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Working-class writing and publishing in the late-twentieth centuryLiterature, culture and community$
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Tom Woodin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091117

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091117.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 01 June 2020

The mainstream and the movement

The mainstream and the movement

(p.176) 10 The mainstream and the movement
Working-class writing and publishing in the late-twentieth century

Tom Woodin

Manchester University Press

Working class writing workshops were infused with a sectarian spirit of being alternative and they actively challenged elitism in favour of a participatory ethic. A national debate flared up over the decision of the Arts Council not to award a grant to these workshops on the grounds that its work was of ‘no literary merit’. From the 1990s, relations thawed and a widening acceptance of worker writers came into being across many cultural and educational institutions. The movement of workshops changed into a broader inclusive network while attempting to retain an element of distinctiveness. Survival itself proved extremely difficult in these circumstances.

Keywords:   Working class, Writing, Literature, Elitism, Arts Council, Literary merit, Mainstream, Literature organisations

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