Aiming for a Million Welsh Speakers – Four Publishers Preparing to Publish for Welsh Learmers
The Welsh Books Council is pleased to announce that four leading publishers have succeeded in securing the work to publish books for Welsh learners. Atebol, CAA (Educational Resource Publisher, Aberystwyth University), Gomer Press and Y Lolfa have secured contracts to publish five books each for Welsh learners over the next 18 months.
The work will start immediately with a symposium for publishers and their authors to learn more about the field in the Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff, this Wednesday, 12 July 2017. The Welsh Books Council is investing £120,000 in this project over the next eighteen months which will ensure a new supply of books for learners to coincide with adopting the National Centre for Learning Welsh’s new curriculum in September 2018. Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, who has herself learnt Welsh, said: "This is an excellent opportunity to provide a good number of new books to an audience that’s crucial to the Welsh-language books market. Current learners will be able to turn to these books, as well as those who may no longer attend classes, or people who may be fluent Welsh-speakers but lack confidence in reading the language." "Only 49 leisure books were published for learners during the past twenty years, written to numerous different standards. The development of the new curriculum is a great opportunity to publish a good number of books and provide this field with a fresh start, and to help reach the target of one million Welsh speakers," she said. The twenty titles will include a variety of genres including stories, short novels, biographies, books on Welsh history and travel books. The authors undertaking this work will include a mixture of new and familiar names, amongst them, Zoe Pettinger, Rhodri and Lucy Owen, Bethan Gwanas and Manon Steffan Ros. Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, said: "Around 16,000 adults from every corner of Wales sign up for Welsh courses each year and we know there is a great demand for new books among this important audience." "The curriculum and the new courses will provide a base for this project and we look forward very much to working with the Welsh Books Council to attract more learners to read Welsh-language books." Dr Mair Rees from Newport has been appointed to the post of Consultant Editor and she’ll oversee the work of finalising the choice of books, editing and promoting them. Arwel Jones, Welsh-language Grants Officer for the Welsh Books Council, said: "Mair has extensive experience as an editor and bookseller, as well as creating informal learning opportunities for learners of Welsh; a perfect combination of skills for this project." It is expected that the books will be published between January and October 2018