Representing Wales 2023-2024 Mentors Announced
Representing Wales is a flagship writer development programme delivered by Literature Wales and funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales. Developed to improve representation within the sector, the programme aims to help transform the country’s literary culture into one that is truly reflective of Wales’ diverse communities and to establish a pipeline of diverse Welsh talent recognised across the UK and beyond.
The current round of the programme, which began in April 2023, has a particular focus on writing for children and young people.
Each writer on the Representing Wales programme is paired with a Mentor chosen by themselves in consultation with Literature Wales. Over the course of the programme, the mentors are on-hand to offer editorial support and bespoke career guidance as the writers work towards achieving their individual creative and professional aims.
This year’s cohort will be mentored by some of the most exciting and successful writers in Wales’ literary culture and beyond, are Sophie Anderson, Melvin Burgess, Jonathan Edwards, Kat Ellis, Catherine Fisher, Mererid Hopwood, Danielle Jawando, Patrice Lawrence, Kim Moore, James Nicol, Manon Steffan Ros, Joshua Seigal, Emma Smith-Barton and Casia Wiliam.
They span a range of genres, professional trajectories, and locations. Some concentrate on writing for children and/or young people while others write for adult audiences. Collectively, their works have been published worldwide and featured awards include the Jhalak Prize for Children and Young People, the Branford Boase Award; the Smarties Book Prize; The Andersen Prize; Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize; Yoto Carnegie Medal (formerly CILIP Carnegie Medal); Wales Book of the Year Award; Tir na n-Og Award; The Bookseller YA prize; Blue Peter Book Award; the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award; among others. Their experience, success and creativity will have direct impact on the writers’ development and in turn, the wider literary sector.
Jonathan Edwards, one of the programme Mentors said: “Literature Wales’ mentoring programme offers an amazing and unique opportunity for both writer and mentor. The opportunity for writing – that most solitary and often baffling of arts – to be shared with someone else who cares about the craft, knows the challenges, and wants to lift the work up to its full height, is utterly invaluable.”
In the following video, the 2022-2023 cohort tell us how they found the experience of the mentoring aspect of this programme:
You can visit the Representing Wales page to find out more about the programme’s current cohort of writers and their aims, read more about each mentor, and find out more about the programme, which is currently open for applications for the 2024-2025.