In refining our priorities and activities, Literature Wales is looking to develop a more meaningful relationship with the writers and participants we work with. They are our service-users, project deliverers, and stakeholders. We aim to have a more long-term developmental approach to the support and interventions we offer, focusing on investment at the right time to maximise artistic and professional development.
In order to make the most effective and specific interventions in the sector, and in order to use our resources for the greatest impact, we have identified three main client groups with whom we want to work over this period.
By clearly identifying our target clients, we make it easier for people to see how they can engage with our work, and we can be clearer about what help and support we offer for writers, readers and participants at every stage of their career and development.
Creative participants take part in literary activities of all kinds, often in workshop settings. Their words may be a means of catharsis, personal growth or defence against an unfair world. Some might go on to become professional artists, mentoring and inspiring others from similar backgrounds to find their voices.
Early Career Writers
Early career writers have the potential to take risks and develop excellence in their art-form. They may have achieved some recognition already and be well-networked within the literary sector, but are now increasingly focussed on developing their craft. Early career writers can be of any age.
Wales’ contemporary writers collectively represent a broad range of genres, languages and experiences. As well as raising the profile of Wales and its literatures, established writers play a crucial role in inspiring a new generation of writers and creative audiences, and have the potential to guide and mentor others.
We recognise that those who are reading, listening and viewing literature are also fundamentally creative, so our activity will always be delivered with Creative Audiences in mind.
Representing the Under-represented
Literature is deeply rooted in the notion of freedom of expression. However, true freedom requires equality of opportunity and fair representation. When you don’t see people like yourself in what you’re reading, you’re far less likely to pursue other works or see value in creative writing. When you don’t see yourself in organisations offering creative opportunities, you’re far less likely to apply.
Working with partners, we will do more to foster representative diversity within the literature sector. Wales’ writers should comprise a range of ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, regions and languages and not be typified by certain limited demographic profiles. This isn’t about excluding anyone. It is about creating equal and fair access to artistic innovation and professional development.
Through our Tactical Priorities, we have identified three target client characteristics which will receive additional support throughout our activity. These are:
- Individuals from BAME backgrounds
- Individuals on low incomes
- Individuals with disabilities or illnesses (mental and physical)
We will continue to advocate a broad definition of literature and to enable opportunities for creative participants and writers of all abilities and from all backgrounds to enjoy and experiment with different forms.