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By ensuring representative inclusion throughout our activity and internal structures, we provide platforms for, and encourage under-represented literary voices; creating a national literary culture which represents contemporary Wales.
Based on our understanding of the power of literature to improve and transform lives, and the need to focus our activities where they will have greatest impact, Representation & Equality is one of our three Tactical Priorities. This is not a type of activity, but a theme that features in everything we deliver, and in our partnership and facilitation work.

Activity Highlight: Platforming Under-represented Writers

 

Literature Wales’ Strategic Plan 2019-2022 highlights our commitment to tackling under-representation within the sector and our ongoing support for early career writers is at the forefront of the strategy for the next three years.

In July 2019, we launched Platforming Under-represented Writers, a brand new pilot funding scheme offering grants of between £50-£1000 for a professional development opportunity to Wales-based writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and writers with a disability or illness (mental or physical). The aim of this scheme is to encourage writers from under-represented backgrounds to develop their professional and artistic potential and to create opportunities to kick-start their career.

In November 2019, eight emerging writers were awarded funding to undertake a variety of professional development activities whilst receiving sustained support from Literature Wales. Our investment will enable these talented individuals to shadow experienced writers, undertake research, conduct focus groups and deliver community engagement workshops; expanding their skills and knowledge and in some cases contributing to the development of their body of work.

100% of applicants indicated that they see challenges in pursuing a career as a writer/artist from an under-represented background in Wales. 

Crime Fiction writer, Anirban Mukhophadyay was awarded funding to enhance his knowledge of the genre.

Anirban will conduct 10 literary sessions and workshops involving a focus group of 15 literature enthusiasts, readers and writers from diverse social and occupational backgrounds living in Wales. Through the nature of the discussions, Anirban aims to gain an insight into the interests of a wide-scale readership for his genre.

Anirban will then receive mentoring from an Indian Crime Fiction writer, Mr Gunjan Dasgupta, who has written in different formats and for Indian and non-Indian readers. This will allow him to explore diverse writing styles under the expertise of an established writer. He’ll also attend an evening discussion with award-winning journalists and writers, Duncan Campbell and Joanna Jolly, on real-life crime writing to gain an insight into their writing techniques, and network with the audience.

To improve his overall technique, and to prepare a writing portfolio, Anirban will undertake a series of Crime Fiction Writing workshops to support his future development.

“This project will equip me with the knowledge and understanding of Crime Fiction from a writer’s perspective. It will help me understand the mind-set and expectations of readers, and the groundwork on which readers can be engaged.”

Anirban Mukhophadyay

Discover more about Platforming Under-represented Writers here.

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