Fourteen writers have been longlisted by literary magazine New Welsh Review for this year’s New Welsh Writing Awards.
The short-form writing contest, now in its fifth year, will see books compete for the Aberystwyth University Prize for a Dystopian Novella and the Rheidol Prize for Writing with a Welsh Theme or Setting. Each winner, announced on 24th May at the Hay Festival’s Summer House, will receive a £1,000 advance against e-publication by New Welsh Review under their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a critique from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.
This year in the dystopian category settings range from Britain in the 1800s to the twenty-second century, from an archipelago-bound London to a military research base in rural Wales. Characters in the novellas face conflicts from identity theft or being abandoned by their parents, to being the last human left alive on the planet.
The 2017 prize was won by Ed Garland for Fiction as a Hearing Aid which New Welsh Review will publish on 19th September.
In the Rheidol category for writing with a Welsh theme or setting, supported by subscriber RS Powell, the entrants include fiction and non-fiction, varying from a 1700s epistolary account to a memoir of growing up in Zimbabwe and on a Ceredigion smallholding.
New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies will judge the awards with help from Aberystwyth University students for the dystopian novella category and author Cynan Jones for the Rheidol Prize.
Davies said: “In our fifth year, we continue to support writing of that particular, shortish length that traditional publishers neglect. In our innovative fashion, we award rotating writing disciplines in order to discover and promote cutting-edge categories, which to date comprise nature and travel writing, memoir, essay collections and novellas, both traditional and, this year, dystopian works which seek to belie the myth that reality is stranger than fiction.
“We are particularly delighted that the financial support of subscriber RS Powell has enabled us to go back to our roots: to support exciting and authentic fiction and nonfiction that is of Wales in terms of setting, theme and hinterland.”
The full longlists are:
Aberystwyth University Prize
Adrift by Rosey Brown
Piss and Wind by Kate Cleaver
The Word by JL George
Me, I’m Like Legend, I Am by Dewi Heald
The Significance of Swans by Rhiannon Lewis
The Chosen by Thomas Pitts
Water, Water, Nowhere… by Heledd Williams
The Smallholding I Knew by Marilyn Barlow
The Devil Next Door by Mark Blayney
Letters from Dr Fowler by Carol Fenlon
On Slate by Peter Goulding
Closing the Gap by Elizabeth Griffiths
Tales from the Riverbank by Richard John Parfitt
Hawks of Dust and Wine by Sarah Tanburn
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