authors, designers and artists seeking opportunities for textual-visual display. A range of membership options will be available from a £250 unlimited pass and weekend memberships from £135, to day passes from £30 and evening passes at £20 (plus VAT). 

As well as offering a space in London for writers and publishers from everywhere in the UK, a reciprocal membership with Paragraph NY - New York City’s co-working space for writers - facilitates international exchange. Fulton is hoping to hear from publishers and writers who may be interested in featuring in Clean Prose’s programming line-up.