Books shape the culture of society. They inspire TV shows, films, stage shows, podcasts and more. Yet too often culture is shaped by people who come from a narrow section of society. That needs to change.

Over the last few years we've worked hard to create a more inclusive and representative publishing industry. We have found new ways to break down barriers, both for authors and for future publishers - but we still have more to do. 

Our inclusion pledges

Case studies

Publishing new voices with WriteNow

WriteNow aims to find, mentor and publish talented writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves. This includes writers from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) and LGBTQ communities, writers with disabilities and socio-economically marginalised writers.

WriteNow offers writers the chance to attend free regional workshops, where they hear from published authors and literary agents and get personalised feedback on their book from an editor. We then invite writers with the greatest potential to join our year-long WriteNow mentoring programme, matching them with an editor to develop their manuscript.

Launched in 2016, to date 300 writers have attended 6 regional events, with 98% of participants saying taking part had increased their confidence as a writer. 23 writers have joined our year-long mentoring programme and we have so far acquired books from 6 writers discovered through WriteNow.

The #LikeAWoman Bookshop

To celebrate International Women’s Day we hosted a pop-up Penguin bookshop which only stocked books written by women. Shoppers also had the chance to purchase books to be donated to Solace Women’s Aid, a charity providing practical and emotional support to survivors of domestic violence.

Penguin Pride

Penguin Pride returned for 2018 to celebrate the importance of literature in progressing LGBTQ+ equality and changing attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community.

We visited London, Brighton and Manchester with a unique event featuring literature, live music, spoken word and author readings during each of the cities' Pride weeks. We also created themed content to share across our social channels - inspiring and informing readers throughout the month of June.


Job Hack is a day-long interactive workshop which targets young people who may not otherwise have considered a career in publishing. It offers an insight into our world and brings to life the wide range of jobs available in the industry, for example getting participants to work together to create a marketing campaign for a book or pitch a new editorial idea.

To date we’ve worked with 270 young people in nine cities from Glasgow, to Birmingham, to Taunton - selecting each location based on the Sutton Trust’s map of social mobility cold spots across the UK.

JobHack balloons


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