2014 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition
Short fiction, big names and even bigger prizes: the winners of the 2014 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition have now been announced. The well-established competition was revamped for 2014 with an increased total prize fund of £5,000, and the inclusion of a brand-new Under 21 Prize. The mammoth task of judging the competition fell to Cynan Jones and Deborah Kay Davies, with Gee Williams acting as Filter Judge.
First Prize of £2,000 was awarded to freelance television producer and writer Sarah Reynolds for her story Catch of the Day. Originally from Surrey, Sarah now lives in Carmarthen with her husband and two children. She worked for many years in television development and production in London, working on programmes such as Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing. Since relocating to Wales she has become a fluent Welsh speaker and has produced factual and entertainment programmes for S4C. Her first book in Welsh will be published by Gomer Press in 2015 and she is also working on ideas for her first English-language novel.
On hearing of her success in the competition, Sarah said: "I am thrilled to win such a prestigious prize as the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition. It’s a wonderful encouragement to keep on writing. I feel privileged to be recognised by such inspiring organisations as Literature Wales and the Rhys Davies Trust and I very much hope that this is the beginning of an exciting new chapter".
Writer and journalist Penny Simpson from Cardiff was awarded Second Prize of £800 for her story, Looking for Harlequin. Penny has published two novels and a collection of short stories. She is no stranger to the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition, having won First Prize in 2007. Because You Know Already by Linda Ruhemann was awarded Third Prize of £400. Linda is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of South Wales. Her short stories have been broadcast on the BBC and published in Wales Arts Review’s A Fiction Map of Wales.
The six equal runners-up in the competition, each receiving a prize of £100, are: Judith Brown from Cumbria for her story The White Feather; Kathryn Coldham from Bryncrug in Gwynedd for her story The Magic of Beans; Jane Fraser from Llangennith on Gower for her story After a certain age you can either have good shoes or good feet; David Greenslade from Bridgend for his story Fontanelle; Angharad Penrhyn Jones from Machynlleth for her story First Winter; and Lisa Parry from Cardiff for her story Egypt.
For the first time in the history of the award, the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition included a separate category for writers under the age of 21. The Under 21 Prize was judged separately by Rachel Trezise. First Prize of £1,000 was awarded to Erin Mathias for her story Yellow Umbrella. On hearing of her success in the competition, Erin said: “To have someone other than my mam read, recognise and prize my writing is an odd, good feeling; to win a competition of this stature is a very nice one. It has given me a nudge to talk less, write more”. The runner-up prize in the Under 21 category was awarded to Jenna Sherrard for her story Thomas Conquers the Wall. Jenna is currently in her final year at Aberystwyth University where she is studying for a BSc in Equine Studies.
All the winning stories will be featured in an anthology which will be published by Accent Press in the New Year. A celebratory event marking the launch of the anthology will be held in early spring. Further details will be announced on the Literature Wales website in due course.
For more information on all of the winners, click here.
The Rhys Davies Trust is a registered charity whose objectives are to promote the work of Rhys Davies (1901-78) and to foster Welsh writing in English. On this website you will find information on Rhys Davies and his work; short stories written by some of Wales’ best contemporary authors; as well as details of new and established projects funded by the Trust.
The formation of a new partnership with Literature Wales, the national company for the development of literature, saw the two organisations build on their already strong and long-standing relationship throughout 2013 and 2014. Not only did the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition receive a well-earned boost, with an increase in prize money and big name judges, a flagship Short Story Conference also took place in Swansea, and a wide-ranging outreach programme continues to run through the South Wales Literature Development Initiative.