Swansea University’s Cultural Institute is relaunching the distinguished national Rhys Davies Short Story Competition for writers from, or living in, Wales.
Having written more than one hundred stories, twenty novels, three novellas, two topographical books, two plays and an autobiography, Rhys Davies was one of the most prolific Welsh English-prose writers. In 1991, The Rhys Davies Trust was founded in his memory by Meic Stephens; as a registered charity, the trust aims to promote the writer’s work and foster Welsh writing in English, especially in the valleys of south Wales and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote. Since their competition launched in the same year, eight contests have recognised the very best unpublished short stories in English. Peter Finch, Secretary of the Rhys Davies Trust, said that “the competition has encouraged a whole range of new writers to test out how best to manage something that’s often more substantial than a poem but nowhere near the long distance of a novel”.
Swansea University have recently been chosen as one of five new Client Partners for the Rhys Davies Trust and will be running the 2021 competition on the trust’s behalf and in association with Parthian Books. The winner of the first prize will receive £1,000 and will have their winning entry included in a short story anthology to be published by Parthian Books. Ten runners-up will each receive £100 and their work will also feature in the anthology. “The winners have always been writers of the highest standard and it will be an honour to publish the work of the finalists in a special anthology dedicated to this competition”, said Richard Davies of Parthian Books.
The competition’s guest judge for 2021 is Julia Bell, a writer and Reader in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London where she is the Course Director of the MA Creative Writing. Expressing her enthusiasm for the competition, Bell said “I’m honoured to be judging this prize, in memory of a writer like Rhys Davies whose work deserves to be much better known and recognised as a part of the LGBTQ canon. He was a master of the short story form, and this prize is an opportunity for writers in or from Wales to gain publication and recognition. I look forward to reading the submissions”.
Entrants must be aged 18 or over and from, or living in, Wales. Their work can be written in any style and on any subject, constituting a maximum of 5,000 words. Entries opened on 30th of November and will close on 22nd of March 2021. Finalists will be announced in June 2021, and the winner will be crowned in September.
For more information on the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition and to read the terms and conditions of entry, visit Swansea University’s website here.