New Welsh Review, in association with Aberystwyth University and AmeriCymru, has announced the longlists for the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir and AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella.
Now in its third year, the Awards were set up to champion the best short-form writing in English and has 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 2016. The Awards 2017 opened up entries from the US and Canada for the first time in the Novella category.
Both new and established writers based in Wales, England and the US are in the running for the top prize, including a joint memoir by a husband and wife. The longlist is dominated by women with 8 out of 9 women contending for the Memoir Prize and 6 out of 9 women in the running for the Novella Prize.
The memoir list includes true stories of a Canadian hobo; anorexia; a daughter’s American road-trip made to help reconcile her father and grandmother; an all-boys care-home in South Africa whose residents include a baboon; being the daughter of a Rhyl beauty competition judge, and backpacking behind the iron curtain.
Among the novellas, sexual abuse or the threat of it are among the themes; as well as homosexuality in a Welsh monastery; the meanings and mystery of treasures old and new; escaping the shadow of a father figure, and the enduring healing and destructive powers of archetypes and idylls.
Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir Longlist
Maria Apichella (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk) The Red Circle
Caroline Greville (Eythorne, Nr. Dover, Kent) Badger Contact
Catherine Haines (Charing, Kent) My Oxford
Liz Jones (Aberystwyth, Wales) On Shifting Sands
Sarah Leavesley (Droitwich, Worcestershire) The Myopic of Me
Mary Oliver (Newlyn, Cornwall) The Case
Amanda and Robert Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire) Boystown S.A.
Lynne Parry-Griffiths (Wrexham) Painting the Beauty Queens Orange
Adam Somerset (Aberaeron, Wales) People, Places, Things: A Life with the Cold War
AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella Longlist
Cath Barton (Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales) The Plankton Collector
Rebecca Casson (Holywell, Flintshire, Wales) Infirmarian
Barbara de la Cuesta (Seaside Heights, New Jersey, US) Exiles
Nicola Daly (Chester, Cheshire) The Night Where you no Longer Live
Olivia Gwyne (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland) The Seal
Atar Hadari (Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire) Burning Poets
Joao Morais (Cardiff, Wales) Smugglers’ Tunnel
Veronica Popp (Chicago, US) Sick
Mike Tuohy (Jefferson, Georgia, US) Double Nickel Jackpot
Amanda Oosthuizen (Eastleigh, Hampshire) Carving Strangers
For further information about the award and the longlisted writers, visit www.newwelshwritingawards.com