In 2019, Dalloway Day celebrates the 90th anniversary of Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. With newly commissioned essays, a survey of UK writers, and a competition and workshops for young people across the UK, we ask what writers need today to pursue a career in literature and how to make those careers possible for people of all backgrounds.


A Room of My Own: A Survey of What UK Writers Need to Work

90 years ago, Virginia Woolf said that to be a writer, a woman needed money and a room of her own. In 2019, we want to know what writers – at different stages of their careers, from different backgrounds, and from across the UK – require today in order to flourish professionally.

As writers’ incomes sharply decrease – from £18,000 in 2005 to £10,500 in 2018 in ALCS’s independent research into authors’ earnings – we want to know what you need to work: from money to mentoring, contract advice to the support of an agent, what do you need to have a career in writing?

The Royal Society of Literature is leading this research in consultation with writer development organisations, funders and supporters across the UK, including: Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Creative Scotland, Literature Wales, Literature Works, National Centre for Writing, New Writing North, New Writing South, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Poetry Library, Society of Authors, Spread the Word, The Literary Consultancy, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Writing East Midlands and Writing West Midlands.

The RSL published findings of this research on Dalloway Day, 19 June 2019.

This research is funded by ALCS.


A Room of My Own: An Anthology of New Writing
Alongside our survey, the RSL has commissioned seven Fellows to respond to Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and to explore the conditions of a writing life. Published in the ‘A Room of My Own’ anthology, essays from David Almond, Bernardine Evaristo, Howard Jacobson, Val McDermid, Nadifa Mohamed, Daljit Nagra and Eley Williams will be sent to state secondary schools across the UK, with writers running workshops for young people between May and September 2019. Read the writers’ essays in your own copy of the anthology, free at any Dalloway Day event, or online, when they are published on 19 June. Watch out for more new writing from 14 to 18 year-olds in autumn this year responding to Woolf’s work, when we publish the winners of our ‘A Room of My Own’ competition, launched on Dalloway Day 2019.

Dalloway Day 2019
Dalloway Day speakers include: Monica AliProfessor Dame Gillian Beer and Lauren Elkin click here for full details of the events.