Many past Bursary recipients have gone on to achieve huge successes and acclaim; some of their stories are featured below.
“The Literature Wales New Writer’s Bursary which I received in 2011 was essential in making My Family and Other Superheroes the collection it is. That opportunity for an extended immersion in poetry, reading, writing and thinking, and not having to worry about any distractions, was crucial to my development. A number of the poems in the collection, including the sequence about animals and many of the poems about Wales, were written during this period. It also allowed my style to evolve, giving me the opportunity to try out more ambitious forms, in a way that was so important to the poems I wrote after the period of the Bursary ended. As a writer in Wales, I think we are so lucky to have an organisation like Literature Wales, who are so supportive, generous and absolutely committed to sustaining the proud literary heritage of our country.”
Jonathan Edwards was awarded a New Writer’s Bursary in 2011. My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren) won the 2014 Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Arts Review People’s Prize in the 2015 Wales Book of the Year Award
“The fact that The Girl in the Red Coat was written with the help of a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary is very proudly stated in the acknowledgements. I feel very lucky to be an author in Wales, where writing is so supported and celebrated. A Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary not only buys time to write – it’s also a huge boost to the confidence that someone has faith in your work enough to support you early on.”
Kate Hamer was awarded a New Writer’s Bursary in 2011. Her debut novel, The Girl in the Red Coat is published by Faber & Faber and was shortlisted for the 2015 Costa First Novel Award.
Rebecca F. John
“Time can often be the greatest enemy of a new writer: finding it, I mean; buying it. We require so much of it and can so infrequently afford it. That’s one of the reasons why Literature Wales Bursaries are so important. My first short story collection was published in 2015 and my first novel will be published in 2017, but I was struggling to begin my next big project. I just didn’t have the hours.
The Writer’s Bursary I was lucky enough to receive has not only allowed me to delve into a story I so passionately want to present to my readers, it has also afforded me time to write, it has reassured me that I have something important to say, and that there is an audience out there who might want to listen. I feel very fortunate to belong to a country so keen to assist and celebrate its writers.”
Rebecca F. John was awarded a Published Writer’s Bursary in 2016, to work on her second novel. Her debut collection of short stories Clown’s Shoes was published by Parthian in 2015. In the same year, 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.
“In 2015 I was lucky enough to be awarded a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary to work on my second poetry collection. The award meant that I was able to focus my writing time much more effectively, giving me the creative space to experiment and challenge myself to work in new ways. It was also a vote of confidence in my writing, and that’s worth a huge amount.”
Katherine Stansfield was awarded a Published Writer’s Bursary in 2015. She is currently working on her third novel, due out with Allison & Busby in 2018, and is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University.