Lawrence and Wishart is one of the few remaining independent publishing houses in Britain. It is heir to a long intellectual and political tradition. Although this tradition has changed in many ways over the years, a commitment to in-depth analysis and serious political commitment has remained. As an institution we believe in collaborating with others with similar aims in a non-sectarian spirit, and in working alongside and in partnership with as wide a range of people as possible. For the last twenty years we have not been formally attached to any institution. Instead we have forged a new and looser coalition of partnerships, constituencies and writers.
We see L&W as an institutional space where people can think together. Our aim is to facilitate the sharing and networking of ideas, and to offer writers and readers a gateway into a specific set of conversations.
Lawrence and Wishart is an independent non-profit publisher.
Our small team is:
Managing Editor (Books): Katharine Harris, katharine [at] lwbooks.co.uk
Managing Editor (Journals): Lynda Dyson, lynda [at] lwbooks.co.uk
Website and Marketing Manager: Kate Potts, k.potts [at] lwbooks.co.uk
For permissions, please contact Katharine Harris.
L&W is managed by a board who provide strategic leadership. Members of the board are:
Brenda Kirsch (chair)
FInance matters are overseen and accounted for by our board. For queries relating to finance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
L&W’s publishing strategy is guided by an editorial group comprising:
Over the years we have had a set of preoccupations that inform our publishing and other activities. We believe that a critique of capitalism/neoliberalism is an essential part of left politics; and that political action needs to be underpinned both by a critical understanding of the current moment and by a sense of the forces that have shaped that moment. This enables immediate political action to be understood within a longer-term strategy for change.
We also believe that there is more to politics than the structure of the economy, and that culture is integral to politics. We remain indebted to Stuart Hall for his work in exploring these links, and for his development of Gramscian ideas in ways that help activists comprehend the complexity of modern societies. Our journal Soundings, of which Stuart was a founding editor, seeks to continue to engage with current issues from this perspective.
Lawrence & Wishart was first formed in 1936, as a result of a merger between Martin Lawrence, the Communist Party press, and Wishart Limited, a family owned liberal and anti-fascist publisher. This was a time of considerable turmoil, and the new press was soon immersed in the political and cultural life of the Popular Front, publishing literature, drama and poetry, as well as political economy, working-class history and the classics of Marxism. New Writing, a twice-yearly L&W anthology, published writers such as W.H. Auden, Ralph Fox, Christopher Isherwood and Cecil Day Lewis.
During the post-war period, L&W also published work from the Communist Party’s History Group, including early work by Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Edward Thompson and John Saville. Other outstanding marxist writers published in this period include J.D. Bernal, George Thompson and Brian Simon. Amongst the many working-class writers both of fiction and reportage that we published during the 1950s and 1960s, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists stands out as a classic.
The 1970s was the decade of Eurocommunism and critical Marxism. It was at this time that L&W began its project of translating the work of Antonio Gramsci, whose work remains crucial for an understanding of the relationship between politics and culture. There were also publications charting emerging social movements and new forms of politics.
From the mid-1980s, L&W began a period of transformation and development. Cultural studies was bringing a new dimension to critical political theory, and L&W published work that brought the insights of cultural studies to bear on more traditional political concerns with questions of ideology, politics and power. It sought to broaden the political analysis by drawing on emerging new perspectives on gender, race and sexuality, with innovative approaches to culture and identity. Work was published by Joseph Bristow, Beatrix Campbell, Lorraine Gamman, Doreen Massey, Christopher Norris, Michael Rustin, Judith Squires, Jeffrey Weeks and Lola Young – to name a few.
From the 1990s L&W established its reputation as a journals publisher. We now publish Soundings, New Formations, Renewal, Anarchist Studies, Twentieth Century Communism and Socialist History, all of which, in their different ways, attempt to engage critically with contemporary political culture.
Recently we have begun to publish free-to-view online books on contemporary politics, including Regeneration, on generational politics, and the Soundings collection The Neoliberal Crisis. Popular titles in the last few years have included Women Against Fundamentalism: Stories of Dissent and Solidarity, After Neoliberalism: The Kilburn Manifesto and The Green London Way. We have also published books with a number of partners, including Compass, the International Brigade Memorial Trust, the Marx Memorial Library, the Socialist History Society, Unison, GMB and Unite the Union.
If you are interested in contributing an article to one of our journals please go to the home page of the journal for submission information.
If you have a proposal for a non-fiction book that fits our list, please send an overview of the book detailing the key themes, the potential market for the proposed publication, your proposed writing timetable plus a chapter by chapter breakdown together with a CV and a sample of your work to submissions [at] lwbooks.co.uk. We only accept electronic proposals. Please note that due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are not able to discuss individual proposals over the phone.
Please be aware that we receive a large number of book proposals and we cannot acknowledge each one individually. If we are interested in your proposal we will contact you within two months.