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Winners of new Welsh writing competition revealed

08 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Francesca Sciarillo and Lleucu Non

The winners of a coveted short story competition for upcoming authors have been revealed – offering a platform for new and emerging authors working in the Welsh language.

The competition celebrated the launch of Sebra, Atebol’s brand new imprint which specialises in producing accessible books for adults.

The brief given to new and upcoming authors was to write an original Welsh-language story of 3,000 words with themes of freedom and identity. The deliberately broad themes meant that applicants could write unique and fresh work that would push boundaries and stimulate wider discussions. 

New talent

Gwennan Evans, Creative Editor and Publication Program Manager at Sebra, said: “Discovering new talent is central to our objectives as an imprint and receiving so many entries for our short story competition proved that there are talented and enthusiastic writers writing in Welsh today.

“Gareth Evans-Jones was very impressed with the candidates and we look forward to publishing the winning stories of Lois Roberts, Francesca Sciarrillo and Lleucu Non in a volume alongside stories experienced writers including Gareth Evans-Jones, Sian Melangell Dafydd, Fflur Dafydd and Jon Gower.”

Unheard voices

Author, playwright, lecturer, and judge of the competition, Gareth Evans-Jones added: “I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the submissions, and seeing all the ways the authors interpreted and responded to the themes of freedom and identity.

“The standard was high and made judging immensely challenging – but it was a thought-provoking challenge. It’s not easy to submit work for criticism, so I’d like to thank all candidates for doing so.

“There are wonderful writers who haven’t shared their work publicly yet, and this is one step to discovering those unheard voices.”

The winners were announced on Sunday 24 March in the company of Ffion Dafis on BBC Radio Cymru. 

The Winners

Francesca Sciarrillo lives in Rhewl, Denbighshire, and works as a Reading Promotion Officer for the Welsh Book Council, which is apt for someone who is happiest reading!

Francesca has an Italian family, her grandparents moved to Wales from Italy in the sixties.

Lois Roberts

Lois Roberts is originally from Trelewis in Cwm Taff Bargoed.

She continues to live there and works at Coleg y Cymoedd. She is married to Llion and has two sons. 

Lleucu Non was raised in Dyffryn Nantlle but has been living in Aberystwyth as a student since 2020.

She is now studying a Creative Writing MPhil at Aberystwyth University.

The winning stories will feature in a short story collection, published by Sebra, later this year. 

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