2019 Mentoring Recipients

The schemes have an increased focus on new and emerging writers and talent development, including mentoring opportunities. Four writers have been awarded a place on the enhanced Mentoring Scheme: Mari Ellis Dunning, Rachel Carney, Nicholas McGaughey and Branwen Haf Williams. They will be joined by 6 recipients of ring-fenced Bursaries (the New Writers’ Bursaries and Under 25 Bursary – biographies below).

The scheme will begin with a bespoke Mentoring Course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in February 2019, followed by individual Mentoring sessions during the year, as well as opportunities to network with representatives from the publishing industry.

Mentoring Scheme Recipients

Rachel Carney

Rachel Carney completed her BA in Aberystwyth in 2006, and returned to Wales to work in 2009. She has an MA in Museum Studies and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing part-time, whilst working in a library. Her poems have been published in several journals including Ink Sweat and Tears, The High Window Journal, and The Ekphrastic Review. She also runs a monthly ekphrastic writing group in Cardiff. In 2016 she started a book blog, and has since written articles and reviews for various magazines including Wales Arts Review and the welsh agenda.  /  Twitter: @createdtoread

Mari Ellis Dunning

Mari Ellis Dunning writes poetry and fiction. Her debut children’s book was launched at the Abergavenny Writing Festival in 2016. Mari has been a runner up in the Robin Reeves Prize and twice in the Welsh Poetry Competition; she has been both first place winner and highly commended in the Terry Hetherington Young Writers’ Award, has been the winner of Seren’s annual Christmas Poetry Competition, and has work published in several journals and anthologies. She has an MA in Creative Writing and currently lives in Aberystwyth. As evidenced in her debut poetry collection, Salacia, the coast is hugely important to her writing.


Twitter: @mariiellis

Nicholas McGaughey

Nicholas McGaughey is an actor who lives in Pontypridd.

Last year he published poems in, amongst others, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Salzburg Review, Lampeter Review, Poetry Scotland, Skylight 47, A New Ulster, The Poetry Shed, Chicago Literati, Popshot, London Grip, Envoi and Gyroscope.

He has work forthcoming in the anthologies Noon, Story Cities, As You Were and An Outbreak of Peace;  eight of his poems will appear in a joint pamphlet with four other poets later in the year, to be published by Arachne Press.

He is working towards his first collection of poems Nurse.

Branwen Haf Williams

Branwen Haf Williams works as a freelance creative, and also plays with and writes for bands such as Siddi and Blodau Papur. Between running a record label and conducting choirs, she delights in writing lyrics, poetry and pieces for the theatre.

Branwen hails from north Wales, and after a period studying in Aberystwyth and Cardiff, she is delighted to be back in her native Llanuwchllyn.

Twitter: @bransbrings

They will be joined on the Mentoring Scheme by the following Writers' Bursaries Recipients:

Lucy Corbett

Lucy Corbett is a writer, poet, performer and film-maker, based in Cardiff. Her poetry films and short films have been screened at film festivals in the USA and Europe, and she has performed at poetry slams and fringe festivals across Britain, including the Camden Fringe festival in 2010, 2011 and 2015. Lucy wrote and performed a solo poetry/theatre show, ‘Stories About My Weird Friends’, in Wales and England in 2015 and 2016. Critics described the show as “lyrical and poetic” and “hilarious”. Lucy shares stories, films and poems on her website  /  Twitter: @lucycorbett

Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans grew up in Pontypridd and moved to the USA in 2013 to study English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. For her final thesis, she completed a novella for which she won the Sydney Cox Memorial Prize in Creative Writing. Alongside her fiction writing, she has created short films for the Hopkins Center for the Arts, written multiple short plays, and performed with the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir. After graduating in 2017, she spent a year in Los Angeles working for an LGBTQ+ civil rights organisation, and is currently back in her hometown where she plans to focus on writing.


Twitter: @foreignandextra  /  Instagram: @foreignandextra

Philip Jones

Philip Jones is a writer and musician who was born in Birmingham, was a teenager in Pembrokeshire and now lives in Cardiff. He has a Creative Writing MA from Cardiff University, is a Hay Festival Writer at Work and won third place in the inaugural New Welsh Writing Awards. Also a musician, his debut album Hawaii was released in 2017 under the name Dusty Cut. Phil’s writing focuses on our relationships with landscapes, masculinity and family.


Twitter: @DustyCutPhil  /  Instagram: @DustyCutMusic

Dyfan Lewis

Dyfan Lewis was raised in Craig-cefn-parc, Swansea. He went to Cardiff University to study Welsh, and he now shares his time between the village and the city. Dyfan aims to develop a series of essays based on his time in South-east Asia, discussing his experiences there, and ‘travelling’ as a phenomenon amongst his generation.


Twitter: @dyfanlewis

Nasia Sarwar-Skuse

Nasia Sarwar-Skuse is a solicitor and writer. As a bilingual Urdu and English speaker, working with words has been integral to the articulation and creation of her work.

She became interested in creative writing 13 years ago, following the birth of her son.

Nasia is interested in the presence of authenticity in literature by ethnic voices and its intersections with diaspora, gender and memory.


Nasia has commenced an MA in Creative Writing and is writing her first novel. The Writer’s Bursary awarded by Literature Wales will allow Nasia time to both research and focus on her writing.


She lives in Cardiff with her partner, two children and a black cat called Cwtch.

Emily Vanderploeg

Emily Vanderploeg holds an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Swansea University and teaches at Queen’s University, Canada, and with the Young Writers’ Squad in Swansea. She is a Hay Festival Writer at Work and her writing has been published in both the UK and Canada, shortlisted for the Impress Prize, and longlisted for The Poetry School’s ‘Primers’ series and the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize.  She has recently completed a collection of poetry and is working on a novel for young people. Originally from Aurora, Ontario, Canada, she lives in Swansea.


Twitter: @dippy_dumpling

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