Your chance to support books from Wales

Professor M. Wynn Thomas, Chair of the Books Council, reading a book.

In the year of our 60th anniversary, the Books Council of Wales is looking to appoint up to six new trustees to help support and maintain our work.

The Chair of our Council, Professor M. Wynn Thomas, has been answering a few questions below about the role and responsibilities of the trustees.

For further information on how to apply to become a trustee, please see our jobs and volunteering page or email to request an application pack.

The closing date for submitting applications is 12:00 on Monday 8 February 2021.

Why does the Books Council have trustees?

The Books Council of Wales, formed in 1961, is a charity established to support the publishing industry in Wales, in both Welsh and English. Its central purpose is to promote interest in literature and, crucially, to promote the ability to read, and to do so for pleasure. The Books Council receives funding from the Welsh Government and generates its own income through commercial activities.

What exactly is the role of a Books Council trustee?

It’s the trustee’s responsibility to protect all the interests of the organisation, including its property and reputation, and to ensure that it’s used for the benefit of the publishing industry. Our work is much more than grant distribution and book distribution; it includes connecting all aspects of the publishing industry as well as marketing, offering services and organising activities, such as World Book Day and the Tir na n-Og Awards.

What kind of person or experience is the Council looking for?

Primarily, we need someone who is passionate about maintaining and developing a vibrant book world in Wales, and who has sufficient experience to be able to offer a mature view of the management and development of the range of key activities that the Council undertakes, which is central to that world.

As the Council’s area of responsibility is bilingual, multicultural, and multi-faceted, this calls for a very diverse team of trustees from different backgrounds and skills. The work of the Council spans the whole book industry, from commissioning, writing and publishing to the commercial and business elements. With the digital revolution, publishing is more dynamic than ever before. Wales is a coalition of different cultural communities, so there’s a need to ensure that the Council has an body of trustees that reflects this vibrant diversity.

How could an individual make a difference by becoming a trustee?

Mainly by offering their advice and opinion based on experiences and skills. The trustees are the Council’s Executive Committee, and a number of sub-committees and panels report back to them.

As Chairman of the Books Council for many years, what do you enjoy about being a trustee?

The satisfaction and privilege of leading an organisation whose work is of paramount importance to the whole of Wales. The pleasure of seeing that body continually adapt itself and evolve skilfully to meet the demands of an ever-changing industry and culture. It’s also an education to have such a unique view of publishing, and a challenge to realise that we would not have our own book industry here in Wales were it not for the Council’s key contribution and the generosity of the Welsh Government.

What would you give as a word of advice for someone considering applying to become a trustee?

Don’t hesitate and don’t delay. The Council needs help and support, so apply immediately.

For further information contact