Spread the Word is London’s literature development agency, a charity and a National Portfolio client of Arts Council England. We are funded to help London’s writers make their mark on the page, the screen and in the world and build strategic partnerships to foster a literature ecology which reflects the cultural diversity of contemporary Britain.
Spread the Word has a national and international reputation for initiating change-making research and developing programmes for writers that have equity and social justice at their heart. In 2020 we launched Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente, Goldsmiths, University of London, in partnership with the Bookseller and Words of Colour. Working with CRIPtic Arts, in 2022 we published Access to Literature, which presented the first national picture of the barriers deaf and disabled writers, creative producers and audiences experience in accessing the literature and publishing sectors.
Our London Writers Awards programme was cited as an example of ‘what works’ to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative sector in the APPG for Creative Diversity’s Creative Majority report and our Early Career Bursaries for low income writers won the 2022 Achates Philanthropy Prize for Individual Giving. Spread the Word’s programmes also include: Wellcome x Spread the Word Writing Awards, CRIPtic Arts x Spread the Word Salon for deaf and disabled writers, Runaways and Deptford Literature Festival.
“It’s so heartwarming and encouraging to see the large number of people who have benefited from Spread the Word’s activities and who have since gone on to enjoy successful careers as writers. This stellar organisation is as important now as it was when Ruth Borthwick and I co-founded it in 1995, with the aim to make British literature more inclusive of all voices.”
– Bernardine Evaristo MBE FRSL FRSA, Author, Booker Prize-winner 2019, Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University and Spread the Word co-founder.