Birmingham writer, Kit de Waal, has set up a scholarship for marginalised people. She wants to give someone, who wouldn’t otherwise have it, the opportunity to write and to develop as a writer.
Kit says, ‘I really see a gap in white, working-class stories – it’s a massively neglected area. I don’t think the experience of the white working class is valued enough.’ I couldn’t agree more.
She also talks about some of the reasons for the lack of working class literature, ‘I think there are gatekeeping processes at work in publishing. First, you need an agent, and you need the time to write. That’s one way you’re going to be filtered out of the system. Maybe there is a lack of confidence in our working-class stories, in whether people want to hear them? But sometimes we have to tell them, otherwise other people do so on your behalf, and that’s no good. We have a responsibility to tell our stories, and the industry has a responsibility to hear them.’
Working class stories are really important to me. My father was a builder, a labourer and tells some incredible stories of friendship, betrayal, law breaking, violence and toe curling humour. These stories are not represented in publishing. These are the stories I write and the stories I want to read.
I think this is the reason I enjoy Sleaford Mods. They tell modern day working class stories with none of the romanticised crap that you see in shows like Call The Midwife and the like.
Please read the whole of the article on Kit and her scholarship here and if you are a working class writer apply.
How about a list of great working class books or stories?