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NAWE Funding Update
Mon 16 May 2011
Paul Munden explains how things now stand regarding Arts Council funding and NAWE's ongoing work.
"I should first of all like to thank all those who have offered such compelling testimony to the value of NAWE in response to the Arts Council's bewildering decision to omit from their portfolio the one organisation supporting the development of creative writing of all genres and in all educational and community contexts throughout the UK.

"We have had two meetings with ACE staff, as a result of which several things have been discussed.

"Firstly, the mistake in the feedback to our bid (regarding the level of funding requested) has been acknowledged. It was also admitted that there are significant strategic gaps in the new literature portfolio, and that NAWE was positioned to fill those gaps, perhaps supported by the further strategic funds that will supposedly become available.

"Secondly, it has been suggested that NAWE applies to Grants for the Arts in the first instance to fund an external consultant to review our business model, exploring how we might sustain our member services more independently but also clarifying the specific work that ACE should perhaps still support. This would then lead to a further GfA bid to support NAWE over the next 3 years.

"It makes good sense to explore all this. There are however many questions about the assessment of our National Portfolio bid that remain unanswered and we have in the end had no option but to register a formal complaint. We will of course keep members informed about progress on all these fronts.

"We are currently putting together our conference programme for November, and will certainly include a major discussion session within the programme to allow members to take a full part in shaping NAWE's future. There is no doubt that some things will have to change; the level of support from both the membership and the sector as a whole, however, should guarantee the success of any new plans."
Paul Munden
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National Association of Writers in Education
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Paul Munden
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