About us

Person holding up protest signLiterature Wales is the national organisation that is supposed to be responsible for developing and promoting literature in Wales.

It runs Wales Book of the Year, the National Poet of Wales, writing courses at Tŷ Newydd and numerous other events, most of which they charge an entry fee for.

They also get rather a large wad of taxpayers money to help them do this.

Literature Wales is supposed to represent the interests of Welsh writers in all genres and languages. It is also supposed to offer advice, support and bursaries to writers.

Literature Wales works with the support of the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. It is one of the resident organisations of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Scandal

In early 2013, the UK national press including the Daily Mail and The Telegraph revealed some astonishing facts and figures about how literature is run in Wales.

‘In the past five years the Welsh Books Council and Literature Wales have received more than £42m from the Welsh Assembly and Arts Council Wales, which in turn receive their funding from Westminster.

Welsh authors can apply for grants of up to £10,000 to work on any kind of book, and they keep the money even if their work is never published.’

– By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter, Telegraph, 01 Jan 2013

The reports were critical of the cost to British taxpayers, with the Daily Mail stating that the money went to pay for Welsh books that only sold ‘a handful of copies’.

Makes you wonder where all those millions go doesn’t it? Some would even say that this level of funding is in dire need of some serious scrutiny.

We have done a bit of digging around and found that the same names seem to crop up time and time again. It seems taxpayers money is being given to a small, select group of people, in the form of bursaries, prizes, judging and appearance fees, year after year after year.

So please read on and be disgusted. Oh yes, and maybe tell your friends about us too. Just send them this link:

https://literaturewales.wordpress.com/

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26 thoughts on “About us

    Rob Evans said:
    December 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Great website. I must say I’ve noticed that all the decent writers in Wales seem to exist underground or have achieved success in England. And yes it is always the same crowd being published within Wales. You also see these numpties getting all the awards and prizes in Wales too. A quick look at the bursary list shows up all too well where this money is going, and with nothing ever being produced at the end of it. It is obviously plain to see that the system in Wales stinks.

      Simone said:
      February 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      And I’m changing my surname to Rhydderch! It’s obviously a winner. Not that I – a writer by choice – would ever grub around for a hand-out in these straightened times. Poor Wales…

    Buddy said:
    January 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    This is a great blog, glad someone has finally taken the plunge and tried to highlight the scale of the nepotism that exists in Wales. I read somewhere that Gwyneth Lewis has had £75,000 to sail a boat!!! All on taxpayers money. Why oh why won’t the BBC expose this?

    Lion4 said:
    January 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Seren Publishers received £557,078
    Honno received £239,708
    Y Lolfa received £687,507
    Gomer Press £1,409,493

    Grants to Welsh writers totalled £1,409, 493.

    Something wrong here. What are the correct figures?

    literaturewales1 responded:
    January 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Yes, looks a bit odd, probably a typo by Western mail journo – perhaps LW can let us know the correct figures?

    welshnot said:
    January 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I see you’re taking the Ruckian route and being too afraid to publish any comment that contradicts your sour grapes and your smears.
    Again, let me ask: show some evidence of malfaisance. So far all you’re doing is objecting to some writers getting money.
    As least Rucky, though he writes like a 12 year old, isn’t afraid to put his name to what he says.

    welshnot said:
    January 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Christ you’re a coward.

    literaturewales1 responded:
    February 2, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Hi

    We are just beginning my ignorant friend. Hope you’re not scared of having to find a proper job too?

    JB

    Norman Wiesman said:
    March 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Great blog, have you tried emailing ITV Wales with this? I know BBC Wales won’t touch it as ‘they are all in it together’ but you might get some joy from ITV. Good luck.

    Stephane said:
    March 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I found your “LiteratureWales” page by accident and noticed you have a lot of traffic. Well done! Keep up the good work. Maybe one day the Welsh Assembly will pull the plug on these parasites!

      Simone said:
      February 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Well, the Cardiff Poetry Competition has just had the plug pulled. And that’s a start… The worm is turning.

    literaturewales1 responded:
    March 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

    A new list of cash for friends is out – see the updated list on our Handouts page.

    restlessjo said:
    March 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I’m not remotely Welsh so I was mildly intrigued to find you following my blog? Many thanks.

    B Mertens said:
    April 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I agree with what you’re saying. There should be a criminal investigation.

    Hannah Ifans said:
    April 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. The Welsh are the world’s worst at shooting themselves in the foot. Never heard of any of the writers on the list mind you!!

    Elaine McCarthy said:
    April 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    This is outrageous! Well, if it’s true it is! How can the same people get given public money year after year? It’s disgusting and something should be done about it. Good luck with your campaign.

    themindbogls said:
    May 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Okay, so far so good. Where do i apply for the money?

    Thanks for liking my blog, by the way. It mentions Wales a few times so maybe that’s how you found me, I try to stay a well-hidden secret known only to my army of Spammers, but greatness will out…

    Marie said:
    June 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Great site, go get ’em!

    julianruck said:
    July 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Well, where do I beigin?

    The most hated man in Wales, perhaps?

    Only the Head of News (Welsh Government) Simon Jenkins will communicate with me these days, especially since I now write a weekly column (Letter from Wales) for the influential Westminster Labout Uncut?

    So, why am I so unpopular?

    Simple. The Welsh establishment (particularly those of the Welsh writing genre who are unable to stop squeezing the taxpayer), don’t like the truth, and may I point out to all readers of this blog that every single pecuniary amount etc I have put into the media and public domain can be fully verified following a number of FofI requests.

    Thus to date, not one individual, Welsh publisher or Welsh writer has dared to challenge the facts of my articles. Ex-Natiolal poet of Wales, Gwyneth Lewis tried in the Guardian and was roundly humiliated. The Guradian had to correct and retract parts of her personal attack on me within 5 hours flat of publication or face a libel suit.

    The scandals go on (see my recent exposure about the Arts Council of Wales jobbers going on a jolly to Venice coutesy of the taxpayer – all seven of ’em! Western Mail 9.7.13) but at present I am waiting to see how the Wales Book of The Year goes. It’s all happening tonight, and how much do you want to bet that neither S4C nor BBC ap Wales will make any mention of the fact that the whole lot, books that don’t sell,the writers who have written them, the publishers who have published them, the Prizes and even the booze and nibbles, will all have been paid for by the taxpayer!

    I have already noticed that the ‘usual suspects’ are quaffing the vino and guzzling the canapés, no doubt whilst at the same time rumaging around in the taxpayer till.

    By the way, Literaure Wales refused to give me a Press pass to attend the Awards, I really can’t imagne why?

    Never mind, I will still be writing some articles about it all on Uncut and my own newspaper column. Westminster is one place where the Welsh establishment has as much power as a mouse caught in a trap.

    Julian Ruck

    JB said:
    November 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Great post!

    julianruck said:
    January 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

    For reasons that escape me, your blog has somehow failed to properly bleep on my radar. My apologies, as I believe I could have been more supportive than has hitherto been the case.

    The Welsh literati are simply yet another manifestation of Wales’ downward spiral into state subsidised oblivion. As Michael Gove recently commented,” You only have to look across the Severn Bridge to see a country going backwards.”

    Rewarding Crachach failure is the true culture of Wales and sadly the Welsh have only themselves to blame, thus the Third World Welsh economy and education system.

    Best wishes,

    Julian Ruck

    julianruck said:
    January 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

    PS I forgot. I must tell you about a ‘launch’ I attended (by invitation) at the Diplomat Hotel just before Christmas. The launch in question concerned a local magazine (Llanelli Miscellany) by an organisation who apparently assist with adult education, the Workers Educational Association. This being the case I found it rather odd that it was Welsh literati hob nobs doing all the talking eg Jon Gower and Phil Carradice ( I later exercised my journalist credentials and contacted the organisation under whose banner this magazine was published ie WEA – nothing to do with them, the Chief Executive quickly confirmed).

    The mag is actually all about Welsh poets and writers – neither of which as far as I am aware have anything to do with adult learning??.

    Further digging revealed that the magazine is associated with Literature Wales.

    Anyway, Mr Gower gave his talk about all his ‘Real Llanelli’ Books etc, the fine and vibrant Welsh writing world and so on – he maintained that sadly Llanelli had not produced ‘any writers’ (I’m not entirely sure where that leaves me, but then I’m not his flavour of the month!).

    Naturally, what he omitted to mention was the fact that all his ‘Real’ scribblings have been paid for by the taxpayer and that he has personally received thousands upon thousands of pounds in bursaries and awards from the taxpayer to write them, albeit that they have probably sold 100 copies max.

    What is so extraordinary about the Welsh writing world is its deluded sense of entitlement and eye watering arrogance.

    The simple fact remains: There would be no Welsh literati without the taxpayer, and why? It has no real talent eg not one subsidised Welsh writer can even get into an English bookshop!

    Julian Ruck

    julianruck said:
    January 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

    PPS Just a point of order Literature Wales. The articles in the Telegraph and Daily Mail last year came from me. As did the one about the Arts Council of Wales’ abuse of the taxpayer at the Biennale (Western Mail).

    Give me some credit!

    All the best,

    Julian Ruck

    A Nonny Mouse said:
    July 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    How does one get in contact with you? There are several connections between prominent names to which attention could perhaps helpfully be drawn.

      literaturewales1 responded:
      July 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Just post what you know here? Or send to Julian Ruck. I have a mortgage on a flat in Aber to pay and work full-time so haven’t really got time to be taking these parasites on. I just highlight the cash flow. I did hear that a national TV channel was thinking of exposing them all though so fingers crossed. Obviously not the BBC as they are in it together. There are also quite a few cases of plagiarism pending against some of the so-called top names in the Welsh Taffia. We might yet see their names in court.

    Sandra said:
    August 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I need some help. I’m being totally ripped off by a fully arts council press that is suppressing my family’s most important papers and poetry, criminally. I’m American and I need some assistance in looking up documents that I have found but have since disappeared from US internet searches.

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