Last Wednesday, the news came through that the Welsh Books Council would not, after all, suffer an enormous cut. It was a wonderful moment for all who campaigned to reverse this decision. We are delighted for the Welsh Books Council and the publishers, and we admire them. They were tireless in their efforts, despite their fears for the future. Courage and tenacity are formidable things. Everyone should continue to support them now. So, buy a book! You can select a title here.
The cause was helped in no small part by all those who supported us on social media – thank you, if you were one of them. I think a special shout-out to Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, is in order. She proved her commitment to her constituents and to Wales throughout this whole process with energy, wisdom, and exceptional class. She matches those qualities with humility. The Society of Authors endorsed our campaign, proving itself, once again, a magnificent champion for writers and the health of literature at large. The Bookseller broke the story – and that proved to be a strong wind in our sail. The Guardian gave generous attention to this vital cause, by the pen of the excellent Alison Flood. Thank you all.
The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates AM listened. He deserves credit for doing so. The art of leadership and the art of listening are indivisible.
It’s been great being a part of this, alongside the brilliant Angharad Price. She is a wonder. As for me, I’ve been reconnected with something I thought I’d lost long ago – I suppose a sort of reestablishment of faith in the possibility of what can be achieved by cherishing two important and interrelated things. Community still matters. Integrity still matters. We must be kind to one another. We must hold hands. We must speak up for ourselves, but also each other, always. (I think these may count as transferable skills.)