​The Books Council of Wales has published details of the projects that have been funded by the second year of the New Audiences Grant, with projects from across Wales receiving a share of £400,000 of funding in 2023/24.

The New Audiences Grant is funded by Welsh Government through Creative Wales. Its purpose is to strengthen and diversify the publishing industry in Wales. Grants of up to £40,000 were available for organisations and new ventures in Wales to:

  • develop new authors, illustrators or contributors from culturally diverse backgrounds or under-represented groups from Wales, and provide them with the support and opportunities they may need to be published in Wales;
  • target new audiences in Wales by developing original material and/or using media channels or formats currently not funded;
  • set up a publishing business or publication that will strengthen and diversify the current offer in Wales.

Among the new initiatives to receive funding were:

Afterlight Comics
Afterlight Comics are collaborating with local Welsh creatives to transform tales from Welsh folklore into a graphic novel. By teaming up with artists and writers from Wales, the goal is to breathe new life into these traditional stories, adapting them into a visually captivating format. This initiative aims to spotlight Welsh culture and heritage, making age-old folklore accessible and intriguing for modern readers. 

Wales Young Farmers Clubs
Up to 15 members of Wales Young Farmers Clubs are working with mentors to develop their writing skills, leading to publication. With the help and support of two experienced mentors, a variety of written forms, depending on the individual, will be created and developed by young people between the ages of 10 and 28. Whether through humorous reports, poems or short stories, the voices of young, rural Welsh people will be heard in a published volume.

Gypsy Writers Project: Expanding Cultural Understanding, Romani Cultural and Arts Company
The Romani Cultural and Arts Company’s trailblazing new creative writing project ‘Gypsy Writers’ invited applications from emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller writers currently living in Wales. Extending the highly successful Gypsy Maker programme, four emerging writers will be commissioned, who have not been previously published (online or in print). Funds will be used to commission a leading Gypsy, Roma and Traveller writer to steer the development of new writing by offering tailored one-to-one mentoring, prose and poetry workshops, and industry-specific training.

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales said: “Thanks to Creative Wales, once again we have been able to fund some really exciting projects through the New Audiences Grant. We’re pleased to be able to build on some of the successes from the first year of the grant and see projects grow for a second year. I’m also delighted that we could work with some brand-new partners this time round, who will bring new talent and ideas to publishing in Wales, appeal to new audiences and create lasting change in our sector.”

The Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to continue supporting this scheme.  This funding brings the total investment through the grant to over £1million and nearly 70 different projects across Wales.

“The first year of the New Audiences Grant has created exciting opportunities for new collaborations and partnerships.  I wish the new projects all the best and we look forward to seeing their achievements.”

Details of the projects that received funding are on the Books Council’s website: Grants | Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru