writers

Wales Book of the Year 2015

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Money - PoundsWell, summer’s here and the time is right for dishing out cash for crap again. Yep, Literature Wales announced that Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness is the English-language Wales Book of the Year 2015. Didn’t he win a pile of cash before? Judges were Alex ClarkTessa Hadley (£4,810) and Paul Henry (£6,425).

The winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Award 2015 went to hanger-on Tiffany Atkinson (£3,849). The winner of the 2015 Fiction Category went to Cynan Jones (£6,800).

The winner of the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Prize 2015 was Jonathan Edwards (£4,000).

So basically, four crap writers (if you could call them that) and three unheard of judges.

Note:

More cynical observers might also note that most of the names above have already had cash from Literature Wales (figures in brackets) or the Arts Council (no figures for these) for other crap they’ve been involved in.

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New Troughers Announced

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This month sees yet another £81,000 of taxpayers money dished out to so-called “writers” no-one has ever heard of.  True, there are a few unpublished writers in there too (six we counted, although LW say it is eleven) but once again the vast majority of the cash is gifted to “published” writers – most, if not all, are unknown, talentless and worse still – previous bursary recipients!  Disgusting you might say? Well, we’ll agree with you.

But if this serious business of handing out taxpayers money without scrutiny wasn’t enough, Literature Wales even have the gall to announce to the world that they have awarded over £1 million in Writers’ Bursaries to their friends and family!

And out of that million quid the only “famous” writers they can come up with are: Belinda Bauer, Lloyd Jones, Daniel Morden & Gwyneth Lewis.  Yes, you’re right again, no-one outside Wales has ever heard of them.

How sad that in this, Dylan Thomas’s centenary year, LW still can’t give 100% of its financial support to new writers!

Link to who got what this year – click here.

Welcome

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gt1 copyLiterature 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/