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NWR Issue 98

Support our publishing industry: buy one literary mag or book produced in Wales this Christmas

Julian Ruck on the Politics Show this weekend made the vague and inaccurate statement that there is no public scrutiny of the subsidy made to publish new editions of classic titles of Welsh writing in English in the Library of Wales imprint. This is said to be £50,000 for 50,000 sales of the 34 titles produced since the series started in 2006. The Welsh Books Council should have been given the chance on air to defend their extremely rigorous scrutiny via their panels and committees (also funded by that mythical 'taxpayer' Julian Ruck seems so concerned about). It was good to see the young English postgrads of Swansea university defend the series, and also the Politics Show's guest AMs Joyce Watson (Labour) and Peter Black (Liberal) reiterate their support for subsidy to publishing Welsh titles in English as well as making the case for the role of the wider arts in reviving the economy.

Jon Gower is in the process of reading all 34 titles as part of his Library of Wales marathon. As he said on the Politics Show, it's not a matter of hospitals v books, but one of championing the role of literacy, culture and heritage within a 'grown-up nation'. Perhaps publishers and editors in this country may now be allowed to get on with their important work, including surveying and choosing the best manuscripts out there (including classic titles), supporting and developing living writers (both emerging and established), editing and producing their work to the highest standard, and selling those titles within a market that often seems to have its mind elsewhere. Support our industry by buying at least one literary magazine or book produced in Wales as a gift this Christmas.

       


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