Shortlists announced for New Welsh Writing Awards 2019.

Published Thu 2 May 2019 - By Literature Wales

New Welsh Review is delighted to announce the shortlists for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2019 which this year sought entries across two categories: the Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella, run in association with Aberystwyth University, and the Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting, which was made possible thanks to the generous support of long-term subscriber Richard Powell.


The Awards were set up in 2015 to champion the best short-form writing. Last year, the winner of the Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection was Ed Garland for Fiction as a Hearing Aid which New Welsh Review will publish on 31 October 2019.


The dystopian novella shortlist spotlights three women writers from Wales – Rosey Brown, JL George and Rhiannon Lewis – who present dystopian novellas in turn about a Britain besieged by floods, a teenage duo who are on the run and a Welsh heroine who is searching for the reason behind mass disappearances. Whilst among the highly commended entries, we discover characters trying to remake themselves in a south Wales turned upside down by The Unpleasantness in Dewi Heald’s novella; in Thomas Pitt’s The Chosen we follow an Amish community trying to survive war in a mash-up of period sci-fi and dystopia and finally in Heledd WilliamsWater, Water, Nowhere… the author merges and art heist with a water shortage to present an entertaining and fast-paced quick read.


Meanwhile, in the Rheidol category for writing with a Welsh theme or setting, the varied shortlist includes a non-fiction account of climbing in the quick-drying slate quarries of North Wales in the 1980s by Peter Goulding, a memoir set in 1990s Newport club scene penned by Richard John Parfitt and Sarah Tanburn’s vision of a future Wales where North-African Hawk training and horse racing are closely intertwined. Over on the highly commended list, we hear from Marilyn Barlow whose account of keeping a smallholding in Ceredigion is counter-pointed with her upbringing in war-torn Rhodesia, Mark Blayney who presents an inter-war novella set in a Jewish community in Cardiff and Elizabeth Griffiths whose essays about Wales and its literatures are both brimming with integrity and depth.


Three writers in each category, both new and established are now in the running for the top prizes of £1,000. They are as follows.


Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella – Shortlist (in alphabetical order)

Rosey Brown (Cardiff, Wales)                           Adrift

JL George (Pontypool, Wales)                        The Word

Rhiannon Lewis (Abergavenny, Wales)         The Significance of Swans


Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting – Shortlist (in alphabetical order)

Peter Goulding (Thetford, England)              On Slate (Non-fiction)

Richard John Parfitt (Penarth, Wales)          Tales from the Riverbank (Non-fiction)

Sarah Tanburn (Penarth, Wales)                    Hawks of Dust and Wine (Fiction)


The winners will be announced at an event at a ceremony at the Summer House in Hay Festival on Friday 24 May from 3.00-5.00pm.


Both winners will receive £1,000 cash each as advance against e-publication by New Welsh Review under their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique each by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Second prizes are a £300 voucher towards a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales, and third prizes are a two-night stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales. The top six shortlisted authors will also receive a one-year subscription to New Welsh Review. In addition, New Welsh Review will publish the highly commended and shortlisted nominees for publication in the autumn and winter 2019 editions of its creative magazine New Welsh Reader with an associated standard fee.


The 2019 Awards are sponsored by Aberystwyth University, the core sponsor and host of New Welsh Review, and the longstanding subscriber Richard Powell. The Awards are run in partnership with Curtis Brown, Gladstone’s Library and Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre. New Welsh Review is supported through core funding by the Welsh Books Council.


For more information please visit: #NewWelshAwards