Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The future of literature and publishing in Wales -- decision time

Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas

After all the fun and games of last summer (relating to the contents of the Report of the Medwin Hughes Panel) and the scrutiny by the Welsh Assembly's Culture Panel, it is rumoured that Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas will shortly be announcing his decision on what will happen next. This all relates to the future organization and funding of literature and publishing in Wales. Ken Skates (the Culture Minister at the time) said that he was minded to accept the main recommendations of the Report, which included the emasculation of Literature Wales and the transfer of additional responsibilities to the Welsh Books Council instead.

Now, however, Lord Dafydd has the Culture portfolio, and he might be more favourably inclined towards Literature Wales keeping many of its functions. On the other hand, Ken Skates is still his boss, and politicians who are in government do not like changing their minds or having their minds changed for them. So if Lord Dafydd decides to support Literature Wales and the status quo, that would involve a great loss of face for his boss. My guess is that there will be some sort of fudge, with LW allowed to remain in existence but with most of its functions transferred. "Literary Tourism" will almost certainly be transferred to Visit Wales -- and maybe some staff will move over as well. Some will no doubt be made redundant, since "economies" will inevitably include job losses.

Watch this space.........

To give some background, here is an extract from te Welsh Government ptress releaseof 14th June 2017.…/170613-review-in-to-support-for-publis…/…

Review into support for Publishing and Literature in Wales

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has received the independent review into Welsh Government support for publishing and literature in Wales.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Ken Skates: “Given the significant weight and compelling nature of the evidence received, I am minded to accept the main recommendations and the Welsh Government will now work with the relevant organisations to implement them.”

Quote from release: ………..One recommendation is that the Welsh Government should seek agreement from the Welsh Books Council to take on some of Literature Wales’ current functions, including Book of the Year (aiming to increase its commercial impact), bursaries, literary events and Writers on Tour and provision for children and young people.

The Review from the Medwin Hughes Panel is here:…/publishi…/support-for-literature-review/…

Ken Skates

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