‘I’m Not Psychic But…’ – Louise Walsh
Greetings again from Hay!
Writers at Work had another interesting morning beginning with a press and PR session, which could otherwise be entitled ‘Selling’.
Rather gloomily for us, Welsh writing is apparently a tough sell.
We were told to play down the Welsh elements and pitch the universal – especially if we want Julia Roberts to play our main character in the movie spin-off.
This is a conflict for us Welsh Writers at Work. We are of course interested in Welsh themes. And by that I don’t mean sheep and mountains. Often what seems to preoccupy us, if our Green Room conversations are anything to go by, is our relationship with England and the other Celtic nations as well as considerations of language, identity and independence.
Are we to abandon these literary deliberations to get ahead?
But this is about sales after all. We have also had a lot of talks about how trends cannot be predicted.
I am reminded of something I heard from one of the panel on BBC2’s ‘Dragons’ Den’. This dragon’s philosophy was that the really clever inventors will rock up with a product you didn’t even know you needed but, once you have it, things are better for it.
And that’s my view of what is happening in Welsh writing. Our very Welshness is the product. The publishing world may not necessarily think it needs us, but they used to think the same about writing from Scotland and Ireland. Wales is, as yet, the largely untapped resource.
I predict a trend coming.
Welsh writing is the next Zeitgeist.
You heard it here first!