Penguin Random House UK

Harnessing the power of books for social change

We worked with Penguin on a ground-breaking campaign to give more young people the opportunity to study books by writers of colour at school.


Fewer than 1% of young people in England study a book by a Black, Asian or minority ethnic author at GCSE. This reflects neither the make-up of our society (34% of school-age children identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic) nor the rich diversity of contemporary publishing. Penguin asked us to help them address this through their Lit in Colour campaign.


We generated mass coverage for Lit in Colour across broadcast, print and online media. This included BBC News, BBC Radio and Sky News, featuring reporters visiting schools to interview students and teachers, as well as interviews with authors including Benjamin Zephaniah. In-depth pieces were published in the Times, the Independent, iNews and Metro.

This coverage helped to generate interest from policymakers and further publishers, building momentum behind the campaign.



over half of all secondary schools in England have now applied to be part of Lit in Colour and receive free books


2 out of the 3 major exam boards have joined the programme; OCR has added set texts by writers of colour to the syllabus


visits to the Lit in Colour teaching resource

"From day one, Forster set out towards our shared ambition and worked tirelessly to take us there. Their approach has been thoughtful, relevant, proactive and focused on real impact. The campaign has more than doubled the number of students studying a book by a writer of colour, which we are immensely proud of. They are also a joy to work with."

Zaahida Nabagereka,
Head of Social Impact, Penguin Books

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