NEW WELSH WRITING AWARDS 2019 #NewWelshAwards WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The New Welsh Writing Awards 2019, run by New Welsh Review in association with Aberystwyth University, sought the best dystopian novella in the Aberystwyth University Prize and the best writing with a Welsh theme or setting in the Rheidol Prize, the latter being run with the generous support of long-term subscriber Richard Powell. The winners of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2019 are Pontypool’s JL George with The Word in the dystopian novella category and Norfolk’s Peter Goulding with On Slate in the Rheidol category. Both winners will receive £1,000 cash each as advance against e-publication by New Welsh Review under their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique each by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.
Sarah Tanburn was placed second in the Rheidol category for her fantasy novel set in the Brecon Beacons, Hawks of Dust and Wine, and Rhiannon Lewis in the dystopian novella category for The Significance of Swans; both Welsh authors will receive a £300 voucher towards a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales. Richard John Parfitt was runner-up with his popular cultural history of Newport, Tales from the Riverbank in the Rheidol category and Rosey Brown was runner-up in the dystopian novella category with her gay coming-of age-story Adrift – both Welsh writers received a voucher for a two-night stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales.
Gwen Davies was judge in the two categories, and was joined by co-judge Cynan Jones in judging the Rheidol Prize; both were helped by students from Aberystwyth University. The results were announced at a ceremony at Hay on 24 May 2019; more details are available here.
Winner, Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella: ‘JL George’s The Word manages to place at the heart of her ambitious novella – which explores ideas about propaganda, communication and cohersion – a touching and compelling story of friendship between two teenage boys on the run.’
Winner, Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting: ‘Peter Goulding’s On Slate stood out immediately. It is funny and insightful, and the lively picture it paints of the characters and community drawn to or defined by the Dinorwic slate quarries in the 1980s stays strongly in the mind. Because the prose is good and clear and honest, On Slatesucceeds also in bringing a sense of purpose to this history, a sense of life to the rock faces, and a personal regard for both these things that never feels off-balance. Like the climbers it presents, the story is at the same time careful and risk-taking, ambitious and humble. And these are the things of great writing.’
Now in its fifth year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English and has previously run non-fiction categories with the WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature, won by Eluned Gramich in 2015 and the University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, won by Mandy Sutter in June 2016. In 2017 we ran two categories for the first time: the Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir, and the AmeriCymru Prize for Novella; the Winners were Catherine Haines’ whose memoir My OxfordNew Welsh Review published in February 2019 and Cath Barton whose novella The Plankton Collectorwe published in October 2018. Last year Ed Garland won the Aberystwyth Prize for an Essay Collectionwith Fiction as Hearing Aidwhich New Welsh Review will publish as Earwitness on 31 October 2019.
Eluned Gramich’s Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan, was published in print and as an ebook in 2015 and in 2016 in print under our New Welsh Rarebyte imprint (and was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year in 2016), while Mandy Sutter’s Bush Meat was published in print and as an ebook in autumn 2017.
Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella – WINNERS
FIRST PLACE JL George (Pontypool, Wales) – The Word
SECOND PLACE Rhiannon Lewis (Abergavenny, Wales) – The Significance of Swans
THIRD PLACE Rosey Brown (Cardiff, Wales) –Adrift
Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting – WINNERS
FIRST PLACE Peter Goulding (Thetford, England) – On Slate (Non-fiction)
SECOND PLACE Sarah Tanburn (Penarth, Wales) – Hawks of Dust and Wine(Fiction)
THIRD PLACE Richard John Parfitt (Penarth, Wales) – Tales from the Riverbank (Non-fiction)
Both winners will receive £1,000 cash each as advance against e-publication by New Welsh Reviewunder their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique each by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Second prizes are a £300 voucher towards a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales, and third prizes are a two-night stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales. The top six shortlisted authors will also receive a one-year subscription to New Welsh Review. In addition, New Welsh Review will publish the highly commended and shortlisted nominees for publication in the autumn 2019 edition of its creative magazine New Welsh Reader with an associated standard fee.
The Awards are open to all writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those who live overseas who have been educated in Wales.
Gwen Davies has been editor of New Welsh Review since 2011. She has worked as creative editor at publishers including Parthian, and founded the imprints Alcemi and New Welsh Rarebyte. As a literary translator her titles include Robin Llywelyn's White Star (Seren Wen) and two of bestseller Caryl Lewis' novels, Martha, Jack & Shanco (Martha, Jac a Sianco, Parthian, 2007) and The Jeweller (Y Gemydd, Honno, 2019). She has also been a Literature Officer at the Arts Council of Wales, a member and Chair of Literature Wales' Writers' Bursaries Panel for seven years, represented literature for the Arts Council of Wales' Creative Wales Awards and has been a writers' mentor, both privately and for Literature Wales. She has been co-judge for the New Welsh Writing Awards since its inauguration in 2015. She grew up in a Welsh-speaking family in West Yorkshire and now lives in Aberystwyth with her family. Gwen is acting as sole judge of the Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella and as co-judge with Cynan Jones of the Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting.
Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales in 1975. He is the author of five novels, published in over 20 countries. He has been longlisted and shortlisted for numerous prizes internationally, and won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, a Betty Trask Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award, and, most recently, the BBC National Short Story Award.
He has also written stories for BBC Radio, a screenplay for the hit crime drama Hinterland, and a collection of tales for children. Other writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and newspapers, and in journals and magazines including Granta and The New Yorker. Cynan joins Gwen Davies in co-judging the Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting.
New Welsh Review, PO Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1WZ
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New Welsh Review's Principal Sponsor for the Awards is Aberystwyth University, and the magazine is hosted within the university's Department of English and Creative Writing. For the 2019 Awards, we’re very grateful for philanthropic support from a longstanding subscriber Richard Powell which has enabled us to run a second category this year, the Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting. We run both the writing prizes and the reading poll with the help of students from the department who help with tasks such as filtering and co-judging entries, reviewing and researching nominated Poll entries, marketing, social media and promoting and running our landmark events.
For information about the Awards please contact Julia Forster at marketing @ newwelshreview.com
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