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Writing NSW still hoping to be saved

Writing NSW still hoping to be saved

Writing NSW is facing difficult times since the state government has rejected their application for multi-year funding worth $175,000.

Jane McCredie, the CEO of Writing NSW, has spoken about her shock at the decision, especially since the state’s literature board had recommended the Arts Minister continue funding the organisation. 

‘Our board is discussing the way forward and there are going to be very difficult decisions for us. But there is no way we can continue to operate as we operate now, or to run the breadth of programs we run now,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald

The Boundless Festival, Australia’s first-ever festival devoted to Indigenous and culturally diverse writers, is apparently under threat.

The free program is aimed at ‘an audience of young people from really diverse backgrounds, which is not what you normally see at writers’ festivals,’ said Ms McCredie.

‘There is no way we can continue to run programs so ambitious if we have no underlying funding to support our activities,’ she said.

Last year, Writing NSW had total revenue of about $900,000, of which two-thirds were raised by its own activities. Hits to the budget this year are believed to have been caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘The arts are undervalued in Australia, but literature is the poor cousin. Five per cent of ongoing funding is going to literature’ said Ms McCredie.

‘Very few writers can earn enough without doing something else.’

Writing NSW are now asking for those in their community help reverse the decision by contacting their local NSW Member of Parliament and the NSW Minister for the Arts, the honourable Don Harwin MLC.

They are also requesting that people use their social media platforms and other networks to raise awareness of the discontinuation by using the hashtag #SaveWritingNSW.

More information can be found on their website, as well as a template letter that you can customise and send to your local MP.