Anastacia Ackers 

Anastacia Ackers is a writer, theatre maker and facilitator from north-east Wales. She is currently chair of National Theatre Wales TEAM panel and has worked as part of National Theatre Wales TEAM Wrexham project since 2019. She also works alongside Outside Lives, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Maeshafn, Flintshire and is currently supporting the LikeMinded group for people living with dementia, as part of the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP). Anastacia is passionate about history and mythology and is incredibly excited to be on the Representing Wales Professional Development Programme 2022-23. 

Read Anastacia’s creative response to her time on Representing Wales below.

I almost lost the battle with myself on whether to press ‘send’ on my Literature Wales Representing Wales application. The voice in my head, the one I think that many other writers and creatives have which seeks to tear you down when it should be building you up, told me that I’d never be good enough for this programme. That day it was spectacularly loud, heard above the traffic and birdsong, and to even hover over the word ‘send’ sent it into screech mode.


It then proceeded to use age old insults against me as a writer and me as a person and me as a human, all in what was a bold attempt to prevent any sort of progression, to prevent any sort of putting myself forward in a way that makes me vulnerable. Because if I press ‘send’, then I’m in the running, and if I’m in the running, I can be told I’ve not got it. It’s one of my biggest fears as a writer, and this voice knows that. I took a moment and just inhaled and in that very moment, I heard a whisper. It was almost too faint to hear, and as it spoke, I recognised it immediately. It was hope herself, quiet but self-assured and simply asking the question:

What if you are good enough?

That moment was all I needed. I pressed ‘send’ and hoped for the best.

Fast forward to a few months later. I’m in a busy bar in Tenby, I was due to travel home that day after an event with National Theatre Wales TEAM at the Hwb in Narbeth but a giant storm hit the UK and all trains and travel was grounded. We’d come out for some food, and as we waited for it to arrive, I heard my phone go. It was a number I didn’t recognise, and so I shuffled outside onto the much quieter street.

‘Is that Anastacia? This is Marvin here from Literature Wales. We’re delighted to tell you you’ve been successful in your application to the Representing Wales cohort 2022-23.’

I think I did a bit of a scream and some people with pints and cigarettes looked at me quizzically. I was on the verge of dancing in the street as Marvin explained next steps and what the programme would contain. We finished chatting and I made my way back into the bar, grinning from ear to ear, but very aware I couldn’t tell anyone yet. I was so excited for what was to come, what I would learn about being a writer.

And what an incredible year it’s been. From residencies with the rest of the cohort (who I am so inspired by and who I’d consider friends for life) at Tŷ Newydd with writers such as Cathy Rentzenbrink, to a storytelling weekend with Phil Okwedy and Daniel Morden, from online sessions with Kit De Waal and Eloise Williams to residencies and sessions with my mentor Rufus Mufasa, the programme has been life changing. I’ve also had the chance to attend intensive Welsh lessions, a dw I’n gyffrous I barhau daith I siarad cymraeg. Looking back over the year and what I’ve learned, I’d say a big thing for me has been learning to listen to hope more. As a writer and an artist, I’ve not always been my best friend and have been self-critical to the point of self-sabotage, and I’d say this programme has taught me how to nurture my creative self and how to then critic and critique.

It also gave me the amazing opportunity to walk the Taith Pererin Gogledd Cymru/North Wales Pilgrims Way – a 134 mile journey from Basingwerk Abbey, Sir y Fflint to Ynys Enlli, Gwynedd. I walked the whole route in two weeks, and the main project I’ve been working on (working title Pilgrim Age) explores this journey and what a pilgrimage means when it’s on your doorstep. There are so many benefits to being on this programme that I’m so grateful for, but I’m also really excited about the future benefits. About the things I don’t know I know yet, and where what I’ve learned on this programme unfolds over my lifetime. If you’re reading this and it prompts you to think of that thing you need to apply for, then go and apply. Feel the fear and do it anyway. What is there to lose? It may just change your life, as this programme has mine.

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