NEW WELSH WRITING AWARDS 2020: Shortlist Announced

The Sixth Year of the Prize

NWWA20The shortlisted and highly commended entries in the New Welsh Writing Awards 2020: Rheidol Prize for Prose with a Welsh Theme or Setting were revealed online earlier today.

The New Welsh Review editor, Gwen Davies, who judged the awards, made the following announcement: “This year’s awards judging is taking place in extraordinary circumstances. We look forward to returning in physical form in 2021. We present a shortlist that is perfectly balanced between fiction and non-fiction. Wales is the uniting theme.

I read a delightful proportion of writing from and of North Wales, from which cohort emerged a cheeky ventriloquist’s dummy and the childhood days of Japanese resident Catherine Huws Nagashima. From south, south-east and south-west corners of Wales we present a young woman struggling with her neurology, sexual identity and self-esteem, in Ruby D. Jones’ memoir, humorous tableaux of educational overload in Jonathan Edwards’ short stories of a prestigious secondary school, and sensuously treated vignettes of industrial edgelands being reclaimed by nature, in Angela Evans’ essays. There has never been a more relevant time to seek solace in the depth and resonance of reading, as well as discovering new authors, which is what this prize is all about.

In the Highly Commended category, we present fiction by Cardiff’s Mark Blayney about a middle-class couple dealing with sudden change in circumstances; a non-fiction piece about neglected west Wales landscapes and the ebb and flow of industry, nature and the tourist trade in Wales by Angela Evans, and the work of Janice Jones, whose humorous novella is told in monologue form, pastiching Music Hall and set in Porthcawl, Llandudno and London.”

The shortlisted and highly commended writers are listed below in alphabetical order by the author’s last name:


Susan Karen Burton (Norwich, England) – The Transplantable Roots of Catharine Huws Nagashima
Jonathan Edwards (Crosskeys, Wales) – Some News from the Teaching Profession
Ruby D. Jones (Cardiff, Wales) – An Anatomy of Shame 


Mark Blayney (Cardiff, Wales) – The Confidence of Water 
Angela Evans (Burry Port, Wales) – Tidelands: Tales from the Unsung Welsh Coast 
Janice Jones (Bangor, Wales) – Scenes from a Life 

The over-all winner of the competition will receive £1,000 cash as an advance against e-publication by New Welsh Review under their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint and a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. The second prize is a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, North Wales, and the third prize is a two-night stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, North Wales. 

The winners will be announced online via the New Welsh Review social media channels and on its website on Friday 22nd May 2020.

The Awards are open to all writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those who live overseas who have been educated in Wales.

Image (above) © 2020 New Welsh Review

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Categories: Literary Awards

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9 replies

  1. How exciting, Paula. I will watch this one with interest!

  2. I’m not a big reader of non-fiction but Ruby D Jones’ memoir sounds really unusual. I’ll be interested to see the winner!

    • It does sound interesting, Madame B. I’m in two minds about selecting the winner of this year’s award for the official Dewithon 21 read. The book would, of course, have to be published between now and then, so we’ll see… Twelve months seems a lifetime away. 😊

  3. it’s quite a varied selection isn’t it. Not easy to evaluate….

  4. Very exciting! A story about a Japanese/Welsh person appeals to me.


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