Research Output
Advocacy in Action – How A Publishing Programme Represents Homeless Readers in Scotland
  So far as has thus been discerned, no research has been conducted into the reading habits of homeless readers. This paper provides for genuine insight into the rationale for an inclusive approach to publishing, which underpins the need to find better methods to reach readers beyond the margins.

Working with The Grassmarket Project, and SHAPE (a partnership of 28 organisations working among people who are homeless), and connecting with charitable trusts, community projects and government bodies, and with a team comprising prominent Scottish publishers and spearheaded by the Publishing programme at Edinburgh Napier University, this paper investigates access to reading for those outside the mainstream. By means of a live publication, the needs of vulnerable readers are examined, and the potential for a new model of publishing proposed – one that capitalises on existing core competencies powered by social advocacy and collaborative learning, community engagement and cultural encounter. It explores reading initiatives that exist in a UNESCO City of Literature, and examines whether publishers – and the publishing courses that feed the industry – have a serious concentrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and widening participation.

We are currently living in a world of political and social polarity. This polarity often leads us to feel afraid, anxious, unwell and alone. This can be seen in communities and also on an individual level. At a national level, the Scottish Government is establishing a new working group to tackle loneliness and isolation.

This research will feed into future policy. Working with local and national partners, it will raise awareness of the value of reading as a tool for increasing diversity, inclusion and understanding. It highlights the role of Publishing degrees in demonstrating and embracing these values, across the profession, and provides a case study of how such programmes can work collaboratively to positively enhance their communities. The outcome will be the creation of a collaborative community of practice across Scotland.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    26 June 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Gray, A. (2019, June). Advocacy in Action – How A Publishing Programme Represents Homeless Readers in Scotland. Paper presented at By the Book6, Florence, Italy



Publishing, Book Studies, Pedagogy

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