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Literature Wales and the Coronavirus – 18.3.2020

Published Wed 18 Mar 2020 - By Llenyddiaeth Cymru

With the current official guidelines regarding COVID-19 suggesting that we all avoid social contact for the next 12 weeks, Literature Wales has taken the decision to close its offices at Cardiff and Tŷ Newydd, and to postpone any activity we directly deliver which sees face-to-face contact. The situation is changing continuously, therefore we will closely monitor developments and communicate Literature Wales’ position regularly.

To read the latest guidelines on COVID-19, please see the Latest guidance section towards the end of this page.

All staff members will be working from home from today (Wednesday 18 March) until further notice. The well-being of our staff is a priority, however home-based working will not see our services diminish or operations cease.

We are fully aware that this is an intensely worrying time, both in terms of our mental and physical well-being as individuals and communities, and especially so for those who rely on freelance income. We will be contacting writers, facilitators and partners who are engaged in or delivering specific projects directly to discuss the next steps.

Please see some specific updates about some of our activity and operational procedures below, but please get in touch if you have any specific queries or concerns about how the coming months might affect you and the writing community.

You can contact us via our usual email address: post@literaturewales.org. If you wish to contact us regarding specific activity, please use the addresses below, copying post@literaturewales.org into the message:

Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre: tynewydd@literaturewales.org
Writers on Tour: writersontour@literaturewales.org
Writers’ Bursaries and Mentoring: apply@literaturewales.org
Children’s Laureate Wales childrenslaureate@literaturewales.org
Bardd Plant Cymru barddplant@llenyddiaethcymru.org
Hay Writers At Work haywritersatwork@literaturewales.org
Wales Book of the Year: LLYF-WBOTY@literaturewales.org
Press & Media Enquiries: press@literaturewales.org

Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel forthcoming courses and retreats at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre. We have currently postponed all activity until the end of April, although venue hires will be honoured with additional deep-clean changeover arrangements in place, and will assess the situation week-by-week. This decision has not been made lightly, as the financial impact on the Centre and on Literature Wales as an organisation is significant, however we must prioritise the safety of our staff and all visitors to the Centre.

Participants will receive a full refund or an option to take their refund in the form of a Tŷ Newydd Voucher. All tutors and participants affected will be contacted directly.


Financial Procedures

Following the closure of the Literature Wales’ offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that all writers, organisations and partners we work with are paid for services on time and correctly. In order to do this, we request that anyone who has completed project work for us recently submit invoices electronically by email to their contact within in the organisation. All invoices should include the following information:

  • Name and address
  • Date of invoice or date work completed
  • Description of services provided, itemised if applicable, e.g. fee for event – £100, travel expenses – 50 miles at 25p/mile – £12.50
  • Copies of receipts for any expenses claimed, we can accept screenshots and photographs if you do not have access to a scanner
  • Total amount due
  • Bank details – we will not be able to pay by cheque for the foreseeable future

If you not have an email address for your contact within the organisation invoices can be sent to post@literaturewales.org marked for their attention. If you have recently submitted an invoice you are advised to contact the Finance Officer and your contact to check the status of your payment and whether an additional copy will need to be submitted.

Writers on Tour claims should be forwarded to writersontour@literaturewales.org


Support for writers

We are working with our funders and partners to consider how we can support our clients during this period of intense uncertainty. Over the next few days we will announce a call-out for digital commissions by writers facing financial uncertainty. We will release information on our website and social media channels – please follow and like our accounts (relevant links are at the bottom of this page).

In the meantime, the following organisations may be useful for those in immediate need:

Royal Literary Fund
The Royal Literary Fund is a UK charity that has been helping authors since 1790. It provides grants and pensions to
writers in financial difficulty: https://www.rlf.org.uk/

The Society of Authors
The SoA is the UK trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. Contingency Fund: https://www.societyofauthors.org/Grants/contingency-funds

Arts Council of Wales
In their most recent statement, the Arts Council of Wales have included information about support for freelance professionals: https://arts.wales/news-jobs-opportunities/responding-coronavirus-covid-19

Wales Book of the Year

We will monitor the situation closely in the coming weeks in order to decide whether the Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony will be able to go ahead as planned. However, in the interest of supporting Welsh writers and publishers, and celebrating the literary talents of Wales, we hope that the schedule will remain unchanged with the Shortlist announced on Monday 11 May 2020, and the winners announced on Thursday 25 June 2020.

Latest guidance

The following links will direct you to the most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19:

Welsh Government: https://gov.wales/topic/980/latest
UK Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Arts Council of Wales: https://arts.wales/news-jobs-opportunities/coronavirus-covid-19-update-16-march

Keep in touch with Literature Wales:

Website: www.literaturewales.org
Email: post@literaturewales.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitWales | https://twitter.com/LlenCymru
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LlenCymruLitWales/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/llencymru_litwales/