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Rising Stars Wales 2020


Literature Wales and Firefly Press invest in three emerging children’s poets from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds based in Wales.

Working in partnership with Firefly Press, we have invested in three emerging children’s poets to further develop their skills and writing for children.

In our new Strategic Plan 2019-2022, we stated that Representation & Equality would be one of our three tactical priorities for the forthcoming years. This is based on our belief that true representation is crucial to the future of our literature, our society, economy and culture.

We believe that Wales’ writers should comprise a range of ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, regions and languages and not be typified by certain limited demographic profiles. Therefore, we see investing in authors from BAME backgrounds as a crucial step towards ensuring that there are no barriers in literature. All individuals should have access to participate in the literary arts, and the same access to opportunities should be available to all. We are working hard to deliver targeted activity that is designed to attract, support and strengthen under-represented literary voices.

Rising Stars Wales 2020 aims both to develop early career writers, one of the main objectives of our Writer Development activity pillar, and contribute to the creation of a national literary culture that represents contemporary Wales.

About Firefly Press

Firefly Press is an award-winning independent children’s and YA publisher based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth. Set up in 2013, Firefly is the only dedicated children’s publisher in Wales, publishing quality fiction in all genres for 5-19 year olds. They aim to publish books by great authors and illustrators wherever they are from. Successes include The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher, shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards and winner of the Tir na N’og Children’s book Prize, and Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, which won the Branford Boase first children’s novel award.

Firefly Publisher, Penny Thomas said:

“We’re so delighted to be a part of this award and hope it will encourage more poetry that children in Wales from all backgrounds will enjoy. We’re particularly excited that the Award has led to Firefly signing its first-ever poetry book for children, with Daydreams and Jellybeans, by the wonderfully talented Alex Wharton due out next year.”

The Rising Stars 2020:

Three talented poets were selected to receive the Rising Stars Award 2020. Discover more about the individuals below.