Join us as we celebrate the debut novels of award-winning authors Jane Fraser (Wales) and Kathleen B. Jones (USA).
In conversation with Elaine Canning, Jane and Kathleen will discuss the art of writing historical fiction, inspirations and influences, as well as the silencing and invisibility of women, duty and desire within a range of cultural landscapes.


Jane Fraser lives, works and writes fiction in a house facing the sea in the village of Llangennith, in the Gower peninsula, south Wales.

She is the author of two collections of short fiction, The South Westerlies (2019) and Connective Tissue (2022), both published by leading UK indie, SALT. Her debut novel, Advent (2021) was published by Welsh women’s press, HONNO, and was awarded the Society of Authors Paul Torday Memorial Prize in 2022.

Her short stories have placed highly in major international competitions: she was a finalist in the Manchester Fiction Prize (2017) and she has been a runner-up, shortlisted or highly commended in the Fish Short Story Prize, the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, the Cambridge Short Story Prize, and The Rhys Davies National Short Story Prize.

Her work has been widely anthologised, appearing in publications by New Welsh Review, The Lonely Crowd, TSS, Momaya Press, Retreat West, and Fish Publishing. In 2022, she was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for the first time to write ‘Soft Boiled Eggs’, a short story broadcast as part of the Short Works series.

She has a B.Ed as a first degree and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Swansea University. She is also proud to be a Hay Festival Writer at Work.

Jane has recently been awarded a Society of Authors’ grant to work on her latest novel: an intergenerational ecofeminist contemporary story set in Gower.

Born and educated in New York City, Kathleen B. Jones taught feminist theory for twenty-four years at San Diego State University. Besides many scholarly books, she wrote two memoirs: Living Between Danger and Love, (Rutgers University Press, 2000) and the award-winning Diving for Pearls: A Thinking Journey with Hannah Arendt (Thinking Women Books, 2015). Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Fiction International, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, The Briar Cliff Review, Humanities Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Among numerous awards, she received multiple grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, writers’ grants to the Vermont Studio Center, an honorary doctorate from Örebro University, Sweden, and a distinguished alumni award from CUNY Graduate Center. Cities of Women is her debut novel. She lives in Stonington CT.

Originally from Belfast, Elaine Canning is a public engagement specialist, writer and editor living in Swansea, South Wales. She holds an MA and PhD in Hispanic Studies from Queen’s University, Belfast and an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University. She is currently Head of Special Projects at Swansea University, including the international Dylan Thomas Prize. As well as having written a monograph and papers on Spanish Golden-Age drama, she has published several short stories. Her debut novel, The Sandstone City, was published by Aderyn Press in 2022. She is also editor of Maggie O’Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (forthcoming, Bloomsbury, 2023). She is a member of the British Council Wales’ Advisory Committee and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

*Please note: Event delivered in English