Rhys Davies winner

Naomi Paulus wins Rhys Davies Short Story Competition

Naomi Paulus has been announced as the winner of the relaunched Rhys Davies Short Story competition 2021 with her story, Take a Bite.

The competition – which recognises the best unpublished short stories in English from a Welsh or Wales-based writer – announced its relaunch at the end of 2020. It was first established in 1991, now, it is newly established by Swansea University’s Cultural Institute on behalf of The Rhys Davies Trust and in association with Parthian Books.

Paulus wins £1,000 for taking first prize with her story, Take a Bite, and will have her winning entry published in the Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology 2021 to be released by Parthian next month, also featuring the other 11 finalists who will be published in the anthology and receive £100 each.

Speaking on Paulus’ story, Take a Bite, guest judge Julia Bell said: “This story was a winner from the moment I read it. A delightful, wistful, satisfying piece which echoes some of the best of Rhys Davies, for a few pages giving us a window into a world which is both tender and profound. I extend Naomi Paulus many congratulations and look forward to reading whatever she produces next.”

Commenting on her win, Naomi Paulus said: “Growing up, I loved listening to my grandmother tell stories about her sisters. I can’t describe how thrilled I am that my story inspired by them has won this prize. It means an incredible amount to me to have the recognition of Julia Bell and to follow in the footsteps of talented Welsh writers under the revered name of Rhys Davies. I’m completely overjoyed and immeasurably proud to continue in the important tradition of Welsh storytelling.”

Naomi was born and grew up in Swansea. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and began writing shortly after turning 30. Since then, she has been longlisted for the Primadonna Prize three times and won their 2020 flash fiction competition. Alongside her writing, she also runs a digital agency in London.


You can read more about the Rhys Davies Short story competition here.