Reinventing the Protagonist: Ten writers selected to attend digital course

Published Thu 23 Nov 2023 - By Literature Wales
Reinventing the Protagonist: Ten writers selected to attend digital course
Literature Wales has today announced the ten selected participants of a digital creative writing course run in partnership with Disability Arts Cymru.

Offering a series of 5 online meetings and one-to-one tutorials all led by the internationally renowned playwright and writer Kaite O’Reilly, the course encourages the selected writers to challenge stereotypes by considering new narratives, reinvented protagonists, surprising endings, and innovative new approaches to writing.

The opportunity was open to Wales-based Deaf and/or Disabled writers working in English or Welsh across a variety of genres. Following the open call-out in August 2023, the following ten successful applicants were selected:

  • Alix Edwards
  • Greg Glover
  • Bethany Handley
  • Caitlin Tina Jones
  • Fran Kirchholtes
  • Grace Quantock
  • Satterday Shaw
  • Rhys Miles Thomas
  • David Thorpe
  • Sara Louise Wheeler

From Harlech to Monmouthshire, this year’s cohort are based across Wales, and vary in experience and genres. Their topics of interest range from exploring ableism, inaccessibility, one’s relationship with nature as a Disabled woman, ways of cementing the place of Disabled individuals in the mainstream, raising awareness of the differing presentations of neurodiversity in female identifying individuals and the intersection of creative arts, social justice and marginalised bodies. The writers have completed three of their five workshops so far and are due to have their one-to-one tutorials with their tutor, Kaite O’Reilly in early 2024.

Literature Wales’ Executive Director Claire Furlong said:

“It’s a great pleasure for Literature Wales to announce the names of the writers selected to take part in this fantastic opportunity. A huge part of our work is to nurture talent and provide platforms, and the focus of this course on challenging stereotypes and refreshing the narrative is sure to lead to more richness in Welsh storytelling. I’m excited to read this cohort’s work in due course, and to watch their careers flourish.”

Nye Russell-Thomas, the Performing Arts and Literature Office at DAC said:

“It’s invigorating to see such a talented group of writers at varying career stages wanting to build upon their creative expertise and experience a range of written genres outside of their usual wheelhouse. Kaite O’Reilly is perfect in her guiding voice as course leader for Reinventing the Protagonist, with her renowned career as writer and disability rights activist. I wish the very best of luck to the 10 successful writers!”

Following the six online sessions, Literature Wales and DAC will continue to work with the writers by facilitating a light aftercare programme which includes continuing to help nurture a supportive community and signposting relevant opportunities.

Reinventing the Protagonist forms part of Literature Wales’ offer for writers to develop and hone their craft. Other opportunities include creative writing courses and retreats at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, our annual Representing Wales Professional Development Programme, and more. To find out about more about our opportunities and services, head over to our I am a Writer pages on our website.