Witnessing social change through literature

Lit.Lab is Writing East Midlands’ creative engine driving artistic initiatives in the literature sector aimed at social change. With its home in the region, Lit.Lab brings together writers, artists, thinkers and cultural commentators to explore and evidence how literature can change how we live.

At its heart is a mission to encourage a creatively open, tolerant and socially mindful society where people and communities are empowered to explore creative alternatives to the status quo. Underlining this mission is a pledge to bring equal access to means of creativity, the arts and freedom of expression.

The Lit.Lab idea has grown out of WEM’s activity across projects, disciplines and platforms which we’ve showcased here on our website. Like any well-oiled engine, Lit.Lab is made up of many working parts and fine-tuned by the writer-makers who bring their ideas and projects to it. It has emerged as a creative, intellectual and support network interested in influencing cultural policy at various levels.

We want to help build a strong evidential base that underpins a widely held belief that literature can be a force for change. And we want to assist those who make decisions about how or why we should invest in the arts and how the returns might be better measured.

We welcome expressions of interest from writers and organisations working in any medium (page, spoken word, digital, interdisciplinary) for project partnerships that re-imagine how people relate to creative writing activity, and/or that research how literature can assist engagement in civil society or produce social outcomes. Contact us on

Examples of Writing East Midlands projects that have inspired Lit.Lab include: Write Here: Sanctuary, It’s Our Write, Open Doors, Write Here: Kennedy House, Care to Write, The Writers Conference 2017.

Lit.Lab partners and funders currently include: The Mighty Creatives/Risk Change, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Rayne Foundation, Leicester and Derby Cities of Sanctuary, Nottingham Refugee Forum, and Nottingham University.