New Welsh Writing Awards

Thank you to the New Welsh Writing Awards for awarding 2nd prize to 'The Significance of Swans', in the Aberystwyth Prize for dystopian novella. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors, and in particular the winners, JL George (Aberystwyth Prize) and Peter Goulding (winner of the Rheidol Prize).

Diolch i'r New Welsh Writing Awards am osod 'The Significance of Swans' yn ail yng nghystadleuaeth Gwobr Aberystwyth ar gyfer nofel fer dystopaidd. Llongyfarchiadau i'r awduron eraill ar y rhestr fer, yn arbennig yr ennillwyr, JL George (Aberystwyth Prize) a Peter Goulding (ennillydd y Rheidol Prize).

For more information about the award, click here

Photo courtesy of New Welsh Review

Photo courtesy of New Welsh Review

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Mi Querido Imperial: Lanzamiento/Launch/Lansiad

We had a great evening at the Embassy of Chile, celebrating the launch of ‘Mi Querido Imperial’. Here are some photos to give a flavour of the evening.


The Ambassador, Mr David Gallagher

The Ambassador, Mr David Gallagher

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With Catalina Herrera Acuña, Cultural Affairs and Press Attaché for the Embassy of Chile, and Steffan Glynn, the cover designer for ‘Mi Querido Imperial’.

With Catalina Herrera Acuña, Cultural Affairs and Press Attaché for the Embassy of Chile, and Steffan Glynn, the cover designer for ‘Mi Querido Imperial’.

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Signing a copy for the Chilean author J T Blackie, Juanita Ozamiz.

Signing a copy for the Chilean author J T Blackie, Juanita Ozamiz.

With Paloma Zozaya, author, and guest

With Paloma Zozaya, author, and guest

Paloma Zozaya, author, in charge of readings and questions.

Paloma Zozaya, author, in charge of readings and questions.

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Sophie Lloyd-Owen, introducing Victorina Press in the absence of the founder (due to illness), Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes.

Sophie Lloyd-Owen, introducing Victorina Press in the absence of the founder (due to illness), Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes.

With Adam Feinstein, acclaimed author.

With Adam Feinstein, acclaimed author.

With Sophie and Jorge from Victorina Press.

With Sophie and Jorge from Victorina Press.

With the Ambassador, David Gallagher, and Sophie Lloyd-Owen and Jorge Vasques, from Victorina Press.

With the Ambassador, David Gallagher, and Sophie Lloyd-Owen and Jorge Vasques, from Victorina Press.

Sophie Lloyd-Owen, Victorina Press.

Sophie Lloyd-Owen, Victorina Press.

With Paloma Zozaya, making last minute notes ahead of the launch.

With Paloma Zozaya, making last minute notes ahead of the launch.

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Taking questions from the audience with Paloma Zozaya

Taking questions from the audience with Paloma Zozaya

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With Steffan Glynn, book cover designer for ‘Mi Querido Imperial’, and ‘My Beautiful Imperial’.

With Steffan Glynn, book cover designer for ‘Mi Querido Imperial’, and ‘My Beautiful Imperial’.

With Mr David Gallagher, Ambassador.

With Mr David Gallagher, Ambassador.

The Ambassador, Mr David Gallagher, welcoming everyone at the start of the event.

The Ambassador, Mr David Gallagher, welcoming everyone at the start of the event.

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Fermin Pavez, author.

Fermin Pavez, author.

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Steffan Glynn, designer.

Steffan Glynn, designer.

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With Heidi Hurst, graphic designer.

With Heidi Hurst, graphic designer.

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With the Chilean author J T Blackie, Juanita Ozamiz.

With the Chilean author J T Blackie, Juanita Ozamiz.

Pilar Cerón Durán and family.

Pilar Cerón Durán and family.

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Launch Date - Mi Querido Imperial

The launch of Mi Querido Imperial will take place between 6-8pm, on Thursday, 16 May 2019 at the Embassy of Chile, 37-41 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9JA.

We would love to see you there. If you would like to attend, please get in touch with Sophie or Jorge at Victorina Press: victorinapress@gmail.com

This will be a bilingual event in Spanish/English, with some Welsh thrown in! However, the readings will all be in Spanish.

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Brig 'Albion', New Brunswick

Noswaith hwylus iawn Nos Iau diwethaf yn y Grosvenor, Aberteifi, yn trafod mordaith y brig 'Albion' gyda'r hanesydd, Len Davies. Diolch i bawb ddaeth, a diolch i Ann Stokoe am drefnu.

A great evening last Thursday evening at the Grosvenor, Cardigan, discussing the brig 'Albion' with the historian, Len Davies. Thank you to everyone who came, and to Ann Stokoe for arranging.

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Albion

Ar y diwrnod hwn, sef 9 Ebrill, 1819, roedd yna gwrdd gweddi ar lannau'r Teifi. Roedd Capten Llewelyn Davies yn paratoi ar gyfer mordaith hir y brig 'Albion' i New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. Rhwng 13 - 23 Ebrill, bydd Cymdeithas Aberteifi yn dathlu dau-ganmlwyddiant mordaith yr allfudwyr o Aberteifi. Gallwch ddod o hyd i amserlen y dathliadau ar y dudalen yma

On this day, 9 April, 1819, a prayer meeting took place on the banks of the river Teifi, Cardigan. Captain Llewelyn Davies was preparing for the long voyage of the brig 'Albion' to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. Between 13 - 23 April, Aberteifi Society will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the emigrants' voyage from Cardigan. You can find the full programme of talks and celebrations here

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Dei Tomos, BBC Radio Cymru, 31/3/19 ‘My Beautiful Imperial’

Wedi cael sgwrs ddifyr iawn gyda Dei Tomos ar BBC Radio Cymru, Nos Sul, 31 Mawrth, yn trafod 'My Beautiful Imperial'. Dyma linc i’r rhaglen: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0003sl3

I very much enjoyed a conversation with Dei Tomos on BBC Radio Cymru, discussing 'My Beautiful Imperial'. A Welsh language programme. Here is a link to the programme: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0003sl3

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Victorina Press at the London Book Fair

At the London Book Fair yesterday and meeting up with Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes (founder and director of Victorina Press), Sophie and Jorge. The Victorina Press stand was part of the Independent Publishers Guild section. Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes is phenomenally supportive of new writers, and deserves high praise for publishing so many fresh voices, all within the space of a year. 

Me, Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, founder and director of Victorina Press, Sophie and Jorge.

Me, Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, founder and director of Victorina Press, Sophie and Jorge.

A lovely post from the Anglo Chilean Society

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Mi Querido Imperial by Rhiannon Lewis

February 13, 2019

At the beginning of 2018 Anglo Chilean Society member, Rhiannon Lewis, enjoyed success with her novel “My Beautiful Imperial”, launched at the Chilean Embassy in 2017 under Ambassador Rolando Drago’s time. The novel was chosen by the Walter Scott Prize Academy for its list of books to read.
Today we are pleased to announce that, My Beautiful Imperial, has now been published in Spanish as Mi Querido Imperial.


Mi Querido Imperial tells the story of a Welsh sea captain who finds himself embroiled in the turbulence of the 1891 Chilean Civil War. Based in true facts and written by his great-great niece, Rhiannon Lewis.

See the original post here.

BBC Radio Cymru/ BBC Radio Cymru

Roedd yn braf cael fy nghyfweld gan Aled Hughes ar ei raglen radio ar 11 Hydref.

Dyma’r linc i’r rhaglen, ac mae’r darn yn cychwyn tua 1:18:31

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000p00

It was great fun to be interviewed by Aled Hughes on his programme on the 11 October. This is the link to the programme (Welsh language) and the interview starts around 1:18:31

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000p00

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Review of 'My Beautiful Imperial' by Adam Feinstein

I would like to introduce Adam Feinstein. Adam is an acclaimed author and journalist. He has written for the Guardian, the TLS and the New Statesman, and broadcast for the BBC on subjects as diverse as Pablo Neruda and autism. In 2010, he published, A History of Autism: conversations with the pioneers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He founded the international autism magazine, Looking Up, and runs monthly online autism conferences for Autism Cymru, as well as an annual online Awares conference which has been referred to as the ‘finest online event of its kind on the planet’. In July, he published, Autism Works: a guide to successful employment across the entire spectrum (Routledge, 2018).

As if this isn’t enough talent for one person, Adam is also an acclaimed translator, and Hispanist. Adam’s translations from Neruda, Lorca, Benedetti and others have appeared in many publications, including Modern Poetry in Translation and Agenda. His book of translations from Neruda’s Canto General was published by Pratt Contemporary in 2013. He wrote the introduction to the Folio Edition of Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths, which appeared in 2007.

His biography Pablo Neruda: a passion for life was published by Bloomsbury in 2004, and reissued in an updated edition in 2013. It is a wonderfully gripping biography which transports the reader into Neruda’s world. The real art of the book is to make us feel that we are retracing Neruda’s footsteps, and travelling the poet’s journey through life along with him. I would recommend it. Harold Pinter called it ‘a masterpiece’.

Unsurprisingly, Adam was asked to advise on the film Neruda, Oscar-nominated director Pablo Larraín’s recent biographic feature film. Adam is a major authority on film, Latin American cinema in particular. He has written about and given talks around the world on Michael Curtiz - the man who made Casablanca.

When My Beautiful Imperial was published, I was delighted that Adam took the time, not only to read the book but to write such a great review. We all hoped it would be picked up by one of the national papers. Perhaps the book is too Welsh for the English papers, and too English for the Welsh papers? Who knows. Whatever the reason, the review went unpublished. Consequently, I would like to share Adam’s impressions of the novel with you here. Many, many thanks, Adam.

Adam Feinstein’s review of My Beautiful Imperial.

Rhiannon Lewis’s novel, My Beautiful Imperial, is a masterly mixture of grippingly suspenseful historical adventure and character study set amid the political upheaval of nineteenth-century Chile. It is admirably researched - but the facts are introduced tactfully and tastefully. We are swept along not just by the action but by the dialogue, which bristles right from the start - and more than anything else, by the central figure of Davy Davies, the Welsh sailor caught up in the Chilean revolution.

Davies is an utterly memorable creation, erupting with believable life. (The image of him prancing around the room naked in a malaria-fuelled delirium will live long in the memory.) Davies’ doubts, foibles and passions become ours, and the innocence of his love affair with the unhappily married Estella is almost unbearably affecting, at times. But the secondary characters are almost equally vibrant, because Lewis has the enormous gift of summing up a person in a single, telling line: Estella’s husband, Laurence, for example, makes every caring remark sound like a rebuke. We ourselves genuinely care about Davies’ friends and colleagues and share his distaste of his appallingly spiteful, embittered superior, Walker.

In its ability to enthral us at every moment, My Beautiful Imperial has the cohesive perfection of a great Hollywood movie like Casablanca. Indeed, the spontaneous singing of Welsh songs on board the Imperial as the ship faces possible annihilation is as poignant a scene, in its way, as the memorable moment the refugees burst into a chant of the Marseillaise in that legendary film.



Adam Feinstein

Adam Feinstein

My well thumbed copy!

My well thumbed copy!

Adam’s most recent publication

Adam’s most recent publication



Novelists know no boundaries (or walls)

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I’ve never liked putting people into pigeonholes, and I don’t like to be pigeonholed myself. Likewise, I’ve never understood people’s desire to be confined to tribes. We’re all different, and that’s what makes us interesting and unique. I love Wales, but I also love being in London. I love the Welsh language, but also love English authors. I love French, Italian and Spanish and if I could speak all of them fluently, I would. How fantastic would that be!

So, it’s with great pride that I saw this in Waterstones, Abergavenny, today. It’s lovely to be seen as an ‘Abergavenny author’. We’ve lived locally for 6 years now, and it’s a great town. I also know that ‘back home’, in Cardigan, I’m considered a ‘Cardigan author’. I was brought up there, and I will always be drawn back to the sea.

I spend a lot of time in London, so who knows, maybe one day, if I’m lucky, I’ll be considered a London author? And when the Spanish translation is launched in Valparaiso/Santiago/Concepcion later on this year, how lovely it would be to be referred to as a Welsh/Chilean writer!

Perhaps an author can be like a sailor, and call many places home.

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Clwb Hanes y Ferwig - 'My Beautiful Imperial'

We had a great evening at Clwb Hanes y Ferwig on Monday evening, discussing the historical background to ‘My Beautiful Imperial’. It was good to be back at my old primary school in the company of old friends and new. Several people in the audience had already read the novel but even so, I sold 9 books, which I was absolutely delighted about. Thank you, Ferwig, for the warm welcome. Jon Meirion Jones was the very deserving winner of the hardback copy.

Cafon ni noson hwylus iawn yng Nghlwb Hanes y Ferwig ar nos Lun. Roedd yn braf i fod nôl i fy hen ysgol gynradd yng nghwmni hen ffrindiau a newydd. Roedd nifer o bobl yn y gynulleidfa wedi darllen y nofel yn barod, ond er hynny, gwerthais 9 llyfr, oedd yn syndod braf. Diolch i Ferwig am y croeso cynnes. Jon Meirion Jones oedd ennillydd haeddiannol iawn y copi clawr caled.

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