The South Wales Literature initiative (SWLI) has been running since 2007, bringing together local authorities from South Wales to work on literature development across all of the valleys and beyond. The project is enabled by a grant from the Arts Council of Wales, which is matched by financial contributions from each participating local authority. Literature Wales has conceived, managed and driven the project since its inception in 2007. The number of Local Authorities working in partnership on the project is currently eight (Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan).
The project aims to reach and work with groups and individuals who have traditionally not been part of the mainstream writing world. There is a huge wealth of untapped writing talent in South Wales and this project aims to release at least some of it. The initiative has, over the last five years, succeeded in increasing the range and number of literature activities taking place in the region.
Linked to this existing and highly successful initiative, Literature Wales will incorporate a new Rhys Davies Education and Outreach programme into the South Wales Literature Initiative, which would run in all eight authorities, to reflect Rhys Davies’ heritage as ‘the writer of the valleys’. This programme will target young people and those who are out of work, with the aim to up-skill and offer training opportunities through creative engagement in a meaningful and innovative way, taking Rhys Davies as the inspiration and starting point.