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Deadline looms for entries to prestigious short story competition

15 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Rhys Davies Short Story prize winners anthology 2021, published by Parthian; Rhys Davies 1931 & 1921

Short story writers from or living in Wales have one week left to enter the prestigious Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.

The competition has run nine times since it was originally established in 1991 and recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English.

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, with eleven runners up receiving £100 and their work will also feature in the short story anthology.

The stories can be up to 5,000 words in any style and on any subject. Last year’s winner was the Swansea-born writer Naomi Paulus for her story Take a Bite.

This year the competition will be managed by Swansea University’s Cultural Institute on behalf of The Rhys Davies Trust and in association with Parthian Books.

The Rhys Davies Trust was founded in 1991 by Davies’ biographer, Meic Stephens, with funds generously provided by Lewis Davies, brother of the writer.

The Trust’s objectives are to promote the writer’s work and foster Welsh writing in English, particularly in the valleys of south Wales and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote.


Writing prolifically in English, Rhys Davies came from Blaenclydach, Rhondda in 1901, and moved to London when he was twenty.

He wrote more than 100 stories, 20 novels and three novellas, along with two topographical books about Wales, two plays, and an autobiography.

Living and writing in London for over fifty years, he lived a solo but not unsociable life, unable to live openly as a gay man.

He supported himself almost entirely through his writing, apart from a brief stint as a draper’s assistant, and he believed ‘the proper business of a writer was to be writing.’

The competition’s guest judge for 2022 is the multi-award-winning Welsh novelist and playwright Rachel Trezise, whose most recent novel, Easy Meat was published in 2021.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be the judge of the 2022 Rhys Davies National Short Story Competition, Rhys Davies being one of the best writers to come from my own Rhondda Valley,” Rachel said.

The competition closes at midnight on 22 March 2022. Finalists will be announced in June, and the winner crowned in September.

More details and how to enter can be found here

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