Credit: Jupp Korsten

John Sam Jones


Outside of Wales






Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 

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Hello – I’m John Sam Jones. I’ve been writing stories about the lives of gay men in Wales since the 1990s, my intention being to help create an alternative narrative to the ‘mad, bad and sad’ stories about homosexuality that were pervasive during the twentieth century and which offered few positive role models for gay young men growing up in Wales. I’m fully aware that the LGBTQ+ world is complex and that gay men are only a part of that world, but I write from my own experience of the world as a gay man – not someone who is LBT or Q. My first collections of short fiction – Welsh Boys Too and Fishboys of Vernazza – were published by Parthian in 2000 and 2003 and Welsh Boys Too was awarded the Stonewall Honor Book Award by the American Library Association. Two novels followed – With Angels and Furies published by Gay Men’s Press in 2005 (now lost in the mists of time) and Crawling Through Thorns published by Parthian in 2008 which received critical acclaim. In 2021 Parthian published my memoir – The Journey is Home: Notes from a Life on the Edge – which won the Wales Book of the Year Creative Non-fiction Prize in 2022, and to celebrate 20 years of writing gay lives Parthian also published Kiss and Tell – Selected Stories, which brought all of my published short stories into one collection.
I’ve lived with my German lover/partner/husband for 36 years and since 2017 we have lived in Germany. For more than 30 years in Britain I worked in public health education and public speaking was a part of my everyday working life. I’m fluent in both Welsh and English – and I get by in German.
In my writing life I’m ‘resting’ – having written a novel during successive lock downs in 2020 and 2021 which was deemed unacceptable for publication by Parthian I lost confidence in my ability to write fiction.