Sunday 17 March 2024

The International Working-Class StoryFest

I am pleased to pass on the following:

Join us for the International Working-Class StoryFest!

The Working-Class Studies Association, The Working-Class Theatre Makers and The Working-Class Collective have united in solidarity to share working-class stories, as told by working- class creatives.

The International Working-Class StoryFest will take place online, and through local live and streamed events in Leicester, England, and Placerville, California, from 22-24 March 2024. With a truly international focus, presenters and audiences will be joining from the UK, Canada, Australia and the US. However, we welcome global audiences to tune in from wherever they are! Free tickets can be purchased online here.

Featuring poetry, prose, theatre, audio drama and discussions from new and established working-class creatives, we invite you to join us in celebrating working-class stories and the people who make them. The art of storytelling in working-class communities has always been and still is an important way to build solidarity and recognise the talent, diversity and experiences of the working class. This is an international event that aims to establish a global dialogue, platform under-represented talent and build solidarity with all working-class people.

A Global Showcase of Working-Class Creativity, Online and On-Ground

The Working-Class Collective will be kicking things off on Friday 22 March, with poetry and prose from the festival’s contributors, an interview with author Kerry Hudson, and a presentation on the collective’s first ‘Working Class Fantastic Spaces’ event at Bestwood Village – an ex-mining community in Nottinghamshire.

Saturday 22 March features an eclectic line up of working-class writers, activists, academics and theatre makers. Starting with a presentation from Class Divide, day two will continue with an event hosted by the Working-Class Theatre Makers and streamed live from Upstairs at the Western in Leicester, England. In the afternoon, writers Tommy Sissons and Jim Gibson will be discussing writing from a male working-class perspective, and each will perform a reading of their work. The day ends with a theatre showcase from our festival contributors.

Storytelling Sunday: Tribute to Working-Class Women Showcase & Open-Mic

The festival wraps up on Sunday 24 March with a special ‘Storytelling Sunday’ event at the Green Room bar in Placerville, California. Working-class poet and president of the Working-Class Studies Association ‘Storytelling Sunday’ founder, Rina Wakefield. In solidarity with the International Working-Class StoryFest and in celebration of Women’s History Month, the showcase will include creative work that tributes working-class women and voices the lived experience of work, women and class.

The Working-Class Collective is a community of working-class creatives founded by working-class academic Lisa Mckenzie. It began with the publication of The Lockdown Diaries of the Working Class, which told the stories of working-class people and their experience of the first lockdown in 2020. Its most recent project, ‘Working Class Fantastic Spaces’, is a celebration of the places that shape the working class, and the stories of community told through a working-class lens. Connect with the Working-Class Collective on X: @WorkingClassCol and Instagram: @workingclasscol.

The Working-Class Studies Association is an international group dedicated to developing working-class studies as a field within higher education and public discourse. The WCSA is a non-profit organisation whose members have written and contributed to works including the Journal of Working Class Studies and Working-Class Perspectives. The organisation also holds an annual WCSA Conference with panels, plenaries and exhibits on all aspects of working-class life. Connect with the Working-Class Studies Association on X: @wcstudies.

To continue to platform our contributors, the Working-Class Studies Association will be publishing content from the festival on the Creatives Corner section of its website. The aim is to build an online space that actively promotes working-class voices and start a much-needed dialogue on class barriers in the arts and other industries.


  1. I'll say that for you, you let us speak for ourselves.

    1. "I speak for the poor, the marginalised, and the oppressed. So I do not expect them to interrupt me."