Lack of funding to close adult literacy campaign Quick Reads

The popular adult literacy campaign, Quick Reads, is due to be shut down after a fruitless 18-month search for a new sponsor. SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon said: 

"We cannot afford to lose Quick Reads, a brilliant campaign for showing people that reading is enjoyable and need not be intimidating."

One in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. Quick Reads’ initiative in commissioning well-known authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read and are then sold through major retailers and loaned through libraries can create lifelong readers. The lasting effects of a strong adult literacy campaign can not be overstated, ranging from improvements in mental health to employment opportunities.

Image: an ESOL and literacy class from Community Education Lewisham in a book discussion at Deptford Lounge, south London

As the Reading Agency says, “Quick Reads is making real, lasting changes to people's lives. Since 2006, 4.8 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 3 million library loans have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading.”

It is our hope that a new sponsor can be found to give this unique scheme long term financial security. £120,000pa is not a large amount of money for a commercial sponsor or group of sponsors, whether inside or outside the publishing industry. Alternatively, publishers already involved in the printing and distribution of Quick Reads could simply take over the whole scheme, ensuring that they commission, print, promote and distribute books to broad and new audiences.

Saving Quick Reads will make a lasting difference to people’s lives.

Help raise awareness of Quick Reads' need for a sponsor: Tweet with #SaveQuickReads.


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Meredith Miller (29/04/2018 01:27)
" I think this is going to require a bunch of us getting together. I work somewhere that has relevant experience (editorial and book production) and I think they might get behind Quickreads if there were publishing industry cosponsors. Couldn't a bunch of us get together and pull whatever strings we have access to?
Tweet me if you're interested: @meredithseven"
Nicky Charlish (21/04/2018 10:22)
" " Given the importance of literacy to economic development, community cohesion and lifelong learning (whilst not forgetting art for art's sake), surely the government should find the necessary funding?"
Lindy Woodhead (20/04/2018 03:51)
" This is really sad news and a horrible statistic. Let's hope a sponsor steps forward really soon! Most authors don't have a lot of money - but some have a fortune - and if we all rallied to make a donation (small or large) to help a cause as vital as this, it would surely help. What about the Literary Festivals chipping in? They are usually adept at inviting authors - who rarely get paid - to appear on the circuit. If authors collectively say 'yes, I'll come and talk and sign books but you have to give a donation!' it could start a ground swell of support. Finally, why doesn't every member of the wonderful SoA send an email to their publisher with a c.c. to the press office and the literary editor of all the major newspapers to get a campaign going. The publishers hold the purse-strings - they should get them open."
Ruth Smith (20/04/2018 12:38)
" Please sponsor this it is a vital resource for adult literacy ."

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