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Representing Wales

7 September 2023

Kindred creative alumni win places to nurture their careers

Three Cardiff University graduates are to take part in the first Literature Wales professional development programme to focus on writing for children and young people.

Just 14 writers were selected for the 2023/2024 Representing Wales programme.

Taylor Edmonds (Creative Writing, MA 2022), Bethany Handley (Journalism, Media & English Literature, BA 2022) and Megan Hunter (Philosophy and Welsh, BA 2022) are among the third cohort of the scheme for under-represented writers.

Funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales, the coveted 12-month scheme is designed to nurture writing talent through one-to-one mentoring sessions with an established author of their choice.

Writing for audiences from 4 to 18 years old from fantasy to horror and in forms as varied as poetry and the graphic novel, they all share the same passion for inspiring young audiences.

This year the cohort is also writing in multiple languages, from Welsh and English to Bangla.

During the year, the cohort will hear from award-winning writers such as Patrice Lawrence, Caryl Lewis, Lee Newbery, Alex Wharton and Sue Cheung and young people’s literature specialists including Professor Charlotte Williams, Dr Siwan Rosser as well as representatives from Book Trust Cymru and publisher Knights Of.

The scheme is designed to support each writer to achieve their individual goals, be that completing manuscripts, developing school workshops blueprints or hooking a literary agent and seeing their work published.

Awarded up to £3,300 each, the recipients access 8 online workshops aiming to demystify the writing profession and the publishing industry in Wales and the wider UK plus training on how to create an authentic author brand, building a freelance career and working as community and school practitioners.

Four will develop creative work in Welsh during the year, with others offered the opportunity to improve their Welsh-language skills thanks to a partnership with the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Past Representing Wales cohorts will engage in sessions to cultivate connections between cohorts, offering ongoing support and opportunities for participants past and present.

A selection of workshops will be made open to the public during the year as a way of offering free instruction and advice to a wide range of aspiring writers across Wales.

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