The mainstream and the movement
in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
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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 by the Arts Council not to award a grant to these workshops on the grounds that their 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.

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