Here’s another worthy contribution from Welshnot:
You attack Welsh arts council funding for writers and publishers, and have claimed that it doesn’t happen in England. Not true: independent publishers such as Bloodaxe (who publish RS Thomas) and Carcanet (who publish Gillian Clarke, Robert Minhinnick etc) are funded by Arts council England with far more money than Seren, for instance. As are publishers like Arc, Shearsman, and many, many others.
Recently, Faber and Faber received arts council money to find new talent, and they’re a totally commercial enterprise. You deliberately blocked my comments relating to this in your blog. You claim that writers in England don’t get bursaries, but as you know full well they do: they get residencies and writing time funded, and many organisations such as Poet in the City are funded by the arts council to put on readings and events. I know, I send my pupils to many of their events, and ‘writer in residence’ positions are more often than not funded by grants. You claimed Owen Sheers was never helped by grant money, but when I corrected you you simply blocked me, but allowed a nasty personal comment by ‘Literature Wales’ (another site that blocks comments after smearing individuals) against Sheers in its place.
All of this information is freely available in arts council reports and in the reports of the publishers who account for how they have spent the money. Your FOI requests are a diversion from the fact that the information is freely available anyway.
So what is your beef against literature funding in Wales? Wales is doing what everywhere else does, you just don’t like it because you haven’t benefited from it, though you have tried.
Why not ‘fess up, and deal with the fact that, as in all situations where money is distributed, there will be winners and there will be losers? Sometimes it may be, or feel, unfair, but that’s a far cry from a conspiracy of corruption. If there is corruption, prove it: find us some evidence of misappropriated funds and nepotistic awarding practices.
What do you make of that, then, Julian? Too difficult for you to answer? Or do you think that what’s good in England is bad in Wales?