BLOG Kathryn Gray



This week is my last full week at New Welsh Review. New Welsh Review 91, my final issue, will also be published this week. Lots of marvellous new writing and thinking. I hope you enjoy it.

I would like to thank all the writers, photographers and readers who have made editing New Welsh Review a true pleasure. I've enjoyed some of the happiest times of my life working on the magazine and hosting our events over the past three years. I am very grateful to all those of you who have given such positive feedback on what we've achieved. And grateful, also, to the wonderful people I've met along the way who have offered me and the magazine much friendship - cheered me, and cheered me on. I've enjoyed immense support from my sterling board and from our sponsors, Aberystwyth University, the University of Glamorgan and Cardiff University. The Welsh Books Council's support and efficiency has been crucial. I thank them all.

Looking back over the issues I've produced, I feel pleased. Recently, controversy erupted over the gender statistics in some literary magazines published in the UK. It was found that women were underrepresented as creatives and critics, and that books by women were likewise underrepresented in the reviews pages. Not so with New Welsh Review. Women and men have been pretty much equally represented in the pages of this magazine. There was no quota, it was quite unconsciously done. But I feel proud as an editor that I have produced a magazine that fairly and accurately represents the talents of writers of both sexes in the current literary scene. A little more mathematics demonstrates that New Welsh Review has been populated by an astonishing number of writers completely new to the magazine. While I have published some of the greatest writers from Wales, and big names from beyond, too, I have been delighted in my selections from new writers. Not only did I think they were brilliant, others agreed. Many of those published - some counting New Welsh Review as their earliest or among their earliest publication - have gone on to great things, including nominations for the Picador Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, as well as publication in pamphlet and book form to great acclaim with both independent and commercial presses. Congratulations to them all. You saw them here first.

As I make clear in my final editorial, I leave New Welsh Review with a degree of sadness - but I am also a writer in her own right and I feel that it's crucial now for me to return to my own creative space. This needs to be protected, for it cannot protect itself. Running a literary magazine is all-consuming. But if I had two lives that I could live at the same time...Well.

Please do stay following and feeding this blog. The new editor, Gwen Davies, will be up and running shortly, with news, views and updates. For those of you who want to find out what I'm up to, and learn more about my other life, as a civilian, you can - here - a mixture of opinion, updates on my adventures in poetry and a repository of mainstream 'lovings' of pop film, classic books and more.

I will be following New Welsh Review's fortunes with enthusiasm and support. Sail well.


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