Literature Wales was formed in April 2011. It is made up of The Welsh Academy and Tŷ Newydd and carries the functions of the former literature promotion agency, Academi.
Yr Academi Gymreig, the national society of writers in Wales, was founded in 1959 on the basis of conversations between Bobi Jones and Waldo Williams, writers in Welsh who chose the adjective Cymreig (lit: of Wales) rather than Cymraeg (lit: Welsh–medium) to allow the subsequent inclusion of writers in English, and other artists. The creation of an English-language section in 1968 was the result of an initiative by Meic Stephens, in his then capacity as Literature Director of the Welsh Arts Council (now The Arts Council of Wales), in association with members of the Guild of Welsh Writers, a group based mainly in London.
The first step towards enlargement took place in 1998 when the Society took on a much enhanced role when it won the Arts Council of Wales’s franchise to provide a Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency, named Academi.
In 2010, the Arts Council of Wales’ Investment Review designated Academi as one of six national companies, each representing different artform genres. Academi became the Arts Council’s de-facto agent to develop and implement literature activity. From April 2011 Academi rebranded as Literature Wales. The Welsh Academy, the Society of Writers of Wales, together with its services and activities continues under this new banner, together with Ty Newydd Writers’ Centre in Llanystumdwy.