Photo: Celebrations at our 100th issue party, Hay Festival, 2013.
We urgently need to raise £14,000 in order for New Welsh Review (Wales’ foremost literary magazine in English) to keep thriving, following funders’ cuts of over £17,000: a 20% reduction. Any extra funds raised will provide much-needed stability in an era where funding for the arts and independent publishing is in sharp decline.
“There is no more engrossing way to take part in contemporary Welsh literature than to read New Welsh Review.” - Horatio Clare
Here at New Welsh Review, we’re sadly not immune to cuts in the arts and humanities across the UK. Last year, we received a double blow: a £5,000 reduction (10% below our budget forecasts) in annual funding from our core sponsors, Books Council of Wales (BCW), as well as a cut of £11,000 from our academic host, Aberystwyth University.
What Does New Welsh Review Deliver?
New Welsh Review has been central to a thriving and innovative creative and review culture in Wales for over thirty years. Annually, we publish three print editions of the English-language magazine, New Welsh Reader, along with six e-editions. Since 2015, we have also run our writer development initiative, the New Welsh Writing Awards, in partnership with Literature Wales’ Tŷ Newydd, Gladstone’s Library and Curtis Brown literary agency. We exist to discover, promote and celebrate the writers of tomorrow as well as established voices in Wales and beyond. But it is our readers that form the heart of our community, and it is to you that we appeal now.
According to our 2018 readers’ survey, 76% of our estimated 1,250 readership reside in Wales with a remarkable 40% of our readers working in the creative arts. New Welsh Review is of paramount importance to the cultural ecology of Wales. We work tirelessly to promote the contributors and the magazine, including in partnership with literary festivals. In 2019 alone, we delivered events, workshops or talks in Aberystwyth, Newport, Crickhowell, Hay, Penarth, Swansea and at Gregynog Hall.
Photo: Mark Blayney and Andrew Green look over the Summer 2018 issue at the New Welsh Writing Awards ceremony, Hay Festival, 2018.
“New Welsh Review is a magazine of high integrity: elegantly designed, well-produced and edited with rare intelligence and commitment. Anyone seriously interested in art and literature should read it.” – Publisher, London Review of Books, Nicholas Spice
Gwen Davies, editor of New Welsh Review says:
"I love writers, but I really cherish readers. The utmost reading experience is what my editorship is about. The experience I have as a literary translator and book editor feeds into every line. I commission and craft pieces that last, whether in fine prose or videos with striking visuals and clever storyboards. I’m not interested in stuff made to get zapped into the trash file. The images and voices from literature that live on in our minds were crafted, and I want to add the Welsh (as well as the British and European and the female) dimension to that store of treasures every young person anywhere deserves to draw on throughout their lives.
A magazine is not just about the architecture but also the household. I am enormously proud to work alongside authors at the top of their game, such as Philip Gross, Gwyneth Lewis, Rory MacLean, Robert Minhinnick, Fflur Dafydd and Patrick McGuinness. To spot and welcome emerging writers who have gone on to be prize winners, including Crystal Jeans, Eluned Gramich, Mari Ellis Dunning and Alys Conran. To give our prose – such as work by Cynan Jones and Peter Goulding – international wings through negotiating rights with journals such as The New Yorker or the Times Literary Supplement. To nurture a much enhanced female contributor list. To make multilingual writers feel at home and in communion. To run a bijou book imprint, offering even longer shelf-life. To open up our offices to disadvantaged, talented students from across Wales, giving them a step onto the ladder and doing our bit in making the publishing industry that bit more diverse and less London-centric.
Publishing is a relatively budget artform, as writing and reading are relatively cheap pastimes. All can play a fundamentally democratic role in preserving intelligent debate, upholding civilised values and championing developing literary genres. But while of course we are grateful to our core and project funders, all this thought needs love and care to thrive. To live on, such qualities require the right proportion of investment. But that is currently askew. We depend upon the love and care of individual readers and writers to help set that balance right."
The Future of New Welsh Review
Since 2018, we’ve been investing in a project to revitalise our out-dated website. Our new site will launch in the spring of 2020 with the goal of retaining subscribers and also attracting new readers and supporters. The good news is that we’re investing in our future while fighting as hard as we can to be sustainable, stay relevant and even more accessible in the dawn of this new decade.
To make the transition to our bright future with renewed ease-of-access to our first-class content, we need your help to bridge a financial shortfall. We face serious financial challenges, and unless we fundraise to address this gap, we’ll be in a precarious position.
We have already been fighting for over a year to stay sustainable, and have explored every possible alternative financial avenue as well as trimming costs to the bone. After unsuccessful bids last year for extra in-kind and cash support, we’re now turning to you, our supporters, friends and readers. We are determined to continue to play our part in a culture that values things that last. We will stay determined, with your belief in us, and weather the freak economic storms of these strange times. If you believe in ambitious independent publishing, the utmost reader experience, in-depth reading, curation, diversity, quality paid journalism, originality, integrity, authenticity and professionalism, reach out. This is a time to show solidarity.
Why We Need Your Support
We run a tight ship. In fact, we have recently – and very reluctantly – taken special measures to save costs by taking initiatives such as dropping one print edition, reducing our payments to contributors (aware that we are in a field where many online outlets pay their writers nothing), freezing the salaries of our three part-time staff and freelancers and reducing our digital output as well as running a stream-lined Awards programme in 2020. However, this alone is not enough.
We are grateful to be currently in receipt of core funding from Books Council of Wales, and project funding from Aberystwyth and Swansea universities as well as from an individual donor. However we will be unsustainable by summer 2020 unless we bridge this shortfall while we get ourselves onto an even keel.
What Your Support Will Fund
We will not be relying on crowdfunded support indefinitely. Your generous support will go towards:
“New Welsh Review gets that dynamic balance right: it looks from Wales to a wide world, defined by where it comes from, not confined by it.” - Philip Gross
Please join us and give today to keep New Welsh Review secure.
Diolch am gefnogi cylchgrawn eangfrydig sydd yn perthyn i Gymru, â hunanieth Cymreig ac yn hybu llên a llyfrau Cymreig. Thank you for your support.
Photo: Jem Poster speaking at our 100th issue party, Hay Festival 2013
Images and Photos: Rebecca Ingleby Davies and Keith Morris