NEW WELSH WRITING AWARDS 2022: Winner Announced

A name to watch…

Tim Cooke has won the 2022 New Welsh Writing Awards: Rheidol Prize for Prose with a Welsh Theme or Setting with his “blended nonfiction book,” River.

Framed by “a journey along the edge-lands” of Bridgend’s River Ogmore, and “true crime cases of missing or hurt children by an author who was himself a youngster at the time of the 1993 murder of toddler, James Bulger” – and therefore with “a personal understanding of what is now termed ‘dark play’” – River is “a reflective, intelligent, tolerant and perceptive essay,” which interweaves urban writing of place with experimental memoir.

A teacher, writer and creative writing PhD student, Tim’s work has been published by The Guardian, Little White Lies, The Quietus, 3:AM Magazine, New Welsh Review and Ernest Journal. His creative work has also appeared in a variety of literary organs, including the New Welsh Reader, The Shadow Booth, Black Static, Hinterland, Epoch, Porridge, The Nightwatchman and Litro. His debut collection of short stories, Where We Live, was released by Demain Publishing in November 2020 and he has had a piece of creative nonfiction published in a Dunlin Press anthology on the theme of ports. He won 2018’s New Voices in Fiction competition, run by Adventures in Fiction, and was a runner-up in the UEA New Forms Award (2020). He is currently working on a collection of essays.

Judge and New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies commented:

“The section I read on [Tim] helping find a lost child at Hay Festival is paced like a crime novel in which a ‘do-gooder’ feels strangely like a perpetrator, because of media conditioning and his own past.”

Despite the gruelling subject matter, she continues: “I am certain that, […] with his longstanding and genuinely urgent probing, in his published writing, of memory, media, repression and lost or hurt children, will produce superb work that will lead to enlightenment as well as lightening the load of so many readers, especially men, with whom such themes resonate. Fittingly, among this year’s competition entries, with their focus on loss and retelling, Tim’s exploration of how identities evolve may well lead to a look at how the erasure of former identities is not always about loss, but can bring about growth.”

He wins a £1,000 advance against a general publication under the New Welsh Rarebyte imprint, a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown, and a year-long subscription to New Welsh Review. 

Image (top) © 2022 New Welsh Review


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