Finch Moves On

Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency
takes authors and audiences into the twenty-first century

The Welsh Academy in partnership with Ty Newydd, the Cricieth writers' centre, has won the Arts Council’s franchise to promote literary events, tours and residencies throughout Wales. The franchise is for three years and will give the reorganised Academy responsibility for managing existing Arts Council schemes - Writers on Tour; school, library and community residencies; and literature development projects.

In addition the new Agency will take on a promotional role. It will extend existing Welsh literary activity by initiating author tours, establishing new writers' groups, and by nurturing young talent through a programme of writers' squads and workshops. The Agency will also extend community participation in literature through co-operation with local authorities and the library service. It also intends to manage a number of literary festivals.

Access will be the key. Literary activity will be fostered at all levels in both the languages of Wales. Working through a team of partners and development workers the Agency will reach places Wales did not know it had. Expect fiction on the motorway and poetry in the crags. Harri Webb’s Green Desert will be filled with bards. There will be tales as well as tea in Kate Roberts' heather

Using new technology - Internet Web sites, on-line magazines and interactive discussion groups - the Agency will make literature in all its forms accessible to everyone, from the housebound to the hyperactive, from the young to the old, from Holyhead to Chepstow.

In bidding for the franchise the Academy found itself in competition with a number of others from the Welsh literary community, including many household names. Rather than leave those initiatives abandoned the Academy will now seek to include them with the Agency’s activities. New partnerships will be sought. Outsiders will be invited in.

The Academy team was led by Professor M. Wynn Thomas (Acting Chair), University of Wales Swansea, Dr John Pikoulis, Senior Lecturer in English, University of Wales Department of Continuing Education, Ned Thomas, Director of the University of Wales Press, John Osmond, Director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, the author Harri Pritchard Jones, and Sally Baker, Director of Ty Newydd.

M. Wynn Thomas said "This is an exciting development that is testimony to the way the Academy has radically refashioned and revitalised itself over the last few months. The new Academy now looks forward to participating in a revolutionary bicultural venture that will be Wales-wide in its impact."

The Agency will headed by Peter Finch. Well known as a poet and author Peter Finch has wide experience as an organiser, administrator and literary entrepreneur.

For more information contact: Professor M Wynn Thomas on 01792 295306

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