Class Festival, The Festival of Working Class Writers, is the brainchild of the remarkable Cornish-born author and poet Natasha Carthew.

After years of work by Natasha and a ton of tenacity, the very first festival took place in Bristol in October 2021 with the stated aims of “enhancing, encouraging and increasing the representation of working class writers across the country, whilst also connecting audiences, authors, readers, agents and editors.” In the end, all of that was achieved and a great deal more. In Partnership with Bristol Ideas Festival and with sponsorship from both Hachette and Penguin, all events were free and the feedback was excellent from both audiences and participants alike. The writer’s life can be a lonely and intense one, often doubly so for those of us from a working class background, and so the experience was a profoundly moving and inspiring one for many of us.

I was delighted to be asked by my publisher, Hachette, to speak on a panel at the Waterfront arts centre entitled: “A Writing Chance: Class, Authorship and Publishing Today”. It turned out to be a powerful and wide-ranging discussion which can be watched in full here. You’ll find links to all of the discussions from there and I’d really recommend that you take a look. Together they represent an incredible body of insights from an astonishing array of working-class writers and publishing talent. 

I was also privileged to perform and host an amazing line-up of working-class poets at the Bristol Wardrobe Theatre which was another excellent event, in partnership with the good people at Lyra Fest: Bristol Poetry Festival.

Natasha has big plans for the festival in future years and is also looking for sponsors and bookings to take the concept on tour. I wish her every success and have no doubt that this is only the beginning for this hugely important addition to the literary calendar.

Find out more, get in touch and follow progress at: 


Twitter: @ClassFestival

Twitter: @NatashaCarthew

Photo : Paul Fosbury Photography