For a full list of Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary recipients (2011-2016), please download the document at the bottom of this page.
2016 Writers’ Bursaries recipients – Biographies
Tom Bullough is the author of four novels: A (Sort of Books), The Claude Glass (Sort of Books), Konstantin (Penguin) and Addlands, which is published in 2016 by Granta in the UK and Random House in the US. Fans of his work include John Banville, Niall Griffiths, Victoria Hislop, Susan Hill and Andrew Miller. Tom has worked as a screenwriter, a sawmiller, a Zimbabwean music promoter and a contributor to the Rough Guides series, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of South Wales. He lives in the Brecon Beacons. www.tombullough.com
Sarah Coles tries her best not to write anything at all. She works in a primary school and has even had three children to use as an excuse not to write. Occasionally, when she is off guard, a piece of work emerges against her will. Her poetry collection Here and The Water (Gomer, 2012) is an example. She writes reviews for literary magazines and has found her work in many poetry and short story anthologies. She lives in Swansea where she will now be trying not to write a collection of short fiction with the help of a Writer’s Bursary. Twitter: @ThatSarahColes
Hannah Collins’ story began on a dark and stormy afternoon in England when she discovered a box of old Batman comics at her local charity shop, sparking a life-long love of art and writing. Since graduating from Lancaster University with a BA in Fine Art and Creative Writing, she began her career as a freelance illustrator and writer. As an illustrator she produces comic books, children’s book illustrations and newspaper strips, and, as an avid blogger, contributes regularly to entertainment sites like Buzzfeed and Itcher about pop culture and gender. During the bursary period she will be writing a cyber-ghost story aimed at children aged 8-12 years old. www.houseofzinthos.com / Twitter: @HOUSEofZINTHOS
Born in Llanrwst, where his family had close connections, Martin Davis was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon but during his childhood, spent long periods on holiday with his family in both Llanrwst and the Porthmadog area. For many years his home has been in Tre Taliesin in north Ceredigion. He works as a freelance translator and is the author of numerous titles for adults and children including four adult novels Brân ar y Crud, Os Dianc Rhai, Tonnau Tryweryn and Broc Rhyfel (all published by Y Lolfa.)
Lucy Dunham grew up on the beaches of south Australia, but has been living and working in Cardiff for the last 13 years. She holds a Masters degree in English literature, and is trying very hard to learn Welsh.
Jonathan Edwards’ first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren) received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His poems have won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, the Ledbury Festival International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award, and appeared in Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review and The North. He works as a teacher.
Megan Hodson is 23 and lives in her hometown of Cardiff after spending most of her life in the Valleys. She studied Creative & Professional Writing at university and currently works in digital marketing. In November 2014, she won the ‘Be A Best Seller’ competition with the Curtis Brown Literary Agency and ITV’s ‘This Morning’, and was awarded a place on Curtis Brown’s Six Month Novel-Writing Course and a Curtis Brown literary agent, upon completion of her novel. She looks forward to the next time she’ll be able to cry all over Phillip Schofield on live TV.
Natalie Ann Holborow is an MA graduate in Creative Writing at Swansea University and is currently writer-in-residence at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace. She is the winner of both the Robin Reeves Prize 2015 and the Terry Hetherington Award 2015 and has been highly commended for various others including the Bridport Prize, Hippocrates Prize, Jane Martin Poetry Prize and was longlisted for the National Poetry Prize 2015. She has recently been published in The Stinging Fly and New Welsh Review. She is planning to see her debut poetry collection published this year, and will use the Bursary to complete her first novel, Bad Milk. Twitter: @missholborow
Christine James is a Professor in the Department of Welsh, Swansea University, where she teaches on a variety of literary modules, including Creative Writing. She won the Crown at the 2005 National Eisteddfod of Wales for a collection of ekphrastic poems, later included in her first volume of poetry, rhwng y llinellau (Barddas, 2013), which won the Welsh Poetry category in the 2014 Welsh Book of the Year Award. Christine is the current Archdruid of Wales. This Bursary will enable her to buy time out of her usual workplace responsibilities in order to work on poems for a proposed second volume. Twitter: @doctorcjames
Born in 1986, Rebecca F. John holds a BA in English with Creative Writing (1st class) and an MA in Creative Writing (distinction) from Swansea University. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2015, her short story ‘The Glove Maker’s Numbers’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2015. Her short story collection, Clown’s Shoes, is published by Parthian. Her first novel, The Haunting of Henry Twist, is forthcoming through Serpent’s Tail in 2017. Rebecca lives in Swansea with her dog, Betsy. www.rebeccafjohn.com / Twitter: @Rebecca_Writer
A native of Abergele, Llion Jones has since upgraded to Penrhosgarnedd. A chaired poet and a founder member of the cynghanedd Twitterati, Llion is a Barddas columnist and founder of the Welsh language poetry website Yr Annedd. He has published two collections of verse, Pethe Achlysurol (Barddas, 2007) and Trydar mewn Trawiadau (Barddas, 2012). The latter won the People’s Choice Award in the Wales Book of the Year competition in 2013. In his day job, he is Director of Canolfan Bedwyr at Bangor University. In his hazy past he was a member of the Welsh language pop group Eryr Wen and his ‘Gloria Tyrd Adre’ won the ‘Song for Wales’ competition in 1987, a song that is recalled with fondness and contempt in equal measures. www.llionjones.com / Twitter: @LlionJ
Nina Lyon has lived in the Welsh borders for seven years. She is the author of Mushroom Season, an account of youthful psychedelic adventures and the mountains near her home which was runner-up for the 2013 FT/Bodley Head Essay Prize, and Uprooted: On the Trail of the Green Man, published by Faber. She is currently working on another book for Faber about the uncanny and a PhD thesis on nonsense and metaphysics at Cardiff University. www.ninalyon.com / Twitter: @ninalyon
Geraint Morgan has made a living as an actor for thirty years and is a familiar face on S4C. He has appeared in numerous series over the years (Pobol Y Cwm, Y Palmant Aur, Teulu, Tân ar Y Comin, Y Gwyll) but he is happiest when writing or painting. He has written a novel for children which is sitting in the attic gathering dust, and hopes his second effort will be read by more than half a dozen people. The Writer’s Bursary will allow him to finish that book, a psychological horror for young adults. Twitter: @geraintmogs
Sian Northey has been described as a literary Swiss Army penknife by Ifor ap Glyn. She considers this to be a fair description, as she dabbles in all kinds of writing, and much to her own surprise, manages to earn a living. She has published several books for children, and her second novel for adults, Rhyd y Gro, will be published in 2016 by Gomer. Her poetry collection Trwy Ddyddiau Gwydr (Carreg Gwalch, 2013) was on the shortlist for Wales Book of the Year in 2014. Sian regularly leads workshops for children and adults, and is particularly interested in writing in the context of health and well-being. Twitter: @siannorthey
Helen Pendry works in a bookshop in Machynlleth. She has taught reading and writing in higher education and her published work includes articles, book reviews and children’s travel guides to Spain. She’ll be using her Writer’s Bursary to complete her first novel which draws on her experiences of wandering about in the mid-Wales hinterland, working in a hostel for the homeless, cleaning out cages in the Reptile House at London Zoo, and campaigning against the arms-trade. She’s in This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco for singing a Christmas song.
Tegan Pyke is a graphic designer living and working in Cardiff. Originally from the quiet seaside town of Llantwit Major, it took her several misadventures, a handmade Pokémon costume and a monkey attack to finally put pen to paper. A long time lover of folklore and mythology, Tegan will be using her Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary to write her first novel, Iron – a supernatural horror about a teenage girl rescuing her boyfriend from the Welsh Otherworld. www.teganpyke.co.uk / Twitter: @teganpyke
Benjamin Smith was born in Birmingham and now lives in the Cambrian mountains of Powys. Having spent twenty years as a musician and songwriter, he now works as a freelance editor of fiction. His literary interest is in the relationship between people and the landscape they inhabit. A Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary will enable completion of his first collection of short stories: A Mountain Speaks. Twitter: @brumsongsben
Peter Wakelin has been writing about visual art since the 1990s, walking the boundaries between art history, biography and creative response. He grew up in Swansea in a house full of books on art and his parents’ sculptures and paintings. His articles have appeared in Art Review, Modern Painters, Planet, New Welsh Review and The Guardian. As a curator he has produced exhibitions for MOMA Machynlleth, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum of Wales, where he was until recently Director of Collections and Research. He and his partner, the artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins, live near Aberystwyth. Twitter: @PeterWakelin1
Hilary Watson was born in south Wales to Scottish scientist parents and grew up with her brother and sister. She started writing poetry at school and studied a BA in English and Creative Writing and an MA in Writing at the University of Warwick before returning to Cardiff. She is a Jerwood/Arvon Mentee 2015-2016 under the guidance of poet Caroline Bird and will use the next year to work on her first collection of poetry. She has a keen interest in science experiments and the arts scene in Cardiff, and plays roller derby with Tiger Bay Brawlers.
Aled Jones Williams lives in Cricieth. A number of his plays have been performed and broadcast, amongst them: Iesu!, Pryd Fuodd Kathleen Ferrier Farw?, Sundance, Anweledig. He won the crown at the National Eisteddfod in 2002 for his extended poem ‘Awelon’. His latest novel, Eneidiau (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch), was shortlisted for the 2014 Wales Book of the Year. He has published a brief autobiography: Tuchan o Flaen Duw (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch). This year, Duw yw’r Broblem, a book he has co-authored with Cynog Dafis, is published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. Nostos will be the title of the novel he will write during the Bursary period. Last year he became a fellow of The Welsh Academy.