Funding for Writers
Funding for writers
The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) is responsible for funding and developing the arts in Wales. In 1998 Yr Academi Gymreig won the franchise from the ACW to establish a Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency.
Literature Wales is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting literature in Wales. It includes Yr Academi Gymreig / The Welsh Academi and Tŷ Newydd Writers' Centre.
Literature Wales represents the interests of Welsh writers - poets, novelists, fictioneers, storytellers, dramatists, critics) and Welsh writing both inside Wales and beyond. Ty Newydd, the Cricieth-based residential writers’ centre iis part of Literature Wales. In 2005 it opened its resource centre for writers at the new Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay - Glyn Jones Centre - in memory of the late author and poet.
The Welsh Academy / Yr Academi Gymreig's publishing programme includes the Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales, Taliesin, a quarterly literary journal in the Welsh language, The Companion to the Literature of Wales , The Welsh Academy English-Welsh Dictionary, and a variety of translated works. With support from the Lottery, first Encyclopaedia of Wales, was published in both English and Welsh in 2008.
Literature Wales also administers the annual Wales Book of the Year with funding from the Arts Council of Wales.
Literature Wales can offer direct support to both new and established writers through its Bursaries Scheme, which enables writers working on a major project to buy time from their employment commitments or can help towards the costs of research or travel, and also seeks to develop and support emergent talent through its Mentoring and Critical Services.
The Arts Council of Wales administers the Creative Wales Awards and the Creative Wales Ambassador Awards to distinguished artists, including creative writers, working both within and outside Wales respectively.
What type of funding will you need?
What are publishing grants?
Literature Wales does not provide financial support or publishing grants to publishers in Wales – this is the role of the Welsh Books Council (WBC), which also provides a variety of other services to publishers in Wales, including distribution. The WBC currently offers revenue funding to the major independent book publishers in Wales – Seren, Parthian Books, Honno and Gomer – and, in addition, provides publishing and marketing grants to the three major journals of Wales: New Welsh Review, Planet and Poetry Wales.
The Welsh Books Council also provides support to a variety of publishers in Wales through its individual publishing grants scheme. Individuals cannot apply to the Welsh Books Council to help fund books, whether these are self-published creative works or specialist titles partly funded by the author. Works must be submitted directly by publishers and are considered on a title-by-title basis. Works must be of a literary nature, regardless of the genre, and must be non-commercial and therefore unlikely to make a profit: the individual publishing grant is intended to cover a publisher’s anticipated loss from publishing the title. Applications are assessed by specialists according to need, literary merit, relevance to Wales, and the furthering of Welsh literature. Further information on the work of the Welsh Books Council and the services it offers to the Welsh publishing industry can be found by visit the website.
What is the author grant? Literature Wales Bursaries – outline of different types of grant
Literature Wales cannot provide support for writers seeking funding to self-publish their work and nor does it fund publishers in Wales. Supporting reputable independent publishers in Wales whose output includes both literary and commercial titles is the job of the Welsh Books Council (WBC), through its revenue funding scheme and the distribution of individual publishing grants.
Literature Wales Writers' Bursaries
Literature Wales can offer vital and direct support to writers of distinction – both emergent and established – through its Bursaries scheme. There is an annual deadline for applications.
Bursaries are awarded on merit in a competitive scheme and are awarded to support writers creating new work in the following genres: novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism and factual prose of literary merit. Writing which does not fit neatly into these categories can also be considered. Bursaries are awarded annually to writers both new and established seeking to buy time out of their employment commitments in order to complete a work of literary fiction or non-fiction or to help to cover the costs of travel, research or childcare. Bursaries are also available for disabled writers to provide specialist equipment, support or training.
For futher information about the Literature Wales Writers' Bursaries and to read the guidelines click here.
Plays are not eligible under this service; those seeking support in this field are strongly advised to contact Sherman Cymru, which can offer invaluable advice and support for emergent playwrights, as well as the very latest news on funding and development opportunities.
Funding to develop your skills
Other ways in which Literature Wales can help develop you as a writer
Alongside the provision of the Literature Wales Writers' Bursaries, which enable writers to buy time to complete a major piece of work, Literature Wales also provides a number of services which can help you develop your creative and professional skills, and practically further your work.
Literature Wales Critical Service
Literature Wales' Critical Service for Writers enables applicants to have their work read and assessed by an experienced writer. Although friends and relatives are often encouraging, a more objective view can help writers to improve their work. Applicants’ readers will produce a report of about 1,000 words which will be critical in the best sense of the term. The reader will be concerned with the literary quality of the work submitted only. Neither applicant nor the reader will know each other’s identity.
The views of the reader are theirs alone and do not represent in any way the opinion of Literature Wales. We reserve the right to return work which would be unlikely at this stage to benefit from the Critical Service.
Literature Wales' Critical Service for Writers is available only to writers living in Wales and writers in the Welsh language.
Plays are not eligible for this Service.
For further information, gudelines and an application form for the Critical Service for Writers click here:
Literature Wales Mentoring
The Literature Wales Mentoring Service for Writers offers support and practical advice to writers who show outstanding promise – those in whose work publishers have already expressed a firm interest. The Service is designed to help writers develop that work to a publishable standard.
What can the Service help with?
Writers may ask for assistance to develop a specific piece of work-in-progress. Support will be provided in the form of a number of sessions with an established writer from the same genre who will be able to offer constructive criticism and suggestions to help take the work forward. This tutor will be selected, in consultation with the applicant and the publisher, from a panel of experienced writers established for this purpose. Writers using this scheme will be expected to devote time between tutor-sessions in order to make progress on the work.
Application is open to writers who are resident in Wales at the time of application and who will continue to live in Wales throughout the mentoring period. Writers in the Welsh language living outside Wales are also eligible to apply. Questions on eligibility should be addressed to the Literature Wales before formal application is made.
There is an annual closing date for applications.
For further information and to read the Mentoring guidelines click here:
Ad hoc workshops
In addition to the provision of Literature Wales Writers' Bursaries the Critical Service and Mentoring Scheme, Literature Wales also offers a variety of innovative ad hoc workshops of interest to literary writers, led by leading writers from Wales and beyond throughout the year. Recent workshops have included writing libretti, dance writing and performance poetry. Workshops are free but places are allotted on a strictly first come first serve basis.
Literature Wales carries full details of forthcoming workshops on its website, so visit regularly to find out about the latest development opportunities for writers in Wales. Writers are also especially encouraged to subscribe to Literature Wales' e-newsletter – all the latest news, information and opportunities of interest to writers in Wales delivered directly to your inbox. Click here for further details.