Wednesday, 30 March 2011
I was very sorry to hear today that the publisher Route has lost its Arts Council funding. Also, NAWE. Along with Puffin, both Route and NAWE have had more to do with helping me make a living as a writer than any others. Route published most of my first stories and worked with me on the book I edited and co-wrote, Four Fathers. That gave me the confidence to believe I could be a writer - and the oppotunities to write and perform. To learn. But the greater thing Route did was edit both my writing and how I saw myself as a writer. Ian Daley read my stuff and talked to me about it. Many times. He made me think about what sort of a writer I was and helped me work out where I was going. Without Ian Daley - and a funded Route - I would not have become a full time author. NAWE intervened around the same time. They had a course called Making a Living as an Author in Schools. That's what I wanted to do. So that I could buy myself the time to write. The course was outstanding. There were seminars, a mentor and a work placement in a school. It worked wonderfully. It gave me confidence. And - with the chance to develop ideas with the teacher during the placement - I worked up the Football Reading Game. I have done that activity over 2000 times now. Earning 60% of my income over the last eight years doing it. The rest of the time I write. I hope both Route and NAWE find a way through this. They are both fantastic organisations. **** It was good to hear that some of the other Arts Organisations I have worked with have got their funding. The Reading Agency, Booktrust and the brilliant Comma Press.