New Welsh Review, in association with the University of South Wales and CADCentre, has announced the longlist of nine travel nonfiction essays for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2016: University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing. Both new and established writers based in Wales, England and Ireland are in the running for the top prize, including the award-winning travel writer John Harrison.
The Prize celebrates the best short form travel writing (5,000-30,000 words) from emerging and established writers based in the UK and Ireland plus those who have been educated in Wales. The judges are New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies and award-winning travel writer Rory MacLean.
The longlist of writers is here below (author name, location, title of work):
Virginia Astley (Dorchester, England) – Keeping the River
Evan Costigan (Kildare, Ireland) – West Under a Blue Sky
Hannah Garrard (Norwich, England) – No Situation is Permanent
John Harrison (London, England) – The Rains of Titikaka
Gerald Hewitson (Holyhead, Wales) – Oh my America
Julie Owen Moylan (Cardiff, Wales) – Anxiety and Wet Wipes on Train Number Four
Nathan Llywelyn Munday (Cardiff, Wales) – Seven Days: A Pyrenean Trek
Karen Phillips (Pembrokeshire, Wales) – Stranger Shores
Mandy Sutter (Ilkley, England) – Bush Meat: As My Mother Told Me
Gwen Davies, editor of New Welsh Review said: ‘This prize has gone from strength to strength in its second year, with an increased number of entries and an excellent standard of writing. Branching out from our previous theme of nature, this year’s longlist of travel nonfiction sees a move towards the political.’
Davies continues: ‘Such essays follow the progress of a pioneering school from its refugee-camp origins in Ghana; a Nigerian domestic scene where subtle and interdependent racial and class issues are seething under a tight lid; the rise and fall of the pre-Columbian city of Tiwanaku in Bolivia and the underground (and underwater) currents of Mayan culture in the Yucatan, Mexico. In gentler pastures, meanwhile, language, geography, history, culture, religion and philosophy are given room to reflect in pieces that champion the humble Thames-side lock-keeper, the etiquette of the Trans-Siberian station pitstop; silence and spirituality on a Pennsylvanian Quaker residency, and the highs and lows of the grand narrative on trek through the Pyrenees.’
For more information about the long listed writers please visit the New Welsh Review website.
The shortlist will be announced at an event at Hay Festival on 1 June 2016 (3-4pm) and the winner at a ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on 7 July 2016 (6-8pm).
First prize is £1,000 cash, e-publication by New Welsh Review on their New Welsh Rarebyte imprint in 2016, a positive critique by leading literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at WME, as well as lunch with her in London. Second prize is a weeklong residential course in 2016 of the winner’s choice 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.
New Welsh Review have also launched their Best Travel Book Poll inviting readers around the world to vote for their favourite all time travel book in the English language. A longlist of 20 titles have been selected by co-judges Gwen Davies and Rory MacLean with nominations from the students of the University of South Wales and librarians across Wales. The public can now vote for the shortlist and winner which will be revealed on 1 June and 7 July respectively. For more information visit http://www.newwelshwritingawards.com/best-travel-book-poll/