Saturday, 27 January 2018

What Happens To A Revolution If No-One Turns Up?

Is there anything more demoralising than having no one turn up when you've just declared a revolution. Lenin would have been livid. That awful moment when you realise that you were the only one with the Big Issue in the first place.
I must admit to serious misgivings having nailed my colours firmly  to the mast. Not that I was expecting members of the WPALS (Welsh Publishing and Literary Scene) to raid my home in the dead of night and transport me to a gulag on some deserted island covered in bird droppings and subjected to the occasional intrusion by Iolo Williams .
Thankfully, that was not the case. Admittedly, our numbers have not yet swelled sufficiently to make storming the National Assembly a viable proposition. Still, there have been murmurings of suppressed discontent and enthusiastic promises of support. We natives (writers and scribes of Wales) are apparently getting restless. Some have even rallied under the flag bearing tales of frustration and disappointment. It's a common theme.

"There's nothing on the flag!" I hear someone cry. 
"What the hell is he on about?" yells another.
The short answer is "Tales From Wales". 
"Tales From Wales? Isn't that just another pointless website." 
Yes and no. As Dylan (Bob not the Welsh one) once said - "Come right in and I'll give you shelter from the storm."
"What storm?" (I think I'll drop this imaginary protester he's beginning to play on my nerves.)
Well, not a storm exactly, that was just me brandishing my poetic license.   
But there are many authors out there who have been rejected by traditional publishers or published only to see very little promotion of the book they have laboured over lovingly for years. There are also writers discouraged from seeking publication or those who are happy just to submit the occasional short story to a magazine. 

A recent Welsh Government report on the role of Literature Wales was particularly damning.
"Literature Wales is very much an inward looking organisation and does not have a strong enough focus on outcomes. Literature Wales can no longer be considered a young organisation but the panel considered that in its evidence it demonstrated a lack of maturity and strategic planning in a number of key areas. . ."
The functions which the report recommended the Welsh Books Council should take on from Literature Wales include the Wales Book of the Year prize, bursaries, literary events, its Writers on Tour funding scheme, and provision for children and young people. Whatever happens next there is obviously recognition sweeping changes need to be made.

Tales From Wales may not in and of itself be the answer but working alongside authors like Dave Lewis, who shares our philosophy, green roots of change are beginning to push through. Dave set up the first ever Welsh Poetry Competition, an international poetry competition aimed at encouraging the wealth of creative writing talent that we know exists in Wales but currently languishes in the doldrums. Dave also runs Publish & Print, a book publishing company that is seeking good writers that have been overlooked by the mainstream publishing industry.

Anybody who has published a book, self-published or otherwise can include it in our Tales From Wales Bookshop. We are not interested in critiquing or passing judgement on the work of other authors (other than obvious spelling and grammatical errors). Readers make their own judgement without any help from us. Diversity is welcomed.

If you have a short story or book extract you would like to share then simply email and we will upload it and add it to our Downloads page. This is a great way to provide taster material for potential readers.

Bloggers are encouraged to submit their blogs.

Writing Groups and Welsh Societies worldwide are invited to make contact. We have already had excellent contributions form Australian authors with links to Wales. I would love to hear from your group.

Tales From Wales intends producing and publishing four quarterly digital magazines. They will include your short stories, book extracts, poems and blog posts. The digital magazine will be made freely available across the web and social media. Its sole purpose to promote Tales From Wales and its associated authors. To do this it has to look professional and appeal to a wide audience. The Spring Issue, available on March 1st, is in the final stages of design. It includes:
new writers,
established authors,
book extracts,
short stories, 
spotlight on a featured writing group, 
authors based in Australia,
an award winning blog post,
'How To' articles,
an 'in memoriam' section,
and a very talented Welsh artist. 

If you want to get involved in future issues please let me know. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Tales From Wales will not turn anyone away and will make your work available in some form. We need your support if this venture is to thrive. Exposure is key. I am happy to do my bit but your contributions are essential. TALES FROM WALES needs YOU.


  1. There is a lot of talent both in Wales and from those of us who have left, but still have Wales in our heart.

  2. I believe that's the truth so come on let's hear from you.

  3. I have written a book called Codename Angel. Its about a Cambridge Professor who is part of top secret group investigating UFOs during the 1950s. I have based an entire Chapter at the old Pen-Y-Fal psychiatric hospital in Abergavenny. If you want me to sen it along let me know.

  4. Check your email Jason I sent you a response. Thanks.


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