New Welsh Review is excited to announce the opening of the fourth iteration of the New Welsh Writing Awards. The 2018 awards category is the Aberystwyth University Prize for an Essay Collection. To complement the awards, a companion Readers’ Poll for the best essay collection ever published in the English language (including in translation) around the world, is also being launched.
Now in its fourth year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English and have previously run non-fiction categories with the WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature, won by Eluned Gramich in 2015 and the University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, won by Mandy Sutter in June 2016. In 2017 the awards ran two categories for the first time: the Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir, and the AmeriCymru Prize for Novella. The winners, selected from a female-dominated shortlist in both categories, were Catherine Haines (Memoir), and Cath Barton (Novella).
For the 2018 prize, New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies acts as judge, with the help of students from Aberystwyth University. The Awards are open to all writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those worldwide who have been educated in Wales. Entries opened on 02 October 2017 and will close on 02 February 2018. Entries for the prize will be longlisted and announced online on 3 April 2018. The shortlist will be announced at an event at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Bookshop on Thursday 03 May 2018, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony at Hay Festival on Friday 01 June 2018.
Gwen writes, ‘As judge I will be looking for a minimum of two essays on an integrated open theme, in a style that is literary and rigorous (rather than academic), with a personal voice and elements of present docu-journalism. Some of my favourite models for essay collections include No Man’s Landby Eula Biss, Margaret Atwood’s Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature, and Geoff Dyer’s Yoga for People Who Can’t be Bothered to Do It. We know that our essay collection candidates, from UK and Ireland, and those abroad who’ve had a Welsh education, will be inspired by the broad, authentic and sophisticated tastes the Awards judges have proved in the past.’
First prize is £1,000 advance, e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint in 2018, a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Second prize is a weeklong residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Gwynedd, north Wales. Third prize is a weekend stay at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, north Wales. All three winners will also receive a one-year subscription to the magazine.
In addition, New Welsh Review will consider the highly commended and shortlisted nominees for publication in a forthcoming edition of its creative magazine New Welsh Reader with an associated standard fee.
Nominations for the Readers’ Poll will be open until early 2018, and can be submitted via Twitter (#newwelshawards), email, or through the New Welsh Review Facebook page. The winner of the Readers’ Poll will be announced at the longlisting event for the awards
The Call for Entries video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/230047799
For a selection of New Welsh Readers’ Poll videos, visit the New Welsh Review Vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/newwelshreview
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