Huge cuts threaten future of Welsh literature

18 January 2016

More than 400 writers have written to protest against proposed cuts which threaten the future of the Welsh publishing industry.

Welsh- and English-language writers are standing in solidarity to oppose the 10% cuts to the Welsh Book Council (WBC). The SoA shares their concerns and welcomes and supports the letters to the Welsh Assembly.

The WBC supports hundreds of publications in Welsh and English each year, as well as many magazines and journals. The cuts will have a huge negative impact on publishing in both languages.

Poet and signatory of the English-language writers’ letter, Kathryn Gray explains:

Cuts to Welsh publishing will have brutal effects on a wonderful industry. I felt that this matter could not pass without expressing our dismay and grave disappointment. I expected a good response regarding this letter and the campaign, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the depth of passionate feeling. Welsh publishing matters and it deserves more from its political custodians.

Author and academic, Angharad Price has coordinated the parallel letter from Welsh-language writers:

The response from the community of Welsh-language authors and academics has been phenomenal, with well over 200 signatories to the Welsh letter alone, and numbers growing all the time.  This is a reflection of the depth of feeling about this matter. I have even had readers and writers from the Welsh-speaking community in Patagonia getting in touch, wanting to voice their concern.

The SoA wholeheartedly concurs with the opposition to the cuts. Chief Executive Nicola Solomon says:

The cuts would be desperately disappointing news. All the recent research shows that arts funding makes sense and gives huge returns. Wales has an international reputation for producing world class, award-winning books and that is something to celebrate and invest in.

The cuts are proposed by Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ken Skates, and are twice as much as those planned for other cultural organisations such as the Arts Council of Wales.

Independent Welsh publishers have also joined forces and written to the Assembly.

Authors, publishers and readers are now using the hashtag #WelshBooksMatter to highlight the depth and breadth of books. 

A petition has also been started, which we urge all to sign. Sign the petition >>