Rhys Davies

The annual Rhys Davies Short Story Competition is now open for entries.

The distinguished competition recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English in any style and on any subject up to a maximum of 5,000 words by writers aged 18 or over who were born in Wales, have lived in Wales for two years or more, or are currently living in Wales.

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.

Eleven runners-up will each receive £100 and their work will also feature in the short story anthology.

Originally established in 1991, there have been 10 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition contests to date, with the competition now managed by Swansea University’s Cultural Institute on behalf of The Rhys Davies Trust and in association with Parthian Books.

The winner of the 2022 competition was Laura Morris, an English teacher from Caerphilly, for her story ‘Cree’.

Born in Blaenclydach in the Rhondda in 1901, Rhys Davies was among the most dedicated, prolific, and accomplished of Welsh prose-writers in English. He wrote, in all, more than 100 stories, 20 novels, three novellas, two topographical books about Wales, two plays, and an autobiography. 

The competition’s guest judge for 2023 is the award-winning Welsh writer, Jane Fraser.

Jane is the author of two collections of short fiction, The South Westerlies (2019) and Connective Tissue (2022), both published by SALT. Her debut novel, Advent (2021) was published by Welsh women’s press, HONNO, and was awarded the Society of Authors Paul Torday Memorial Prize in 2022.

Her short stories have placed highly in major international competitions, and her work has also been widely anthologised, appearing in publications by New Welsh Review, The Lonely Crowd, TSS, Momaya Press, Retreat West, and Fish Publishing. In 2022, Jane was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for the first time to write Soft Boiled Eggs’, a short story broadcast as part of the Short Works series.

On being the guest judge for this year’s competition, Jane said: "I'm excited and honoured to be the judge of the 2023 Rhys Davies National Short Story Competition. It’s wonderful to see the legacy of one of Wales’ finest short story writers celebrating, and truly valuing, short fiction through the competition and the resulting anthology with Parthian. I’m a lover of the short form and its endless possibilities and I know it’s going to be a privilege to read the work of others who practise this small but beautiful art-form.”

The competition closes at midnight on 16 March 2023. Finalists will be announced in June, and the winner crowned in September.

Cree: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology is available on the Parthian website.

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