Y Pump: Innovative book series to launch a new generation of Welsh writers
An ambitious project is being launched to tell the interconnected stories of five characters across five Welsh language novels.
Y Pump, which launches on July 26th, brings together a host of exciting young Welsh writers in a collaborative project which creates a world around five fictional characters who are friends in Year 11 at Ysgol Gyfun Llwyd — Tim, Tami, Aniq, Robyn and Cat.
With each novel being around 20,000 words, Y Pump narrates each character’s story one by one, in a first-person narrative, with the stories of the five characters overlapping throughout the five novels.
For all but one of the young writers involved, this will be their first novel with the authors having been selected after a national open call to discover the next generation of Welsh writers.
The authors include Megan Angharad Hunter, Mared Roberts, Elgan Rhys, Iestyn Tyne and Marged Elen Wiliam – with one of Wales’ most celebrated authors, Manon Steffan Ros, writing a prologue for each novel and acting as a creative mentor on the series.
The Y Pump novels embrace the complexities of life as a young person today through the stories of the group of friends as they discover the power their ‘otherness’ has when they come together as a community.
The collection aims to celebrate the diversity of Wales today, exploring subjects such as race, gender and mental health.
Elgan Rhys, project manager and creative editor, and author of Tim (with Tomos Jones), the first novel in the series, says: “In the past year many of us have belatedly realised that there is no time to be complacent about our privileges, or continue to ignore the under-representation in our creative industries.
“Our hope with Y Pump is to encourage more collaborative and inclusive ways of creating new work; to energise those who are not used to seeing themselves in Welsh literature; and to give a platform for the next generation of Welsh voices to be authentically reflected.”
Manon Steffan Ros, the series’ creative mentor, says: “It’s been a real privilege to be a part of this project. At the heart of the process was Elgan’s desire to create opportunities to empower new voices within Welsh literature, and he and his fellow authors have created an entertaining, original and gripping series.”
The cover of each novel was designed by Steffan Dafydd (@penglogco) with the authors and co-authors providing feedback throughout the process.
Meinir Wyn Edwards, Editor at Y Lolfa, said: “Y Lolfa is delighted to publish such powerful and fresh novels for young adults, and they are certainly breaking new ground in the Welsh language.
“It is an ambitious project, and it is very exciting for Wales to have some very talented young writers who have created five novels and five characters that will be remembered for a long time.”