I promised that I would print in full any statement presented by the BWA. I have just this minute received one and the full text is reproduced below. I’ll comment at length – and I hope for the last time – on all this tomorrow. HB.
From the Brit Writers:
Brit Writers has decided to withdraw its legal action against Writers’ Workshop, Claire King and Jane Smith. We felt compelled into this course of action because of the accusation that the Prime Minister’s letter of support to Brit Writers was fraudulent. Subsequently, this accusation has now been withdrawn for which we are grateful. We would further request that the accusation that Brit Writers is a ‘scam’ organisation also should be withdrawn.
In keeping with the spirit of generosity and good will Brit Writers are more than happy to answer any questions from anyone; however we refuse to indulge in internet mudslinging particularly since we are sensitive to the interests of our partners and writers.
Brit Writers works with multiple organisations from a broad based spectrum of backgrounds. We work with these organisations to further the best interests of our writers and partners; however we do not feel it is necessary to go into the exact mechanics of how our aims are achieved. Brit Writers is a private company and the way it conducts its business is aimed at the interests of its clients and the successes and results are self evident and in the public sphere.
Brit Writers is committed to bringing forth literary talent from undiscovered sources, which we hope will lead to a new culture within the world of publishing. As a part of this ethos we fully believe in freedom of speech and have supported many unfashionable and potentially controversial writers. As we know the world of publishing is rapidly changing and needs new forces to re-energise it. This may seem to outsiders and the establishment as being unusual and innovative and therefore may lead to confusion. However, please be rest assured Brit Writers is fully committed, not only to promoting literary gems within the mainstream publishing industry, but also we are fully mindful of the ethos that we have previously espoused, in that, writers who have been outside of the mainstream published industry are given a fair chance to prove themselves within the literary world. We are particularly proud of our previous winners and published authors who are well on their way to being read across the world, whereas without Brit Writers they may have remained as unheard voices.
As far as agents and publishers giving a fair chance to unpublished and unsolicited manuscripts goes, our experience strongly suggests, and we think most writers would agree, that writers in this category are not taken seriously or even given fair consideration. That is why we were inundated with submissions for our agent’s referral pilot and, in fact, most agents and publishers do not wish to plough through numerous slush piles and therefore value the service we provide them.
Brit Writers, despite its best and most sincere efforts accepts that there may have been systems in place that led to some lack of clarity in some processes. However, we are always willing to learn and take advice and we would invite comments and suggestions from any interested and concerned parties, so that we may improve our quality of care to our writers.
Brit Writers will, despite these recent misunderstandings, continue to work in the best interests of writers. We also wish that all concerned parties in the publishing world should continue to cooperate and work together to build a sustainable and ever-growing publishing industry. We hope that this will lead to more people, old and young alike, irrespective of background to read and write, which has been the main goal of Brit Writers from its very inception.
To this end we would invite and welcome organisations and writers to get in touch with us and discuss any issues, so that they may help us to discover ways in which we may support them.
Brit Writers firmly believes in this ethos and we invite all to the table to work together to help build a cohesive, expanding and rewarding future in the world of publishing.