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Opportunity for Working-Class Writer in New Festival

Working-Class Writers Festival
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The Working-Class Writers Festival and Knowle West Media Centre are seeking a writer who identifies as working-class, and has experience of working in and with communities, to participate in an exciting mini residency in Knowle West.

Applications are welcomed from one or more areas of creative writing, from writers, storytellers, scriptwriters, poets, spoken word or other artists working with words and from writers at different stages of their careers.

The residency is part of the Working-Class Writers Festival and is funded by Arts Council England.

‘During this period of social-distancing and emerging from lockdowns we, like many other events organisers, are being responsive and flexible with programming. We hope to respond to this challenge creatively, exploring ways that residencies and engagement might be held in hybrid, and digital ways. We look forward to seeing responses to this in applications. We would accept proposals to be ‘in residence’ virtually if you are not able to come to Knowle West in person.’ Martha King, Knowle West Media Centre

Festival Artistic Director Natasha Carthew said ’I am delighted that the Working Class Writers Festival is teaming up with the Knowle West Media Centre to commission a Writer in Residence in Bristol for 2021.  There are many ways that a writer in residence can impact on their community; forging links with the public and fellow writers, promoting creative development at the heart of the community and by fostering cultural engagement that responds to the immediate needs and interests of all its people, with the brilliant KWMC at the helm, I know this will have significant benefits for future generations’

Writer’s Brief

Outcomes of the project are:

  • To develop and deliver a writer-in-residency that responds to needs and interests in the community
  • To creatively engage communities in Knowle West with and through writing (e.g: workshops or other creative activities)
  • To create new content inspired by and made in collaboration with communities in Knowle West.

The writer is required to:

  • Be in residence with Knowle West Media Centre, with a minimum of 2.5 days on site (physically or digitally) between 1 October – 14 November 2021.
  • Produce outputs as agreed with the team at Knowle West Media Centre.
  • Lead creative sessions with groups or individuals from Knowle West, working with them to produce new creative work.
  • Participate in discussions about progress and evaluation.
  • Contribute at least one piece of writing to the project blog

The residency

The residency should include participatory sessions and workshops. We are looking for proposals that take an inclusive approach to ensure the residency and participatory sessions can welcome anyone regardless of their abilities. Proposals must accessibility, COVID safety and wider health and safety / safe-guarding.

Writers will work in partnership with staff at KWMC, as well as the team at Bristol Ideas who will offer support. KWMC staff can help writers develop their proposal to ensure it is rooted in, relevant to and responds to the community. Knowle West is a rich context – there are poets, rap artists, musicians in the area and many people who are keen to express their views/stories/experiences. The ‘University of Local Knowledge’ is an inspiring resource to explore when developing proposals: We are keen to work with writers who are excited to work with the community and welcome proposals to collaborate with specific groups, for example; men’s groups, young mums, local rappers, teenagers etc.

KWMC can offer engagement, producer, project planning / time management, tech and marketing support as well as space to hot desk, hold workshops / meetings, access to tech equipment (audio recording / video etc), printers / scanners and KWMC archive.

Subject to COVID safety guidance, the writers’ time can be split between working independently on-site (physically or virtually) at Knowle West Media Centre, facilitating groups of people in participatory activities (in person or digitally) and working at home. At the start of the residency KWMC producers can help you create a feasible timeline that works for you and community members. We support flexible working hours and will help you shape this residency to fit your needs.

Whilst the writers will retain intellectual copyright over any works produced, we would like work to be on display/exhibited as part of the festival and we will be using images and coverage of the programme for evaluation, reporting and marketing purposes during and after the residencies.

Terms and Conditions

  • There is a fixed, non-negotiable grant of £1,000, inclusive of VAT.
  • This residency is open to any writer who self-identifies as working-class, has experience of working in and with communities and lives in Bristol. We particularly welcome applicants from South Bristol.
  • The author will retain copyright of their work and the client may not use it for commercial purposes.
  • The client may use the work as required within Knowle West Media Centre and the Working Class Writers Festival, including for marketing purposes and in the linked programmes of the Festival of the Future City and Bristol Festival of Ideas. As Arts Council England are providing financial support to the programme they may also wish to use images in marketing and reporting material.

Application Timeline:

  • Deadline: applications must be received by 6pm on 22 September 2021.
  • Shortlisting will be completed by representatives from Working-Class Writers Festival, Bristol Ideas and Knowle West Media Centre. Candidates selected for interview will be notified by the end of the day on Monday 27 September.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend interviews either in person or digitally on Thursday 30 September.  Please state your preference in your application.

To Apply:

  1. Please answer these questions on no more than 2 sides of A4, or a seven-minute video / audio clip:
  • Tell us a bit about your work and your practice/approach (200 – 300 words / up 3 minute video or audio)
  • What would being chosen for this residency mean to you? (100 – 200 words / up to 2 minute video or audio)
  • What would you like to do / explore through this residency? (200 – 300 words / up 3 minute video or audio)

Please also include:

  • Your full name and pronouns (optional)
  • Your contact information
  • Any accessibility requirements you’d like to share
  • A copy of your C.V and/or up to three links to examples of your work / your website

Please also complete our online anonymous Equalities Monitoring Form at – the information you share will not be stored with, or linked to, your submission. Completing the form helps us understand whether we are reaching people from a range of backgrounds through our promotion of this opportunity.

If you have any access needs that require you to submit your proposal in another format, please get in touch so we can help you find a suitable option. All applications will be assessed according to the same criteria and submitting in a different format will not affect your chances of being selected.

Recruitment Process:

We welcome and encourage applications from those currently underrepresented in our workforce and in the arts community; particularly any applicant who identifies as working-class, as a person of colour, transgender, non-binary or genderqueer, D/deaf, visually impaired, disabled or neurodivergent.

We guarantee an interview for anyone who identifies as one or more of the above and fulfils the minimum requirements of the role. If you would like this to be a consideration please indicate in your application. We will not use your Equal opportunities form to assess your eligibility. All applications will be assessed on merit.


For any questions about the residency, please contact Naomi Miller, / 07646 470024

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