Having been in post since March, our CEO Helen Chaloner, reflects on how focusing on reading in the region has also put a spotlight on writing in the South West.

“The two months since I joined Literature Works as CEO have been an exhilarating whirlwind of meeting and discovery, learning so much about the incredible variety of literary activity taking place in our region. In the last Literature Works newsletter, we were delighted to announce the success of our bid to work on a reader development app, signposting readers to books by past and present writers from the South West. Along with our partners in libraries around the region, we’re having great fun nominating books that meet two simple requirements: they promote reading for pleasure and generate a sense of wellbeing. To try and pin down just how reading achieves those two things, we turned to a fantastic tool from another regular Literature Works partner, the Reading Agency. Based on their Reading Outcomes Toolkit, we asked our nominators to put forward books that, in their view, offer some or all of the following: the reader feeling good about him/herself; escape through imagination; enhanced mood; empathy and understanding of others; awareness of different cultures and ideas; and more open-minded. It all serves as a reminder of why I love reading so much! As the nominations roll in, an impressive picture builds of the breadth and depth of writing talent in and from the South West region. Watch out for the app, coming to a device near you later this year. “

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