Literature Wales – Writer Fees

Published Tue 12 Mar 2024 - By Literature Wales
Literature Wales – Writer Fees
As part of the ongoing drive towards ensuring that writing can become a viable and sustainable career for creatives in Wales, we are today announcing our refreshed financial commitment to writers.  

As detailed in Our Pledge, one of the key parts of providing fair work for freelancers is ensuring fair fees. Most of the freelancers we work with are writers and there is evidence that many opportunities for writers do not pay what we’d consider as fair fees. UK-based research, such as ALCS’ 2018 survey show a decline in writer earnings, and campaigns such as the Creators’ Rights Alliance’s Pay the Creator have been set up to call for creators to be paid professionally and promptly.  

In 2022 we engaged Aberystwyth University to compile a Wales-specific study. The research engaged 111 writers and event organisers in surveys and interviews to determine a variety of barriers to writers receiving fair pay. Examples include organisations not understanding the work and costs involved for writers in delivering work, or writers not having the confidence to negotiate for a higher fee. 

This research (full report here) clearly shows the issues within the literary ecosystem in Wales around fair work. However, the necessary action is not clear or easy. It will require the whole literary community – audiences, writers, community organisers, festivals, bookshops, larger organisations, and funders – to work together to create a strong and representative sector that supports writers to develop sustainable careers. Talking about money can be uncomfortable but it’s really important and it’s the only action which will lead to meaningful change. 

As the national company for the development of literature, we want to lead by example. Therefore, we are committing to annually publishing fees we have paid and setting fee ranges for the upcoming year. In addition, we will only partner with organisations who also commit to paying these rates, and we will not distribute funding to organisations who don’t pay fair fees. 

Some writers may wish to work for lower fees or in some instances, for free. This may be to take part in an event which supports a specific cause, to support their local community, or to advance their careers. We do not seek to ostracise them, however we do ask them to articulate why their rate is discounted/free to event organisers to facilitate wider understanding of the importance of fair work for writers. We ask all event organisers to think carefully about writer fee offers before engaging writers, and to be open and willing to negotiate with writers. 

Why is fair pay important? 

Writing is a craft, and it takes time, energy and training to foster. Like any other craft, its practitioners should be compensated fairly for their time. Without fair pay, writers might leave the sector to seek alternative work. This is especially true of writers who have previously been under-represented within the literary scene due to barriers in the sectors. We want to nurture new and existing voices. We want the Wales to be known for its literature. We want the people of Wales to benefit from the positive effects of engaging with literature. So we must respect, support and invest fairly in our writers.  

Literature Wales’ Commitment in Full 

You can read our commitment, in Our Pledge. This includes how we will ensure we are transparent and respectful, how we will empower writers, support a thriving literary ecosystem, and use our platform and networks to advocate for change.  


Writer Fee Guidelines
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