It featured leading poets and writers of the day such as W.H. Auden, V.S. Pritchett, Christopher Isherwood, Tom Wintringham, Stephen Spender, Ahmed Ali, Jim Phelan, Rex Warner, and B. L. Coombes. New Writing also published articles about Mass-Observation by Tom Harrisson.
After having been approached by Lehmann to contribute a piece to the periodical, George Orwell developed a "sketch" he had had in mind for some time, and which appeared as "Shooting an Elephant", first published in the second number of the periodical, in Autumn 1936. A second piece by Orwell, "Marrakech", appeared in the Christmas 1939 edition.
Penguin New Writing
With New Writing's future uncertain, Lehmann wrote New Writing in Europe for Pelican Books, a critical summary of the writers of the 1930s. Wintringham reintroduced Lehmann to Allen Lane of Penguin Books, who secured paper for Penguin New Writing, a monthly book-magazine, this time as a paperback, and which survived until 1950.
- The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 1 – An Age Like This 1939–1940, p. 250. Penguin
- "John Lehmann" Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- Lehmann, John Folios of New Writing, Issue 1, p. 9. Hogarth Press, 1940 At Google Books. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Orwell and Politics. Penguin UK, 2001 At Google Books. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Steve Ellis, British writers and the approach of World War II. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN 9781107054585 (p. 175)
- The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 1 – An Age Like This 1939–1940, p. 426. Penguin