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Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

 

If you have any questions about Representing Wales, please read through our FAQs below. If you can’t see the answer to your question, feel free to get in touch for more information.

This document is available as a download here. For a large print version, please click here.

Application

How do I apply?

To apply for a place on the Representing Wales programme, you’ll need to submit:  

 

  1. A completed application form

This application form will ask for your personal details, including details which will help us assess eligibility, and information about your career as a writer so far. We’ll also ask about your ambitions as a writer and why you believe the Representing Wales programme could help you at your current stage of your writing career.  

 

  1. An example of your creative writing 

The application form will ask you to upload one example of your best creative writing. We suggest between 2,000 – 4,000 words of prose or between 4-8 poems. Please don’t send anything too long. 

If your work-in-progress is a graphic novel, we suggest sending a summary of the story and a sample of completed storyboard pages (with text and illustration). 

If you are a spoken word artist, you may want to send a performance of your creative work as a video submission, rather than a manuscript. Please email post@literaturewales.org for more information. Please note that you will also need to complete and submit an application form. 

Please note that we can only assess creative writing examples submitted for the application process in Welsh or English. If you submit original creative work in another language, you will also need to submit a translation of the work into Welsh or English.   

Creative writing genres

We welcome creative writing submissions in the following genres: children’s literature, creative non-fiction, fiction (novels and short stories), graphic novels, poetry, spoken word or rap, and YA literature. 

Assessment

How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed by an independent panel of experts who will assess: 

  • The creative potential and quality of the writing you submitted, as well as the originality and freshness of ideas and voice in the work and your application 
  • The suitability of this programme for you as a writer at this stage of your career 

Our remit as a bilingual, national organisation commits us to make sure that a range of writers can access our opportunities. Because of this, language and geographical balance may also be taken into consideration by the panel. 

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for this opportunity?

Individuals from low-income backgrounds who want to develop their skills in any literary form. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and currently living in Wales.  

Please note that this programme is not necessarily targeted towards individuals who are currently on a low income but is aimed at individuals from low-income backgrounds. Our criteria of low-income background include individuals who were eligible for free school meals, or whose parents were in low-paid jobs, unemployed, or receiving benefits (including disability allowances) when applicants were 14 years old. Raw socio-economic data (incl. SEC assessment and self-assessment) is collected from applicants to determine eligibility for this programme. 

Applicants must be resident in Wales at the time of application and throughout the 12-month programme. 

Students (part-time or full-time) are not eligible for funding under this programme. This is a condition set by our funders, the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales.

Literature Wales will make decisions on eligibility, and our decisions will be final. 

Do I need previous experience to apply?

No, only an example of your best creative writing. We welcome applications from those new to the world of writing, or those who may have started on their journey and need support to reach the next level. The Assessment Panel will be looking at applicants’ potential, ambition, and originality. 

Am I too experienced to apply?

This opportunity is mainly for new, early career, and mid-career writers.

However, as a more experienced writer you might find that there are barriers which prevent you from reaching your full potential, or you might want to experiment with a different literary form or language. Everyone will have a different definition of what early or mid-career is, and where they believe themselves to be on their journey as a writer. If you are unsure if this is the right programme for you at this stage of your writing career, please get in touch to discuss your journey.

Is this opportunity for young writers only?

This opportunity is for writers of all ages (over the age of 18) who are resident in Wales.

In what language will this programme be delivered?

All events will be delivered through the medium of English or Welsh, depending on the language preference of the cohort. However, if you write creatively in any other language, we will try and assist by pairing you with a suitable Mentor who is also fluent in that language. Please note that we can only assess creative writing examples submitted for the application process in Welsh or English. If you submit original creative work in another language, you will also need to submit a translation of the work into Welsh or English.

I’m a past recipient of Literature Wales Bursary or Mentoring schemes, can I apply?

Yes you can – we want the programme to be open to as many eligible writers as possible.

Why are you prioritising applications from writers from a low-income background?

We want to create a literary culture that truly represents the variety and diversity of our population in Wales. We will continue our focus on developing and platforming people who are under-represented and who have experienced historical and structural inequalities, racism, ableism, and discrimination. People who currently don’t see themselves in the literature they read and hear should be able to see writers with similar lived experiences in published books, in performed work, as community champions, as workshops leaders, creative writing tutors, and laureates.

Achieving representation and equality is a long-term process and our commitment to this work as a priority will be ongoing. Achieving a better ecosystem of under-represented voices who will inspire others will take time, but we’re committed to making systemic change.

Our flagship Representing Wales: Developing Writers Programme will continue to evolve. Each year, we will invest in a cohort from a priority group, who identify with a particular under-represented characteristic (and often with more than one) and provide a bespoke development programme to realise the aims and dreams of the writers. This will create a pipeline of unique, diverse Welsh talent to represent our literary scene at home and internationally. Our involvement with the writers will not conclude at the end of the year-long project, we will continue to offer support to our Representing Wales writers for years to come and champion them as ambassadors for Literature Wales, as well as literature from Wales. The first edition of the Representing Wales programme focused on writers of colour. The second edition of the Representing Wales programme is focusing on writers from low-income backgrounds, of which many will face intersecting challenges due to, but not limited to, their ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender identity, age, and religious beliefs.

Which literary genres are eligible?

We welcome creative writing submissions in the following genres: children’s literature, creative non-fiction, fiction (novels and short stories), graphic novels, poetry, spoken word or rap, and YA literature.

We also welcome those writers who also are interested in running literary participation work with communities and groups, as well as developing their writing career.

You are also welcome to submit cross-genre work or multi-disciplinary work which doesn’t fit neatly into one category.

The work in progress must be your own original work, and you must be the sole author. Co-authored works are not eligible for this programme. Copyright of the work submitted remains with the author.

The Assessment Process

Who are the Assessment Panel?

The Assessment Panel is made up of a range of individuals who have expertise in literature, creative writing, the publishing industry in Wales and beyond, and/or professional writer development.

Click here for more information about the Assessment Panel.

How will you assess my application?

Profile screening

Every application will be checked by the Literature Wales team to ensure that the applicant is eligible for this programme, based on the profile screening questions, which measure socio-economic background measures.

It would be helpful to the process if you could complete every section in the Application Form. Please note the information provided here is confidential and will be used for internal assessment purposes only.

The Panel Chair will sift the applications and select a shortlist for the Assessment Panel to consider.

The Assessment Panel will assess all shortlisted applications separately and award a mark to each applicant against set criteria looking at the potential and quality of your submitted creative writing excerpt, as well as the suitability of this programme for the needs you have articulated. The Assessment Panel may also consider linguistic and geographical balance, and representation when selecting applicants.

How many places will be available on the 2022-2023 Representing Wales programme?

There are 13 places available on the 2022-2023 Representing Wales programme.

If I am unsuccessful, will I receive feedback?

As we are expecting a lot of applications, we may not be able to provide detailed feedback on each one. However, where possible we will provide a short, personalised line of feedback, and advise on other opportunities Literature Wales and partners may have available.

We are aware that correspondence regarding unsuccessful applications can have a negative impact on your health and well-being. We give our pledge to respect and value each individual application, giving it due consideration and attention.

A small team of Literature Wales staff member will have access to your submitted creative work. In line with our talent-scouting and signposting strategy, we may get in touch in the future with personalised opportunities, based on your work and your expertise. To enable Literature Wales to comply with data protection law (GDPR), please complete the relevant section at the end of the application form to let us know if you don’t want to be contacted by Literature Wales about offers in the future.

When will I hear if my application for the 2022-2023 Professional Development Programme has been successful?

All applicants will be informed of the Assessment Panel’s decision by Thursday 24 February 2022.

The Programme

What is Representing Wales?

Representing Wales is a 12-month programme which aims to help writers achieve their long-term ambitions. Each year, we will invest in a cohort from a priority group, who identify with a particular under-represented characteristic (and often with more than one) and provide a bespoke development programme to realise the aims of the writers. The first edition of the Representing Wales programme focused on Writers of Colour. The second edition of the Representing Wales programme is focusing on individuals from low-income backgrounds.

The successful cohort will take part in 12 workshops on professional development, 12 writing rooms to share and critique creative work, 4 masterclasses on writing techniques and receive one-to-one mentoring sessions throughout the duration of the programme. They will also attend occasional events and activities to network and engage with the sector in Wales and beyond.

Representing Wales development programme for writers is funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales.

How much of my time do I need to use for the programme? Can I apply if I have employment and/or caring responsibilities?

Absolutely. We will work alongside the cohort to identify convenient times and dates for all. Most of the activities will be delivered virtually in the evenings or weekends. All sessions are recorded and shared in confidence with the cohort. We’ll expect every member of the cohort to attend all events, but if something urgent prevents a writer from attending, these recordings will be available to watch later. The team at Literature Wales are always on hand to support the writers and help ensure that all members of the cohort benefit from the programme.

We estimate that we will organise activities and set tasks that will require between 10-13 whole days of your time during the year, but many of these events will be scheduled to avoid interfering with office hours. It’s up to you how many extra hours you will then be able to allocate towards developing your own writing projects during the year.

When will the programme take place? Do you have more details and dates for events?

The Programme will take place over 12 months from the beginning of March 2022 until the end of February 2023. At least two events per month will take place.

Programme participants will schedule one-to-one sessions with their personal Mentor to meet face-to-face (where safe to do so) or virtually.

What will happen after the programme ends?

After the 12-month programme, we will continue to offer support to the cohort by checking in, offering advice, and inviting the writers to further networking and training opportunities. This is a long-term investment in the writers’ development.

Will I be required to travel for events?

This depends on factors including the COVID-19 pandemic situation and government guidance. Most of the programme’s core activity (e.g., workshops, masterclasses) will be delivered online to ensure everybody can attend, regardless of their location. The programme may include training days at a location in Wales with overnight accommodations, such as Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre – our national writing centre.

You’ll have access to a ticket budget to spend on tickets for literary events and festivals of your choice.

I have a disability or an illness that might make it difficult to take part, can you help?

Of course. The Literature Wales team are available to discuss any concerns and requirements before and throughout the programme. Please get in touch with us. An Access Fund is available to enable full participation in events for writers with disabilities or illnesses who may have additional access requirements.

Will I be required to hand over a finished piece of work at the end of the 12-months?

No, this will be a programme to equip you with the tools you will need to develop your craft in the long term, and to develop professionally as a writer without the restrictions and/or pressure to produce work.

We will work with you to set achievable aims and goals at the beginning of the programme, and help you achieve them. One of your aims should be related to developing your current work in progress during the programme. The monthly writing rooms will give you the chance to share your work with the cohort and you may wish to use these informal meetings as a personal goal to produce work each month. There will also be an opportunity to check in and catch up with a Literature Wales staff member each quarter, to discuss your progress.

General Enquiries

I am not eligible for this opportunity, but I am interested in developing my career as a writer. How can you help?

Our website provides information about the opportunities we have available to help writers develop their craft and careers. Alternatively, please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Where possible, we will signpost writers to other opportunities within the literature sector.

Are Literature Wales’ Bursaries for Writers and Mentoring Scheme running this year?

We want the literary culture of Wales to truly represent the variety and diversity of our population. We will continue our focus on developing and platforming people who are under-represented and who have experienced historical and structural inequalities, racism, ableism, and discrimination.

We have adopted a proactive approach to creating change within the sector. During 2020 we revised and remodelled our Bursaries and Mentoring Scheme to develop Representing Wales, our new 12-month writer development programme which includes a financial award and mentoring sessions. The first edition of the programme focused on writers of colour. The second edition is focusing on writers from low-income backgrounds, of which many will face intersecting challenges due to, but not limited to, their ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender identity, age and religious beliefs. Applications for the second edition of Representing Wales will open during autumn 2021, and the programme will begin in March 2022 and run until the end of February 2023.

Our Representing Wales programme is an important development for Literature Wales, as we aim to diversify Wales’ literary landscape and help ensure fair and equal access to the sector.

Achieving equality and a better ecosystem of under-represented voices who will inspire others is a long-term process, but we’re focusing our efforts on making systemic change and our commitment to this work as a priority will be ongoing.

How is Representing Wales funded?

Representing Wales Writer Development Programme is funded by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales.

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