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Arts Council Funding
Wed 30 Mar 2011
Writers from all over the world are expressing dismay at the news of NAWE's funding cut from 2012.
Paul Munden, NAWE's Director, writes: "Arts Council England has chosen not to include NAWE in its new National Portfolio Funding Programme. We are deeply disappointed about this, indeed it is a very difficult decision to understand. NAWE represents a thriving and growing community of writers committed to sharing their practice with others - of all ages. Comments already received from members testify to the importance of NAWE in helping them establish and sustain their careers.

"Why our Association should have been targeted for a total cut, when many organizations have received substantial uplifts, is not yet clear. Planning for the future has been made extremely difficult but we should nevertheless like to state quite categorically that NAWE will hold to its mission and continue to support its members in every way possible.

"We have established a significant national community of writers with passionate educational ideals, skilled in developing the next generation. We believe that is something too important to be destroyed.

"Please add your voice to the comments below, which are being presented to ACE."
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Contact Information:
Contact Name:
Paul Munden
Contact Email:
paul@nawe.co.uk

News Comment History:

Tue 14 Jun 2011
The Writer's Compass provides an invaluable and essential e bulletin information service to writers like myself working from home and I’m sorry to hear that this excellent resource is at jeopardy due to cuts in funding.
Posted by: Pippa Gladhill
 
Wed 4 May 2011
One of the challenges of working with schools is the bureaucracy involved, and NAWE have been hugely helpful in assisting me with this as part of my NAWE membership. As a professional writer, NAWE's "Writer's Compass" e-bulletin is the single most useful online resource I know. It allows me to hear about a huge variety of writing-related events and opportunities in a timely way, and provides a channel for sharing news about my own writing events, such as Poetry Surgeries. I would hate to see this wonderful service discontinued.
Posted by: Kona Macphee
 
Sat 23 Apr 2011
So sorry about this decision. Like other people commenting below, I was involved in the early days of NAWE, setting up a writers' mentoring scheme in Liverpool with Windows, sadly also cut from the arts council future portfolio. Since then, I've admired how Paul and others, including the wonderful Anne Caldwell, have built up such a brilliant and pioneering service to writers and children and young people. If this isn't 'important' then I don't know what is. I had expected 'balancing the portfolio' might have meant a radical increase to literature - not to be it seems. I hope you are buoyed by all the support Paul and can find a way through.
Posted by: Susan Burns
 
Wed 20 Apr 2011
I hope the Arts Council will reconsider their decision in not making NAWE a national portfolio holder. NAWE's work is of vital importance, not merely to its writer members, but to writers of the future, young writers whose first introduction to the joy and craft of creative writing may come through a writer in schools. As the landscape of education and literature development is changing, I believe it is irresponsible not to continue to invest in the development of writing and of writers, who count on NAWE's training and information to be informed, independent, and self-employed.
Posted by: Peggy Riley
 
Wed 20 Apr 2011
The cut to NAWE is fantastically short-sighted. The work that NAWE does in training writers, teachers and pre-service teachers in the field of writing in education is second to none. This decision will therefore prevent NAWE from conducting research, engaging with policy and disseminating good practice. It will have potentially long-term effects on the teaching of writing in this country and I urge you to reconsider.
Posted by: Anthony Wilson
 
Wed 20 Apr 2011
I am appalled at the Arts Council's decision to cut NAWE's funding. Given the government's policy of cutting investment in just about everything that might give a hope of recovery to our country - education, housing, green industries, I suppose it was impossible for them to see that the Creative Industries, including writers, would be an honourable and lucrative area to support. I guess, like so many other adult human beings who are not politicians, writers will continue to do their work, unfunded or under funded, and I hope that NAWE can find a way to continue - or that some other grant making body or corporation will have more vision that the Arts Council!
Posted by: (name not given)
 
Tue 19 Apr 2011
It is indeed disgraceful that the Arts Council has decided to cut funding to NAWE, an organisation that has worked so hard to support writers and to foster the teaching of creative writing in schools. It makes no sense whatsoever and I can only think the Arts Council is simply not aware of the value of NAWE's work to writers, teachers and pupils. I would urge the Council to review their decision in this instance.
Posted by: (name not given)
 
Mon 18 Apr 2011
I am appalled at the Arts Council cuts. I am in the process of setting up a Creative Writing workshop business in Liverpool and NAWE was my one stop for insurance and valuable resources. Now where do I go? What more can I say? It's disgusting. They picked organisations out of a hat and didn't even recognise or acknowledge their importance to the communities around them.
Posted by: Jenny Adshead
 
Fri 15 Apr 2011
An appalling decision. Of course if those cultural vandals in government are determined to decimate public spending then the Arts Council simply won't have the funds available to support every worthwhile organisation, but one would not expect education to be one of the sufferers. I wish you... us... all the best in finding alternative support.
Posted by: Chik J Duncan
 
Thu 14 Apr 2011
This is such a senseless and ill-thought out decision. The value and importance of professional writers working in schools is well-documented. But writers cannot do this work on their own. We need support, information, CPD, opportunities for reflecting on and re-invigorating our practice. That is what NAWE is for. That is why it was started and why its work must continue.
Posted by: Roy Apps
 
Thu 14 Apr 2011
I am incredibly fortunate to be an international member of NAWE since 2008 when I first came to teach in the UK on an exchange between Columbia College Chicago and Bath Spa University. I make a point of crossing the Atlantic in order to attend the annual NAWE conference because it helps me further my development as a teacher and as a writer. I have recently collaborated on a community memoir project in a small town in Illinois, engaging residents and members of the local historical in research and story as a way of preserving and documenting a community’s history. This project was inspired very much by the good and exciting work of NAWE members that I have been exposed to at the conference, as well as the enlightening articles in Writers In Education. Further, studies continue to show that the most valuable skills a person can bring to the workforce are communication skills, in particular, writing. NAWE supports the continued advancement of writing at all levels and their work in creating higher education benchmark statements, overseeing community projects, providing professional and pedagogical development to educators, etc., is essential to a society that values education, history, and culture. The continued exchange of ideas among international members of the Association is an integral part of my work as an educator and as a writer, and a discontinuation of this (even in part) would be detrimental to not just me, but to my students, my colleagues, and anyone else who has shared in or been affected by the forums and projects made possible by NAWE.
Posted by: Patricia Ann McNair (Dir. of Undergraduate Programs, Columbia College Chicago)
 
Thu 14 Apr 2011
As a lecturer in Creative Writing, I am astonished by this decision by the Arts Council, which I think is entirely wrong. NAWE represents an invaluable network of information and support for writers in education, which is unavailable elsewhere. This is a vital and unique organisation, which should be a top priority for funding.
Posted by: Jonathan Taylor
 
Wed 13 Apr 2011
NAWE is the most dependable source of support and inspiration for both writers new to working in education and those with more experience. It has grown from the grass roots, responding to real needs, rather than being an externally created institution and it commands the respect of all those working in this field.
Posted by: Trevor Millum
 
Tue 12 Apr 2011
NAWE's support for writers in education shouldn't just be slashed like this. This decision sends us the message that the government does not value creative writing or its many benefits for students, not to mention staff development. Demoralising.
Posted by: Joanna Ezekiel
 
Mon 11 Apr 2011
NAWE does more than it knows. It's about community and inclusivity, as well as the development of literature and creativity. It was at a NAWE training day that I was introduced to a fellow writer who became my colleague in a long-standing series of creative writing workshops for severely disabled people. It was a remarkable venture, resulting in several of them publishing autobiographical books which give an unprecedented insight into the lives of those who had been abandoned by parents, or cared for by increasingly desperate parents, and/or institutionalised because of their disability, and into the courage they needed to endure and to keep their personalities intact. This was a real example of the Big, and Inclusive, Society - and I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to continue with it if I hadn't been introduced by NAWE to such faithful colleague to work with.
Posted by: Alison Leonard
 
Mon 11 Apr 2011
As a writer, freelance literature consultant and passionate advocate for writing and literature development I am deeply disappointed by ACE's decision to cut NAWE's funding. Without key organisations like NAWE and NALD, who support so many individual (and often isolated) writers, and advocate for the importance and value of literature at a 'higher' policy level, the sector will be much weakened in the years ahead.
Posted by: Sarah Butler
 
Mon 11 Apr 2011
As a new writer I felt I'd found a natural 'home' with NAWE as my Masters in Creative Writing and Personal Development came to an end. It is dispiriting to feel it might slip through my fingers. At last year's conference - my first - I met very enthusiastic members of the Arts Council declaring their belief in the value NAWE offered, both to its members and to society. What changed? I'm not cynical enough to believe that those representatives did not mean what they said - so I can only assume they went unheard by their own organisation. Doesn't that just underline how important it is they support writers - the people who make voices heard?
Posted by: Gill Gustar
 
Fri 8 Apr 2011
It's so depressing. Years of development and investment, so obviously an important organisation with writers and readers at its core and so many people having benefited from its existence. The decisions that have been made seem so indiscriminate, or worse, made by a machine, not something with a brain and a heart.
Posted by: Simon Armitage
 
Fri 8 Apr 2011
It goes without saying that the Arts Council may live to regret their decision in years to come. The value that NAWE offers is fundamental to the development of writers and an integral part of their lives. We hope that the Arts Council will see fit to change their minds in the near future. I trust that NAWE will continue to function as it strives to continue offering an excellent service that is professional, and so desperately needed.
Posted by: Johanna Bertie
 
Fri 8 Apr 2011
A astonishingly short-sighted decision. To weaken the support to writers in education is beyond reason at a time when creativity is finally being recognised for its value to people and the economy.
Posted by: Naomi Alsop
 
Fri 8 Apr 2011
It is very disappointing that the Arts Council has withdrawn funding from this important network and community, which enables both writers and teachers to nurture and develop contact and build relationships in their areas of interest and work. Combined with the withdrawal of funding from NALD there seems to be a deliberate and systemic strategy to disrupt the lines of communication among this wide community.
Posted by: Alex McMillen
 
Thu 7 Apr 2011
It's desperately sad, and a blunder, that the Arts Council has withdrawn financial support from NAWE. And it’s wholly implausible, in the context of that, that Antonia Byatt, Literature Officer at the Arts Council, argues its support for 'poetry' (The Times, April 4). It depends what you mean by poetry. I mean primarily the poem as a socially pleasurable practice. The groundwork of that practice is laid in schools. If, in schools, all children learn to take pleasure in the poem - as they can when poetry isn't ruined for them by Literacy and SATs and apathy and ignorance - then potentially you have a society in which poetry can be said to flourish. If the Arts Council supports that classroom world, then it supports poetry. Unfortunately, the world of the classroom can seem very mundane. It slips out of sight. The better-lit worlds of poetry publishing, of poetry festivals and poetry prizes, those metropolitan, groomed worlds, seem to be more about 'poetry'. They’re not. In fact, all of them depend on, grow from the world of the classroom. Compared with the real importance to society of the poem in the classroom, the 'importance' of Poetry for the Olympics, or of National Poetry Day, isn’t very important at all. Their ‘importance’ is secondary, and often doubtful anyway. Antonia Byatt argues that The Arts Council has got its priorities for the poem right. No, because the suspension of NAWE funding means a suspension - or a basic lack - of interest in the place where the practice of poetry in a democratic society originates.
Posted by: Robert Hull
 
Thu 7 Apr 2011
As a writer and tutor in creative writing I am very disappointed that the Arts Council has completely cut funding to NAWE. The organisation does a lot of good work and supports writers and tutors in many ways.
Posted by: Bronwen Griffiths
 
Thu 7 Apr 2011
I am horrified by the decision to cut NAWE's funding. It is the key to aspiring writers becoming professional and it connects writers from all over the world. Tight budgets and funding problems make it even harder to understand why such an important organization should be targeted and taken away from people who rely and depend on the unity and support brought to them by NAWE. I have watched the organization develop from a small company into something that is nationally respected and utterly irreplaceable. This has been made possible by commitment and dedication to the cause it promotes and encourages. Living abroad, I am able to follow arts projects in the UK through contact with NAWE and receive the magazine at my address abroad. I would not have discovered my MA in Creative Writing were it not for the NAWE website that helps young writers find writing courses and degrees. It is my link abroad to the writing world in the UK and gives me access to writing conferences and opportunities. The depth and attention paid by the organization is admirable and nothing of the sort is to be found elsewhere. As a young writer, I know there is a general sense of helplessness regarding writing opportunities, yet NAWE has always encouraged and motivated Creative Arts. The support given to members is unlike anything else I have come across. The ability of the organization to 'share the art, craft and imagination,' is fundamental to writers in the UK and those living abroad and is too important to sacrifice. NAWE is continuing to grow and expand, fulfilling its intentions and goals and progressing in a wonderful way. It is a crucial asset to our writing scene and I hope it can count on a positive future. It is a fundamental part of Creative Writing in the UK.
Posted by: Student/writer, Sicily
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
Disgraceful... NAWE's work has been vital in maintaining and expanding the profile of creative writing within higher education. However, that which makes no monetary profit is of no value or interest to our current government.
Posted by: Jeremy Scott
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
NAWEs provision is diverse and far reaching. We have only just begun the work of fully implementing the Young Writers' Hub - a unique resource for young people who want the latest news, the latest opportunities and to develop the skill and knowledge base required for careers as writers, editors, publishers, and practitioners in a fast-changing sector. Our internship programme is underway. Our Enabling Fund is beginning to support young writers as they develop their own projects and take their first steps in their career. As far as I'm concerned, we're not going anywhere. And I invite those of you working with young people to help spread the word about NAWE and this vital new resource.
Posted by: Wes Brown, NAWE Young Writers' Coordinator
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
I was shocked and dumbfounded by the news of ACE's decision not give NAWE National Portfolio funding. The demise of NAWE - and I very much hope it doesn't come to that - would be a huge loss to the literature sector's infrastructure and capacity to develop new talent and voices. Not a week goes by when I don't refer a writer or aspiring writers to your site - whether it's to check out the resources and information for working in the education sector or to look at the excellent briefings and up to date information for writers. We all know about the mass of information available on the internet and writers are proactive in seeking it out - indeed they are overwhelmed with the plethora of information available - but to have it collated and sorted in one site, to have INSIGHT as well as information - that is something else, and not available elsewhere. The loss would also be a direct hit against the literature agencies across the UK - who access all of NAWE's services on behalf of their writers and talent development schemes and run projects or training and services in partnership with NAWE.  This will surely effect the capacity of these agencies to deliver as they won't be able to tap into the NAWE knowledge and services base but reinvent the wheel and continuously refresh these resources individually.  I have worked in the literature development sector since the early 1990s and seen it develop and grow, and my own professional development has been significantly progressed through NAWE's services. Its Professional Development Planning service greatly helped me make some key choices, and some years later I trained as a Professional Development Planning guide myself through NAWE. In my experience writers benefit hugely from this provision and for the most part this is something they simply cannot afford to access through commercially run coaching services - that do not in any case have the depth of sector knowledge. Cutting NAWE is a retrograde step and we'll all lose out as a result.
Posted by: Eva Lewin
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
I’m very sorry to hear that NAWE has lost its Arts Council funding. A huge amount of work has clearly been invested in the development of The Writers Compass – a really excellent national information service. I hope you’re able to find ways of continuing your work in future.
Posted by: Vicky Grut
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
I was shocked and saddened to read about the funding cut. NAWE is such a respected organisation. I find the information in the Writer's Compass invaluable.
Posted by: Gene Groves
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
As a freelance writer and educationalist operating in universities, schools and other educational establishments, I have come to rely upon NAWE to provide vital information, support and a sense of professional community. Its closure would constitute a significant blow to my efficiency as a long-term contributor in the creative writing/ educational domain.
Posted by: Mario Petrucci
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
The advice and information provided by the NAWE supports my work as a writer and a teacher of writing. For once I am lost for words. I can only keep fingers crossed alternative funding is found.
Posted by: Lynne Garner
 
Wed 6 Apr 2011
On behalf of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) can I just add our voice to those listed here expressing sadness, anger and frustration at this short-sighted decision. NAWE does not deserve this as the Association contributes a great deal to writers, teachers and, ultimately, young people too.
Posted by: Ian McNeilly
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
As a member of NAWE I have not only developed my own work as a writer but also as a teacher of creative writing in schools. Most importantly NAWE have supported the work of my students, providing them with a professional context in which to publish and develop their work. I cannot understand why such an essential network should be undermined in this way. Without NAWE teachers such as myself would be isolated within our institutions and excluded from the wider writing context. A bad decision is only one that cannot be rethought.
Posted by: Jane Bluett
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
I am at a complete loss to understand this step. As a Swiss member of NAWE I have had the opportunity to work with many superb writers and teachers, in Britain, in the States and in Europe. The network NAWE provides has been invaluable in showcasing how the presence of writers in schools and, in my case, in teacher training benefits pupils and students of all ages, furthering their interest in literacy and in serious reading on the one hand, and providing what must be the most stimulating opportunities for language practice and development imaginable. What is more -- and more serious -- is the fact that Britain has such an organisation for bringing writers into schools, something we view with real envy here in other European countries. And yet the powers-that-be seem prepared to jettison this leading position for budgetary reasons (which is a nice way of saying to pay for losses that were being nationalised while those responsible happily privatised their profits). NAWE represents something we in the rest of Europe can only strive to emulate, and many of us hope to do one day. Nothing has shaped my keen interest in writing like being brought into contact with a real writer, something I always remember as an inspiring experience. I sincerely hope that this decision will be rethought -- and reversed to ensure the continued existence of an organisation that has provided so much inspiration over here.
Posted by: Dr Franz Andres Morrissey (University of Bern)
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
NAWE was a real beacon for me during many years of working with writing in the community. I know first hand just what a difference it makes to have an organisation that values, indeed prioritises, the work of writers involved in education and outreach: areas which develop the future of literature and are said to be current priorities - but which are often delivered in relative isolation, without much support and with very little fanfare. NAWE has created a community of writers fulled by similar levels of idealism and has consistently pushed both for professional conditions and, crucially, for the highest standards in delivery. To penalise NAWE would be to cut off literature provision at its root.
Posted by: Fiona Sampson
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
As an poet, educator and a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, I have found NAWE's support to be important to my career. Having met many who feel the same at the 2010 NAWE conference last year, I am left completely baffled by what seems like a very ill-advised decision on the part of the AC.
Posted by: Jocelyn Page
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
I am still reeling from the shock of this news. Though in times like these it does not do to compare and contrast, NAWE of all organisations must be preserved. NAWE has proved itself over the years to be a superbly organised and deeply thoughtful organisation. NAWE has been a leading force in elevating the position of writing in education, through forum, through discussion and most importantly, through practice. Securing a focus for writing in education must surely be at the heart and soul of a healthy nation. After all, what good is there in funding organisations that build new audiences for literature, create new platforms for existing writers and their writing, if we are not also concentrating on ways of nurturing the development of writing itself? Writing well, writing creatively and writing productively. NAWE has always actively reached out to support its members and the wider communities they serve and depends heavily on subsidised funding in order to do so. One of the most exciting things about NAWE is that it is a 'learning' organisation. It shows this not just by being concerned with the advancement of learning in relation to all aspects of writing, but by seeking constantly to learn more about itself and grow in purpose through consultation with its membership and instigating wider reaching research projects and partnerships. Despite whatever the ACE's thinking might be, withdrawing NAWE's funding saves nothing. It is like removing a bakery and expecting there still to be bread.
Posted by: Cheryl Moskowitz
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
Very sorry to hear that your funding has been cut and hope that alternative sources can be found in order that NAWE can carry on its important work.
Posted by: Patrick FitzSymons
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
Why NAWE should be targetted especially with a full cut while established places such as Faber and Faber and many prominent self-sufficient theatres are either left alone or given grants is beyond me. It's classic Hearstian monopolising.
Posted by: Toby
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
I am stunned that the Arts Council has cut funding for NAWE. As head of one of the largest writing programs in the U.S. and as an invited contributor at a number of NAWE conferences, I have been incredibly impressed with the substance of discussions fostered by NAWE, with the breadth of programming that the organization has fostered among writers at all levels, and with the very rapid growth of the membership, which demonstrates NAWE's usefulness and wide appeal. No organization in the British Isles has done more to support the development of writers and promote productive conversations about the future of writing than NAWE. From the other side of the ocean, I can say that I have the highest regard for what Paul Munden and others in leadership have achieved, that their contributions to the international dialogue are essential, and that they deserve all of the support they can get in order to continue their work.
Posted by: Randall Albers (Fiction Writing Dept., Columbia College Chicago)
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
I've worked with NAWE (through literaturetraining and then the writer's compass) in partnership (with Litfest) in delivering professional development seminars for the past three years. I have been a recipient of the writer's compass newsletter for longer. As both a working partner and subscriber I have valued what NAWE has provided for writers on the ground in the north west (not to mention virtually through the newsletter/website), offering support, information and valuable resources for all. The practical and specific information has enabled me to maintain my on-going professional develoment, even when I haven't been able to make actual workshops. The delivery of the information has also given me colleagues in the broadest sense of the word. As freelancers we don't necessarily have regular opportunities to interact with and feed each other's working practices and ideas, but to belong to a larger community of writers has been essential to my professional well-being, relationships and progress. And so, I am deeply concerned about the demise of NAWE's ACE funding.
Posted by: Sarah Hymas
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
Always useful, frequently surprising - I am hoping you will manage to continue as writers value you.
Posted by: Sandy Tozer
 
Tue 5 Apr 2011
As an emerging writer, The Writer's Compass has been an extremely valuable tool for hearing about training and special events geared towards people like me who are looking for opportunities for new writers. Your site and newsletters are incredible resources. I am very sorry to hear that your ACE funding was removed. I do hope you look into other alternative business models, the information you provide is very valuable.
Posted by: German Munoz
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
Having a national subject association is absolutely vital to the health of a discipline. Here in the US, we have the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which is the hub of literary writing for the whole country. It has been responsible for a flourishing of creative writing at universities (and thus for the intellectual and creative advancement of untold numbers of undergraduates -- just think how much this enriches a citizenry in terms of imagination, empathy, collaboration, and so forth). When times are tough, I suppose it's tempting to cut those things that have hard-to-quantify benefits. But this is devastatingly short sighted, and I hope the error will be corrected. Such cuts will surely affect NAWE's participation in the global creative writing conversation, which would be a detriment to us all.
Posted by: Kathy Flann (Goucher College, Baltimore)
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
It's depressing and shocking that the Arts Council could show such disregard for an organisation like NAWE whose patient and careful work over the years has given support and inspiration to many a writer and teacher; brutal that in one blow all those connections should be fractured. We must find a way to get them to see sense.
Posted by: Jackie Kay
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
A truly unbelieveable decision. NAWE and the Writer's Compass bulletins have been a lifeline for me and the only way I would have discovered information about many opportunities.
Posted by: Jan Thorn
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
NAWE has been a great partner and resource whenever our museum has needed to forge creative links with schools and writers - which is often. The recent partnership with the British Library (Literature in Context) would not have been a success without NAWE's involvement. To cut their funding is madness.
Posted by: Patrick Wildgust
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
This is an outrage. We know that one of the key ways to turn children and students into readers is for them to come into contact with literature. (This is obvious to us but a good deal of education is spent thinking that readers are created from phonics, reading schemes and worksheets.) We also know that one of the key ways for children and students to be interested in literature is if they meet and hear living writers. We also know that NAWE is one of the main instruments by which this can happen and its 'reach' (as the buzzword has it) is superb. Why then is it being cut? Whatever the Arts Council's role in the cutting, ultimately the fault lies with government and beyond that the bankers who created this crisis. Whenever Michael Gove and others open their mouths and talk of literature and love of literature (Dryden, Pope etc) let's bear in mind that on the ground, what is happening is cuts, cuts, cuts. This cut should be twinned with the massive cuts to libraries and (just as importantly) library services along with eg the cutting back of support for ESOL and many other ways in which literacy (their word, not mine) is under attack. We have to fight to save these 'services' and explain to people the duplicity and deceit that goes on in government pronouncements about 'supporting culture', 'supporting literature' and 'supporting literacy'. Today's readers are tomorrow's readers. I support NAWE.
Posted by: Michael Rosen
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
I would like to add my name to those objecting in the strongest terms to the cuts in general, but particularly to the short-sighted decision to withdraw funding from this vital site. The Writers Compass provides an essential service to writers across the UK, supporting their work, but also work in all educational sectors. Withdrawal of funding presents a serious blow to creative and informative writing at all levels.
Posted by: Tony Spencer
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
This complete withdrawal of NAWE's funding is utterly bewildering. NAWE was instrumental in helping me survive as a writer in the early part of my career through the helping me get work running creative writing workshops in schools. Invaluable experience for me, and a valuable injection of creativity for the young people I worked with, in an otherwise squeezed and often uninspiring target-driven educational environment. NAWE is central to the continued nurturing of all writers - whether aspiring, emerging, new or established - by providing the channels through which experienced writers share their knowledge and skills with children and young adults. What on earth can the Arts Council be thinking? I cannot understand why they would risk destroying this valuable organisation.
Posted by: Ros Barber
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
What can we do to help appeal against this bewildering and depressing decision by ACE? A petition? Attaching ourselves to railings?
Posted by: Deborah Alma
 
Mon 4 Apr 2011
I am a writer and teacher and find your organisation of unique value. Your e-bulletin is a source of information that I can’t find from any one other source – if anywhere. Its diversity is unique. Apart from information I find useful for myself, I pass on details to the many people I work with through my courses, workshops and mentoring as well as my informal network of other writers so it reaches far more people than just the one recipient. These include a variety of ages and ethic and social backgrounds so diversity is key. The information, advice and support you provide are priceless and should be maintained. Writers in Education is about developing writers for the future as well as supporting those of us who write and teach at present. I hope you are able to make progress in opposing these cuts.
Posted by: Christine Vial
 
Sun 3 Apr 2011
It’s difficult to believe that NAWE have not been granted funding. I’ve been a member for years. They are an essential part of the landscape for writers working in education. Future generations deserve better.
Posted by: Cliff Yates
 
Sun 3 Apr 2011
As a former Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, which is the peak body for writers in higher education, I find it deeply disturbing that such a significant organisation as NAWE has had its funding cut. The links that we have built with it have enriched our understanding of the international context for creative writing in education. In particular, its Higher Education Committee's research and subject benchmark statements have helped to clarify global understanding of our discipline. As well, the work that NAWE does to promote writers in the schools and universities plays a critical role in allowing them to establish careers. NAWE's efforts on behalf of teachers, students and independent writers cannot be valued too highly. I sincerely hope that the Arts Council will reconsider this drastic step.
Posted by: Professor Jeri Kroll
 
Sat 2 Apr 2011
NAWE works to promote reading and writing, and has close links to universities, where arts and humantities subjects are already under fierce attack. Perhaps the ACE cut to NAWE is part of this agenda? There is no logic in this, as NAWE makes an immense contribution to primary and secondary education too. Members must rally to support the organisation which has provided them with so much, to ensure its long term strength and future development.
Posted by: Simon Sweeney
 
Sat 2 Apr 2011
We live in a strange world when a wonderful organisation like NAWE can have its funding cut completely; we have been living through a golden age of participatory writing, partly due to NAWE's great work in promoting writing in all forms of education. I hope NAWE can carry on providing inspiration to writers everywhere, including me and many like me.
Posted by: Ian McMillan
 
Sat 2 Apr 2011
I would also like to voice my support for NAWE, and my dismay at the decision to withdraw funding. NAWE is a very valuable organization, and I am saddened by this threat to its future.
Posted by: Dr Hannah Priest
 
Sat 2 Apr 2011
In loud and quiet ways NAWE has worked to support, engage, bring together, train and inform both writers and educational institutions, and has hashed its way across the uncharted territory between the two. The withdrawal of Arts Council funding seems incredibly short-sighted, and seems to go quite against the future of the arts in education. Hugely shocking and disappointing. I hope they will see sense and reconsider this decision.
Posted by: Lucy Banwell
 
Sat 2 Apr 2011
NAWE's sibling organisation in Australasia, the AAWP, has long relied on NAWE's presence in the sector for collaboration, research links, networking, and mutual engagements in activities that are of enormous importance to creative writers and writing in both our countries. I'm dismayed by this funding cut, and find it incomprehensible that such a significant organisation, one that contributes so richly to national and international education and production, should have been targeted in this way. I do hope the Arts Council and the government find the capacity to reconsider this decision.
Posted by: Professor Jen Webb, chair AAWP
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am horrified by the Arts Council's withdrawal of funding for NAWE. There are two elements to this which particularly shock me: 1) The flagrant disregard for the work NAWE does across the country in promoting Creative Writing in schools - to the next generation of writers. From the Writers in Schools project to the development of a Creative Writing A level, no other organisation is placed to raise awareness and access in the way that NAWE does. 2) The Arts Council's lack of understanding of the life of a writer. They have given support to many organisations which encourage and support blossoming (adult) writers. But what then? Where do those writers go to grow and develop? How do they live? Many work in educational settings, as teachers, lecturers, visiting writers and writers in residence. The teaching of writing feeds their own creative practice as well as inspiring and encouraging the next generation. Without NAWE's conferences, magazines, CPD courses, retreats, those writers are left stranded and isolated. The Arts Council's own Literature Training report is full of the work which NAWE does. Did the funders not read their own report?
Posted by: Dr Maggie Butt
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
End of Friday, 1 April 2011. Still no response from Arts Council England: the Literature Director, the Chief Executive, the Chair... Have they seen all these comments below? We simply don't know. I challenge them to do the decent thing - read every comment, and respond...
Posted by: Paul Munden
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I was shocked and saddened to hear about the Arts Council England decision to pull funding from NAWE. It was an extraordinarily short-sighted and simply wrong decision, given the hugely important work NAWE does in the field of education. (from Dublin)
Posted by: Nessa O’Mahony
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Like so many others, I was shocked to hear that NAWE’s funding from ACE has been cut by 100% and cannot see the logic of this. NAWE is unique in the support it gives to writers of all genres who are involved in any aspect of education. It is an excellent organisation that has always taken risks to offer special opportunities to writers and those involved in every level of education, particularly young people of all ages. It has gone from strength to strength and really deserves to be supported. Its conferences, projects, training schemes and professional development programmes are invaluable. I’ve been a member for well over twenty years and every year NAWE has taken on new challenges and achieved outstanding results. NAWE must survive: it is impossible to think of the creative landscape without it.
Posted by: Professor Robyn Bolam
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
The Writer's Compass is always a fount of useful information, one of the best ways we have found of keeping in touch with developments in children’s literature and an invaluable source of events, seminars and opportunities. The wealth of information it offers is eagerly awaited, shared and discussed amongst our members. We wish you every success and look forward to a long future – despite the Arts Council's regrettable mistake.
Posted by: Judi Steen, Seven Stories Writers and Artists Group (SSWAG)
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
As a practitioner who provides poetry days to young children I have found NAWE to be the professional organisation most suited to my work. It has provided means of furthering my professional development and has introduced me to the wider picture through interaction with a wide range of other practitioners, authors, teachers and academics. NAWE has provided me with the experience of being a mentor and allowed me to provide several workshops at NAWE Annual Conferences - the preparation of which helps me to delve deeper into what I do and to pass on any expertise I have to other professionals.
Posted by: Philip Burton
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am very sad and angry about this decision to cut NAWE's funding completely. It makes no sense at all. I have only been a member for just under a year, but in this time I have learnt so much about teaching writing and felt supported and informed by this large and friendly body of fellow writers and tutors. I have also had the burden of difficult, costly and time-consuming things like CRBs and insurance lifted by their very reasonably-priced and supportive services. NAWE themselves have also always been so friendly and constantly polite and helpful whenever I have emailed with questions. It is so hard to work and live as a writer anyway, but cuts are now only making this harder for many of us. In these times, NAWE is ever more vital as an advocate for the teaching and celebration and sharing of the skill of writing. This decision is a short-sighted one that sees only cost and fails to recognise value.
Posted by: Jane Commane
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I have watched since the mid 1990s NAWE develop into a comprehensive organisation, due to your team's dedication and vision. The removal of your funding is incomprehensible and indefensible. NAWE must continue to flourish as an invaluable tool for all those promoting writing in every aspect of education. I give you my full support.
Posted by: Paula Claire
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Along with your other members, I feel shocked and extremely disappointed that an organization offering such professional services to writers should have its funding swept away like this. It seems completely incomprehensible. I have been a member of NAWE for some years now, and when I phone or email, I have on every occasion received a prompt, professional and helpful reply. In 2004 I completed the traineeship for the Writers in Education programme, which included mentoring, and which was excellent in every way. I enjoy being a member of this professional organization, and value the assistance it gives to those who work freelance (and therefore aren’t under the umbrella of any particular organization where they work), notably with regard to matters such as public liability insurance and renewal of CRB forms. The bad news about funding has made me realise that if NAWE didn’t exist, then who else would be able and willing to fulfil this particular role? NAWE gives writers a public voice which they would otherwise lack. Although I work mainly in community organizations such as libraries, and not really in schools, I still consider that NAWE represents me on every level.
Posted by: Anne Ryland
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
NAWE has very much become an umbrella body for Creative Writing in education - one of the real growth subjects, always popular, a powerful way of engaging students in active learning, and a success story pretty much everywhere it has been adopted within the Academy. NAWE is one of the truly solid bases from which an enormous amount of this country's culture has and can grow. ACE is shooting itself in the foot with such shortsightedness.
Posted by: Dr Harry Whitehead (University of Leicester)
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I would like to say how very surprised and disappointed I am to learn of the Arts Council decision. I always look forward to receiving the bulletin because it is consistently packed with interesting facts and information, I have participated in various competitions and workshops mentioned in the Compass. As a student of creative writing with the OU I post the link to the Compass website onto our student cafe because it is of such use and interest to the thousands of students taking this course. I do hope the Arts Council will reconsider their decision. Where else will we receive so much help and information in one place?
Posted by: Moira Wells
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am deeply shocked and saddened by the Arts Council cuts. It seems to make no sense to cut such a vibrant organisation. I value my professional membership highly and find it gives my work added credibilty.
Posted by: Elanora Ferry
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Dear Paul: I am, of course, as devastated as you and all our members to learn of ACE's decision to cut NAWE funding. I have just received my latest NAWE 'package' which includes the booklet The Writer's Compass. Reading through the range of activities NAWE offers nationally surely demonstrates beyond doubt the contribution NAWE makes to Creative Writing and Education at the highest artistic and professional levels. I pledge my absolute support.
Posted by: John Alcock
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
NAWE gives a unique, wide-ranging and increasingly valuable service to writers and to society, particularly through developments for and in education - at all levels. I cannot understand the negative response behind these cuts; it is terribly shortsighted on the part of all concerned, and disheartening. Where is the imagination? Sadly, we will be living for a long time with the disastrous consequences of these cuts. I'd like to echo the protests of the many comments on the NAWE website and elsewhere at this confounding time and hope that something might be done to reverse the cut in NAWE's grant. In the meantime, the struggle to continue...
Posted by: Katherine Gallagher
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I'm shocked and devastated at the news. NAWE is part of our cultural landscape and supports the quiet real work as well as the necessary advocacy. And I don't understand the logic of the total cut. Sure, educational institutions can find writers by their own means, but for me, it is the building of a network and the discourse around best practice that has been the main contribution. There'll be more cheapskate pretenders reading at assembly and in the classrooms now, and less real writers. It dampens the joy of getting money to continue the Writing Squad.
Posted by: Danny Broderick, Course Tutor, Writing Squad
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Regarding the very understandable comments about government, let's not forget however that the government requested that regularly funded organizations (of which NAWE was one) should not be cut by more than 15%. So the Arts Council has to take all the blame here: it is entirely willful (and yet unexplained).
Posted by: Paul Munden
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
This is a hard decision to defend. NAWE reaches so many people through training and supporting people who develop writing at all stages of education that it is extremely good value for money. However, let us not lose sight of the fact that the Arts Council should not have been in this position of deciding which essential organisational funding to cut to begin with. How this government can urgently support the Creative Industries and simultaneously cut funding to organisations that develop creative practice is beyond all understanding. Another short-sighted and damaging result of the current economic policy. It will require additional work for less funding to minimise the destruction this will bring to NAWE and arts in education in general.
Posted by: Mimi Thebo
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
This is shocking news given the impact writing has on people’s experiences in education and the wider community. The cross-disciplinary activity is also a growing area and one I would have hoped might have been supported in the future – I am a lecturer in pre-registration nursing and we use poetry and story-telling in our learning and teaching strategies. I know there is a future there but the short-sightedness apparent in the current economic climate is disappointing. You have my support however insignificant that might be – I am hoping to link with folk in Canada in the summer about cross-disciplinary working and maybe international links might be the one of the ways to sustain all the good work NAWE has done and is doing in the UK and beyond.
Posted by: Sue Spencer
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
This is really shocking - I had to reread it to make sure I hadn't misunderstood. I realise that these days funding is incredibly tight, but this just seems perverse - a total cut. It seems highly irrational
Posted by: Jan Fortune-Wood
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Unbelievable. I’m at a loss. NAWE is the only organization for writers in education and such an important source of information and advice.
Posted by: Angela Street
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I also read with dismay the decisions - some of which seem illogical and unfathomable - made by the Arts Council. I will ensure that my school and Aspire continues to support the outstanding work done by NAWE. I only hope the Arts Council will see the error of their ways at some point in the future.
Posted by: Steven Peach, Headteacher, The Oldershaw School
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I can't understand how they can justify this decision. It so obviously negatively affects education/expressive skills and the life chances of young people - especially vulnerable ones.
Posted by: Catherine Smith
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Cutting all funding to the National Association of Writers in Education makes no sense at all. NAWE is a small organisation working with imagination to help create a literate new generation, something Britain desperately needs. NAWE has been growing from strength to strength over the years… and now this axe. We appear to be a country in rapid decline. Something needs to be done. An organisation like NAWE should be part of the solution not dissolution.
Posted by: Beverley Naidoo
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am shocked and disappointed to hear your news. NAWE is an incredibly valuable partner for WEM and personally a wonderful resource I have been using for the last 8 years I have been working in the arts. As I have said before, on our project, Poetry in the Waiting Room, 80% of our submissions came via the fantastic Writer's Compass and these were quality submissions.
Posted by: Catherine Rogers
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I was appalled by the news of the Arts Council cuts yesterday - a nation that does not support its arts is an impoverished one. Such cuts are a form of cultural myopia. Our literature is one of our greatest exports to the world - we should be investing in the writers of the future, not devaluing them. Hope NAWE can keep going - it's a great organisation - very useful.
Posted by: Kevan Manwaring
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am baffled and deeply disppointed at the decision of the Arts Council not to include NAWE in its National Portfolio Funding Programme. I have found NAWE to be so useful and supportive from the beginning of my career as a writer and teacher six years ago. Without this support and direction, I very much doubt that I would have conducted all the workshops that I have in schools, colleges, community centres, prisons and hospitals, not to mention my work as a creative writing lecturer. From the comments and feedback I have had over the years, I understand that the work that I have done has benefited hundereds of people, not only as writers, but also in developing a sense of confidence and well-being (especially for disadvantaged members of the community). If one multilplies these benefits by all the work done by all the members of NAWE, one begins to get an idea of how vital an organization it is. I only hope that someone in the Arts Council has the power and sense to reverse this senseless and destructive decision.
Posted by: Ian Seed
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I'd like to add my own personal voice of support for NAWE. I think the work that NAWE does is valuable and important not just for individual writers but for the national infrastructure of writers, particularly those working in education, but in other settings also. It is an organisation that supports the writer at every stage of their career, from starting out to continuing development and which helps to join together the twin communities of writers and those working with writers, in educational settings and beyond. I hope that the strength and merit of the organisation and its work will show through at this difficult time.
Posted by: Philip Monks
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I would like to register my support for NAWE and put it on record that I am appalled by the decision of the Arts Council not to include it in its new Funding Programme. I have found NAWE an invaluable source of information regarding opportunities for amateur writers; the e-bulletin offers a clear directory, without which I would struggle to operate.
Posted by: Jill Warrener (writer and teacher)
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
So glad support and appreciation are forthcoming. NAWE does a fine job. I'm in the middle of a writing course at Bath Spa university though in a past time zone I was a teacher. I'm looking forward to combining my teaching and writing skills in the future and I joined NAWE in the knowledge that the support on offer is great. Please keep it up. I need you and I am so dismayed that such a fabulous organisation should have the rug whipped out from under it.
Posted by: Bernadette Howley
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Nawe is a fine and practical organisation founded on an understanding of the need for creativity in education.
Posted by: Clare Crossman
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am writing to express my dismay at the cuts to your funding. It is truly bewildering. The support and guidance a resource such as yours offers to writers in education is priceless. Creative writing, especially, is woefully overlooked or misunderstood in schools. NAWE seeks to remedy this. And now cuts! As a poet I am particularly in tune to the benefits of creative writing to pupils who may find more mainstream literacy challenging. This is a shortsighted and frankly depressing move by the coalition.
Posted by: Graham Clifford
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
As the cuts come to the fore I fear for this country. Alongside the abolition of EMA, cuts in Youth Services, Sure Start, school building projects, the closing of libraries, the removal of NAWE funding is yet another cut to damage this and the next generation.
Posted by: Tracy Baines
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
As a relatively new member of NAWE - who felt I had found a 'home' for the work I do and a source of inspiration for how our skills can help society, I am pretty devastated by this news. I agree with others that it makes no obvious sense - and I hope we will find ways of continuing the organisation.
Posted by: Gill Gustar
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I am saddened by the news of the funding cuts, another example of how this government has failed to recognise the value of work done by organisations such as NAWE to support and develop writers working in education. I hope a way can be found for NAWE to continue its work.
Posted by: Jane McNulty
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
The Literature Training Bulletin is a lifeline for me as a devleoping poet and I've been published a number of times as a result of opportunities I have seen in the Bulletin. I sincerely hope it can carry on in some form in the future. I would be willing to contribute towards this service to enable it to survive.
Posted by: Amy Anderson
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
Quite simply, it is wrong to take away funding from a unique service. No other organisation does what NAWE does.
Posted by: Neil Harrison
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
As an international member, I always looked towards Britain for an intelligent model of arts funding and support, and find this recent funding cut to NAWE bewildering and reprehensible. As someone involved in Arts Education, I find NAWE to be an inspiring and practicable resource for all sectors of the writing community, starting with children and culminating with authors. It is a long established, highly professional, non-elitist organisation which has borne the fruits of a longstanding commitment and dedication to creative writing. This decision defies the rationale given by the Arts Council in their decision-making process. It makes a complete mockery of the statement given, in which this funding process was described as “supporting resilient organisations that can thrive as well as survive; and encouraging work that really enthuses children and young people – because that's where it all begins.” All I can say regarding this is that there must have been a very strange game of chance taking place when funding was cut to NAWE. There is no logic or sense, and action must be taken to reverse this decision.
Posted by: Fiona Dobrijevich, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
 
Fri 1 Apr 2011
I want to add my voice of protest. I am disgusted by this cut. In the years I have been teaching as an AL, where support from institutions has ranged from the thin to the non-existent, NAWE has been a lifeline for me, providing contacts, support, information, opportunities and comradeship. Whatever is needed to keep NAWE going, I am sure the membership will raise to the occasion. I know I will.
Posted by: Calum Kerr
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
A disappointing decision that will baffle anyone involved in literature and education. The years of hard (and often voluntary) work by dedicated and forward-thinking individuals that has made NAWE an invaluable organisation for writers, teachers and learners has clearly not gone by without earning much deserved respect and appreciation from members and non-members. I dearly hope that a solution can be found so that NAWE can continue beyond 2012 in its current form, and therefore go on providing vital support, information and opportunities.
Posted by: Emma Hardy
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am so sad that NAWE has not recieved funding - I am amazed at the Arts Council England decisions during this process. I look forward to finding new ways to continue the excellent support provided by NAWE,
Posted by: Nicola Stevens
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This decision is insane. NAWE provides a comprehensive service across the board to people at home and abroad. I get a certain thrill when I receive the quality magazines and emails as they are packed with nuggets of talent and information - and public liability insurance included in the membership fee is a bonus. This is yet another violation of success, and deserves a campaign of opposition to the cut. Mistakes can always be corrected!
Posted by: Rita Bradd
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I find the Writer's Compass an excellent resource, and am shocked by the news that you have lost funding. I hope you manage to keep going, as you are doing an excellent and important job. The destructiveness of this government saddens me.
Posted by: Andrew Blackman
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Yet again money in the arts has gone to institutions and organisations which then have to 'manage' artists. This top down thinking is misguided and fails to invest in the people who make the work. Cutting funding to NAWE cuts off the life blood of writing in the future. Yesterday I worked in a school where two teenage boys, not known for their love of writing spent a whole day creating and writing a story. Who will be there to help and inspire when NAWE has gone? Where will the future writing come from?
Posted by: Louise Page
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Measured against the cost of maintaining a no fly zone over Libya for twenty minutes; I find it hard to understand the mentality of a tax payer funded organisation such as the Arts Council to cut the funding to NAWE, an efficient organisation providing a beneficial service to the very community that the Arts Council was and hopefully still is expected to support. Rethink this short-sighted decision lest you be likened to those who would have deprived Chaucer of parchment or Shakespeare of ink.
Posted by: Mike Cooney
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This is very bad news and a misguided decision. Many writers have been supported and guided by NAWE at many different levels, whether starting out or through the development of their writing careers. There are many writers out there who will now be deprived of these invaluable services. A cut such as this hacks away at the vulnerable roots of this society's creativity. (Apart from anything else, I and many other writers have found the e-bulletin a fantastic source of information for jobs, courses, submissions, prizes, etc.) Surely we as a society need to value and cherish an organisation like NAWE which reaches across the entire spectrum, creating a community of writers and schools across the world as well as the UK.
Posted by: Pippa Little
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Although I am happy for the organisations who have managed to keep their funding, the feeling is bittersweet. As a writer on a post graduate degree, NAWE has been an excellent resource not just for myself and fellow students, but also for our teachers. The fact that NAWE and other arts organisations have to suffer (as well as the audiences who benefit from them) because of these ideological cuts makes me sick.
Posted by: Elaine Wilson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Yet another ridiculous decision which, along with closing libraries and cutting down on humnaities provision in univeristies, is akin to burning books and supressing ideas. NAWE makes an incredibly important contribution to the world of literature in that it provides services to writers and gets writers into schools. It helps writers to maintain a livelihood from their writing and puts them in touch with other writers.
Posted by: Gill James
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
On one hand, a Government minister claims he wants to encourage children to read more books. Only a few days later, the same Government announces massive cuts in the arts budget, including NAWE, which is a great support and resource for writers involved in educational work. Often it's work which gets children and young people interested in reading and writing. It makes no sense, as though there is no strategy at all. I have often made use of NAWE's website and value NAWE's communications. The cut to its funding is is idiotic.
Posted by: Rob A. Mackenzie
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am so sorry to hear this. NAWE has offered support, focus, news and training for writers in every part of the field of education.How many times - as a tutor - have I pointed developing writers towards the resources and guidance of NAWE? Thank you for all you have done. I sincerely hope this will not be the end.
Posted by: Maura Dooley
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Another ill thought out, short sighted nonsense by this government that will remain a painful legacy for generations.
Posted by: Mike Best
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
A very disappointing turn of events for anyone attempting to make their living as a writer.
Posted by: Pen Kease
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I'd like to add my voice to the protest against the funding cut. This resource was introduced to me by Liz Cashdan during her visit to Johannesburg. I have been a regular reader for the last three years and am deeply distressed to learn of your funding cuts. I am a senior correspondent for BOOK SA, Southern Africa's online daily literary newspaper, the editor of Poetry International South Africa, and the administrator of the EU/Sol Plaatje poetry prize for South African poetry. As a member of a commonwealth, I believed that there was still a source of intelligent support when it came to arts administration and funding in Britain. This foolish decision to withhold funding of NAWE is a most regrettable and shortsighted expedience.
Posted by: Liesl Jobson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I have recently joined NAWE, a professional member, and was shocked at the lack of vision shown by the total cut in funding. A strange decision when you consider that successive governments, of whatever political colour, always claim to want to encourage reading and literacy.
Posted by: Peter Barratt
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
National organisations such as this one which represent large communities of writers need arts council funding. Instead money is being focused into our capital and institutions who have potential donors coming out their ears. Surely the point of a national funding body is to support just such grassroots organisations such as NAWE? This is a careless cut.
Posted by: David Jackson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This is horrible news. NAWE is invaluable for writers, students, educators, and the children who benefit from having writers who have been supported by NAWE coming into their schools. As a creative writing student and writer I've found NAWE's resources and Literature Training/Writer's Compass bulletin indispensible. As a mother I'm sad that my children could lose out on wonderful experiences with writers in education because of this incredibly short sighted decision.
Posted by: Claire Massey
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
When we founded NAWE all those years ago we all gave of our services freely. We were filled with zeal and hopes for the future organization which might burgeon and prosper. It has, I believe, more than fulfilled that promise. It is now a wide-ranging, thoughtprovoking, creative, highly professional, essential part of the scene. It seemed inconceivable that it could be brought low with one stroke of a pen. But it needs its funding base in order to fully function, and this stupid, shortsighted decision must be reversed. I will join whatever protest movement is put together to attempt to fight it.
Posted by: John Killick
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am so sad and shocked to hear of this decision, which seems to be entirely irrational - but then, rationality seems to be in short supply these days. NAWE and The Writer's Compass provide such a useful focus for writers, giving them a sense of support and community, letting them know of opportunities.
Posted by: Lorna Fergusson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am angry and outraged at yet another ill-thought funding cut. The consequences of this, if it goes ahead, will bite deep into the psyche of our nation. Writing is at the heart of education, and it is my belief that the cutting away of resources such as this will severely damage the quality of life for not only young people, but people of all ages who use writing as a source of inspiration, creativity, communication and social conscience. As a result, our nation will become a culture of enfeebled drones, with lower skills than ever - what are they thinking of? Having recently been hit from all sides (I work in education, and my job and future pension is at risk), I feel like this is the last straw. I have never taken action before, but I am highly likely to in the near future. Apart from post here, what more can we do to try and prevent this?
Posted by: Maggie How
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
The Writer's Compass is an invaluable resource for writers, helping us to network and promote and find work. I sincerely hope this service is able to survive this grossly misjudged cut, which is less a reflection of ACE than this current government, which is permitting the unbridled greed and unsustainability of corporate capitalism to undermine the arts and welfare state in the UK.
Posted by: Helen Moore
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
These cuts make no sense on any level: writers working in education enrich students' learning experience,foster creativity and inspire a new generation of writers to provide literature for us all to enjoy. As a writer and teacher of creative writing, I care about these things passionately and feel that the support that NAWE provides has great value and that it acts as an enabler in the pursuit of literary and educational excellence. The cuts make no sense on an economic basis as the Arts sector makes a sizeable net contribution to our economy, so why, even in their own narrowly materialistic terms, would the government want to choke off growth in this area? I think that we need to protest in the strongest terms for funding to be restored. Please let me know of any petition or further action that I can support.
Posted by: Judith Allnatt
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
How absurdly short-sighted this cut is!
Posted by: Helen Limon
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
In the short time I have been subscribing to the writer's compass it has proved an invaluable source of the kind of support and information that allows writers to make their jobs sustainable and relevant to society as a whole, and therefore less dependent on government support. It seems insanely counterproductive to cut funding to a resource like this - which helps writers to develop their own careers, become self sustaining, contribute to literacy in education, and ultimately make a much bigger contribution to the economy than they could without such support and advice.
Posted by: Kirsten McKenzie
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Yet another indictment of this government's gross misunderstanding of how creative talent is developed and nurtured, and of the importance of the creative industries' contribution to the welfare of our nation. As someone who writes and works in education I am saddened beyond belief. I hope that NAWE manages to survive the tough times ahead.
Posted by: Laura Wilkinson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I'm shocked to hear of the cuts to NAWE's funding. The website and e-bulletins have helped me enormously over many years now, and I was hoping they would do the same for the next generation of writers. Please do your best to continue in any way you can.
Posted by: Laura Quigley
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I still can't quite believe the drastic funding decisions that have been made. NAWE has been an invaluable resource to me as a writer and workshop facilitator in schools/community arts projects. Both the magazine and the professional liability insurance have been and continue to be particularly crucial to me.
Posted by: Sarah James aka Sarah Leavesley
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
We must all band together and protest at this appalling decision. NAWE is a gateway to so many things in a writer's world. I for one would be lost without it.
Posted by: Sandra Spears
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Being a writer can be a lonely occupation. NAWE bulletins make this less so. I hereby command all bank notes bearing Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns to flutter to NAWE (and such like) for the encouragement of writers and the growth of literacy.
Posted by: Elaine McChesney
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Like most people I find NAWE a fantastic resource alerting me to vital news, events, workshops, competitions in my area. This resource will be a sad miss and will make it even harder for writer's to make a living and keep going. What is this country going to be if it doesn't nuture it's artists? Is it going to be a country worth living in?
Posted by: Julie Egdell
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am so sorry to hear that the funding is not to be renewed. That as a society we are funding bonuses for bankers instead of preserving our cultural heritage is a shocking indictment of the current government.
Posted by: Sara Sheridan
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
An appalling decision -- please start a petition (as the Poetry Book Society has done) so that our protests can be heard by as wide an audience as possible!
Posted by: Kate Scott
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Not only is NAWE invaluable to me as a writer, it also provides much information that we use in our writing group. Information on legit competitions, training courses and events has propelled several of us on. Please don't give up!
Posted by: Donald McKinney
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I have attended a Nawe event this year at the freeword centre in london and regularly receive the e bulletin. I want to say how incredibly disappointing the news about funding is. Nawe is a unique community. I teach creative arts in a primary school and linking with other professionals working in a similar way gets harder and harder. Nawe has been a terrific source of information and a link with other creative people in my field!
Posted by: Cath Howe
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I regularly welcome the NAWE newsletters which keep me up to speed with all sorts of things. And I know you do a fabulous range of important work -- such energy behind your activities, such excellent use of the public funding you are about not to get. This is a message of moral support. I am very sorry about this news, very sorry indeed.
Posted by: Helena Nelson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I fail to see the thinking behind any of the arts cuts, but this is truly bizarre. ACE needs to go away and examine its conscience. Here's hoping that NAWE can find alternative sources of funding and continue its unique and essential service.
Posted by: Graeme K Talboys
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I only recently joined NAWE, having been an avid reader of the bulletins (now writers compass) for well over a year. It is a fantastic resource, and I follow almost every link on the emails, sometimes just out of curiosity at what is going on elsewhere. I've never understood the logic of funding decisions, but this is very disappointing. NAWE deserves better.
Posted by: Cherry Potts
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This is very sad news. I am just learning to write and I'm not in established writing circles so I rely on NAWE to inform me and stimulate my interest. My options now are shrinking dramatically.
Posted by: Gillian McColgan
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am shocked! I just completed a course in how to teach creative writing in the community and was pleased to discover that NAWE could help with professional support - particularly through its insurance scheme. I did the best thing I could today - joined as a professional member after subscribing to the news email for several years. I will be encouraging my writer friends to join too. The work of NAWE is vital and must be supported.
Posted by: Deborah Spiers
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Hard to believe that this has happened but then is it really with so much madness out there. Writing and reading on the chopping block. We would never have believed it possible but now as a nation we're in danger of limply accepting these horrific cuts. If the grant to the Poetry Book Society can be axed then anything goes. Shocked and appalled and hope there is a way through this for NAWE.
Posted by: Merric Davidson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I'm dismayed and disappointed by this news. The NAWE provides an invaluable service to writers, publishers, and teachers, from inspiration to practical help. If Arts Council England choose not to revoke their decision, I hope very much that the NAWE will be able to secure alternative funding. As a service and support to culture and education, it is too valuable to be lost.
Posted by: Kate Gould
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Sad, sad news. I cannot get my head around why this has happened. I would however, like to thank everyone at NAWE for providing invaluable support, resources and assistance over the past couple of years, and I hope everyone is okay. Andy
Posted by: AJ Kirby
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
My teacher helped me enjoy writing, but it was an author visit which blew my mind all those years ago. And now, as an author myself, NAWE is the most relevant, helpful organisation of all. This cut is ridiculous and very short-sighted indeed. Shame on all those involved in the decision.
Posted by: Bethan Gwanas
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I find the decision to cut NAWE bizarre. It's an invaluable organisation that provides for every age range - hugely successful. The primary and secondary curriculum in particular desperately needs the kind of creative stimulus that NAWE promotes. Teachers and writers and those who love literature will be sad and angry at this decision.
Posted by: Mary Green
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Very occasionally, the arts funding system doesn't make sense, and the cut to NAWE's funding is one of them. If writers in education and community settings are to make a living in these tough times, they need the support of a professionally focused organisation like NAWE. If the UK is to make any impression on its grim statistic of the highest rates of adult illiteracy in the EU then we need inspiring writers in education and NAWE. If I have saved my dear local swimming pool from closure, and slowed the dismantling the NHS, I may still have the wherewithall to make a fuss about this too.
Posted by: Bruce Barnes
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I cannot begin to explain how sad I am that this decision has been taken. NAWE has always provided an invaluable service to both writers and schools. I'm still in shock that this can happen to a vibrant, relevant, innovative body of dedicated people.
Posted by: Coral Rumble
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I fail to understand the logic behind the funding cut. The wonderful thing about NAWE is that it enables a wide range of writers to transmit their enthusiasm and skills to an even wider range of aspiring writers - from primary school kids onwards. The amount of satisfaction, personal fulfilment and life-changing opportunities that NAWE brings about is immeasurable. How can anyone NOT want to help its work continue? Personally, NAWE has helped me in both extending my skills as a teacher and giving me opportunities as a writer which have proved very significant. NAWE rules!
Posted by: Sherry Ashworth
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
As a children's writer, I find the cuts to NAWE's funding shortsighted and heartbreaking - 'NAWE aims to put creativity at the heart of education.' Enough said!
Posted by: Malaika Rose Stanley
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I was shocked and appalled to read about the proposed cuts to NAWE's funding. On the same day, I received an e mail telling me that PEN's funding is to be increased. PEN does valuable work, but so does NAWE. It does not seem logical, sensible or at all fair that one organisation should benefit above another.
Posted by: Celia Rees
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Dear Paul, I was dismayed to hear of the funding cut to NAWE. Over the years, NAWE has provided focused, detailed support to those working with creative writing in Higher Education. NAWE has helped us sustain our standards, improve them, to network and to create more opportunities for the developing writers we teach. It has also led fora of discussions, training and innovation, which are unique in their practical and artistic aid to the artistic life in education. We are always hearing about the benefits of 'creativity' in education and in business. Here is an organisation that fosters that creativity and supports the teaching of creativity in academic and social settings. Thanks to the staff at NAWE for all they do, and I hope that funding can be reinstated.
Posted by: Stephanie Norgate
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I'm deeply dismayed by this news. NAWE, as the HE subject association, has been vital to the work and profile of writing programmes within the Academy. Across the UK, many of our best new poets, dramatists, story writers and novelists have developed as writers on a host of these programmes. There are now almost endless examples of published writers whose first apprenticeship and opportunities were offered by a UK writing programme. These programmes offer genuine communities of writers for writers, and, as most publishers now know,they provide the space and opportunities in which innovative new writing can flourish. But good writing programmes need sustained support - and even at times protection - within the Academy. NAWE has for many years been tireless and passionate in this role. The winners have not only been writers and readers but also - to speak with the pragmatism of today - the UK's much lauded creative industries. The roots of creative excellence run deep, and NAWE has been there for many years fertlising,sowing and nurturing. I very much hope it can somehow steer itself through this crisis.
Posted by: Professor Alison MacLeod
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
So fed up with ACE's decisions... NAWE, you are a core organisation. Poetry Trust, Poetry Book Society... my days, this is not a pruning of branches, it is a cut to the roots. Let us know what we can do to help to keep you going. We are not asleep! We know the government cuts are not about cash: they are ideological (we also know the figures and the huge long-term costs of these short-term cuts). Our society is being dismantled with revolutionary zeal and speed. All children's literature projects are being targeted... so, it seems is poetry. On Saturday's march in London, over half a million people voiced their feelings loud and clear.
Posted by: Mandy Coe
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
As I have just said on the phone Paul, I think the NAWE decision is shocking. I'm bewildered, especially in relation to ACE's priority round children and young people. To risk losing access to your knowledge bank, your contacts in both the literature and education sectors and your 1300 members on the frontline is completely incomprehensible.
Posted by: Steve Dearden
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
As an international member, it is clear that NAWE is a world leader and ‘ lighthouse’ organisation in field of writing, education and the creative arts. I hope that UK decision makers understand the wonderful asset that they have; an asset that other countries aspire to emulate as a model of cross discipline connection in practice and research. Dr Mark Carthew Swinburne University, Australia www.markcarthew.com.au
Posted by: Dr Mark Carthew
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
As a young adult novelist and fulltime secondary school teacher I am extremely concerned about these cuts, which can only be to the detriment of generations of writers and future writers.
Posted by: Sheena Wilkinson
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Like many others, I find this decision impossible to understand. Encouraging young people to read and write and to contribute to this country's creative heritage is surely of enormous benefit to the economy as well as being important just for its own sake. The cut reflects a narrow-minded view of both education and culture – and I find this very sad indeed.
Posted by: Jenny Vaughan
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This is entirely incomprehensible, given not only what previous contributors have mentioned but also the numerous positive references to NAWE's work in The Literature Blueprint, produced in December 2010 by Creative & Cultural Skills - in partnership with The Arts Council...
Posted by: Helena Blakemore
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I am so disappointed to hear of the proposed cuts. The Association provides an invaluable meeting place for writers and educationalists as well as a consistently high level of support from its committee and staff. Few organisations offer so much.
Posted by: Karen Holmes
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Considering both old and new research on the importance of creativity not only in classrooms but in the business world even, the "absence" of the support for Writers in Education definitely shows that the people who decide on the cuts are truly uninformed or indifferent to the future of the spirit of the society, which is what saves a society in times of crisis and helps it flourish.
Posted by: Zoe Charalambous
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I took part as a writer in education for NAWE's vital enquiry into the value of the work of writers in schools. This study showed the importance to our children of the role of the imagination, self-confidence and the knowledge of working as part of a community making art together, as a force for the good. I also scan your comprehensive and valuable lists of other work available to me, as well as the list of possible publishing projects, in which I have taken part on several occasions.
Posted by: Marion Baraitser
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Being a writer-in-education can be an isolating experience. NAWE made the job easier and more rewarding: publishing the excellent journal, organising conferences, providing training, the list goes on and on. This decision is impossible to understand, and writers and writing in schools will suffer because of it.
Posted by: Roz Goddard
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
I'm shaken by the news of NAWE's funding cut. What other organization supports writers and writing in education in the fundamental ways that NAWE does? I'm wishing you all the best in finding a way through this and I very much appreciate your resolve to carry on.
Posted by: Chrissie Gittins
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
It was really disappointing to hear about the total funding cut to NAWE. The website, magazine and guidance from the organisation and its members has been invaluable throughout my PhD. I feel at a loss as to where else I could get such informed support. A very confusing decision.
Posted by: Sarah Dobbs
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
A very sad day for writers and an even sadder one for the young poets, script writers and novelists of tomorrow.
Posted by: Sue Dymoke
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
This is just wrong. Any organisation that encourages a relationship between children and books should be supported to the hilt and beyond.
Posted by: Joan Lennon
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Any move that undermines in any way the development, understanding and promotion of our nation's greatest asset - its language - is on every level unwise, foolish even. I cannot believe that the Arts Council thought carefully about its decision.
Posted by: Stewart Ross
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
It is very disappointing to learn that NAWE's funding has been cut. It's a first-rate organisation and no other body has the same expertise in writing and education.
Posted by: Helen Dunmore
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Unbelievable. This is an odd choice of cut to make, as NAWE is very much about raising the standards of the work that writers do when visiting schools and other educational settings. Surely a good and important thing? But NAWE has also been, for me and I'm sure for many others, an organisation to turn to for general advice and support. An unhelpful decision.
Posted by: Penny Dolan
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
Like David Morley I was involved at the beginning of this organisation which has fulfilled the high ideals and principles with which it began. It has enabled teachers, students and writers to develop and share their expertise so that the number of people who have been touched in a positive way by NAWE is incalculable. The Arts Council decision is impossible to understand.
Posted by: Alicia Stubbersfield
 
Thu 31 Mar 2011
A classic example of cutting relatively small sums of money and putting at risk a disproportionately large amount of good and useful work. NAWE is about getting writers out there into schools and the community. It encourages precisely the application of skills that this government ought to be in favour of, and it is an efficient use of funds, something the government also claims to favour.
Posted by: Mike Harris
 
Wed 30 Mar 2011
I worked for NAWE in its early days and helped secure its first ACE grant. NAWE is a necessary organisation doing necessary, national work. At the centre of this work is the important relationship of writers and school children (I know NAWE does so much more). This total cut is ludicrous and merciless. It is impossible to justify.
Posted by: Professor David Morley
 
Wed 30 Mar 2011
Unbelieveable! Did anyone in power read the report on how author visits can change student's lives? No, sorry, that was a stupid question...
Posted by: Steve Skidmore
 
Wed 30 Mar 2011
It is a shame that such a valuable organisation is not seen in this light by the Arts Council. Writers seem to be getting it extra-hard at the moment.
Posted by: Nicholas Corder
 
Wed 30 Mar 2011
I'd just like to thank the very many members who have responded to me personally about this - so many saying how much they value NAWE and cannot understand the decision at all; many stating clearly how they owe their writing career to this organization. All feedback will be really useful in forging the alternative future.
Posted by: Paul Munden
 
Topic: Arts Council Funding
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