Writers are the beating heart of the creative economy.
They give us our ideas for stage, TV, film and so much more. In January 2014 it was revealed that the creative sector contributed £8M an hour to the UK economy. Writers need readers, and many millions of readers borrow from libraries. And authors enjoy the right to collect a payment accordingly – the ‘Public Lending Right’. A small government agency, PLR, is responsible for administering the scheme and ensuring government decision makers get the message about how vitally important PLR payments are not just for authors’ livelihoods but as a strategic boost to the creative sector.
The decision to use documentary photography was taken very early in the relationship with PLR. For this report, we used their database to discover which postcode had the greatest concentration of authors – no surprise perhaps that NW London came top of the list. Yet again research was the key to success. We wanted to record not so much the freezing garret but the contemporary reality of the working day. We selected ten authors (adult and childrens’ novelists, a poet, screenwriters, biographers, medical and economics) and constructed a schedule which allowed us to document, over two days, these very different personalities in their ‘own’ environment. They work hard and, we think, it shows.