The Bristol Short Story Prize

Ymlaen at y rhestr fer!

On to the shortlist!

What the Bristol Short Story Prize says about the judging process:

Chair of this year’s judging panel, literary agent Kate Johnson, says “It was such a joy to read and discuss these stories alongside my fellow judges Lucy, Polly, and Roshi. Selected from a high-calibre longlist, the twenty that will appear in the anthology are ambitious, smart, and wide-ranging in voice and experience, and the best of them made all four of us light up in awe and say, ‘This! This is why we tell stories. This is what a story can do.’ It will be a thrill to see them in print this October, and they are sure to linger in readers’ minds long after.”


Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 14.05.17.png

Diwrnod Mawr Heddiw / A Big Day Today

Diwrnod mawr heddiw i fi, Steffan Glynn (dylunydd y clawr a mab werth y byd) a Victorina Press. Ar ôl chwe mis o lythyron, galwadau ffôn, ymweliadau ac e-byst oddi wrthyf i a Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, heddiw fe ymunodd Waterstones Picadilly (siop lyfrau fwyaf Ewrop) â chwmni nodedig Awen Teifi ac Awen Meirion i werthu copïau o 'My Beautiful  Imperial' o'r silffoedd. Tipyn o gamp i wasg fechan annibynnol. Diolch yn fawr i James Gilbert am wneud hyn yn bosib, ac i Joana Suta am ddelio mor urddasol ag awdur oedd wedi cyffroi'n llwyr. Rwy' wedi bod yn ymweld â'r siop ers blynyddoedd, yn ceisio dychmygu sut fyddai'n teimlo i weld fy llyfr ar y silff. Sylwer ar y llyfrau islaw ac uwchben: Hilary Mantel, Hannah Kent...


 A big day today for me, Steffan Glynn (cover designer and top son) and Victorina Press. After 6 months of letters, phone calls, visits and e-mails by myself and Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, today Waterstones Picadilly (the largest book shop in Europe) joined the illustrious company of Awen Teifi ❤️ and Awen Meirion ❤️ in selling actual physical copies of 'My Beautiful Imperial' from their shelves. No small achievement for a tiny independent press. Diolch yn fawr, thank you to James Gilbert for making it possible and Joana Suta for dealing so gracefully with one super excited author. I've been visiting this branch for years, wondering what it would feel like to see my book on the shelf. Notice the books above and below: Hilary Mantel, Hannah Kent...

Waterstones full shelf.jpg
Waterstones shelf Steff 2 choose.jpg
Waterstones Steffan.jpg
Rhiannon Waterstones 12.jpg
waterstones picadilly.jpg

Bristol Short Story Prize Longlist

Mae'r stori fer, The Significance of Swans, wedi cyrraedd rhestr hir y Bristol Short Story Prize. Roedd dros 2,000 o ymgeiswyr. Croesi bysedd am y cam nesaf nawr. Gallwch ddarllen mwy am y gystadleuaeth fan hyn.

My short story, The Significance of Swans, has reached the longlist of the Bristol Short Story Prize. There were over 2,000 entries. Crossing my fingers for the next step now. You can read more about the competition here.

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 20.11.18.png

Yn Llyfrgell y Fenni - At Abergavenny Library

Bore braf ddoe yn cwrdd â phobl yn Llyfrgell y Fenni. Had a great morning yesterday meeting people at Abergavenny Library.

Cafon ni gyfle i drafod 'My Beautiful Imperial' ac i edrych ar rai hen luniau sy'n berthnasol i'r ymchwil cefndirol. Dyw pawb ddim yn y llun yn anffodus, ond roedd dau eisoes yn darllen, neu wedi darllen y llyfr. Diolch i Clare a'r staff yno am yr holl help.

We had a chance to talk about 'My Beautiful Imperial' and look at some old photographs relating to the background research. Not everyone's in the photograph unfortunately, but two had either read or were reading the book already. Thank you to Clare and the staff there for all their help.

Abergavenny Library 4.jpg
Abergavenny Library 6.jpg
My Beautiful Imperial with sticker.jpg
Abergavenny Library 5.jpg
Abergavenny Library 3.jpg

My Beautiful Imperial is translated into Spanish


I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the amazing Guisela Parra Molina, who is translating My Beautiful Imperial into Spanish. This new version will be launched in Chile at the end of the year. 

Guisela is a very experienced translator and I am thrilled that she has agreed to take on the translation on behalf of Victorina Press.

Guisela sent me some background information about herself and she has agreed that I can share it with you here. Diolch, gracias, thank you Guisela. 

Guisela Parra photo.jpg

My name is Guisela Parra Molina, originally from Concepción, Chile, but I’ve had to migrate, as it were, to other cities within the country, because it was very difficult to find and keep a steady job during the dictatorship, and I had a daughter to take care of. I have called it migration, even exile, because it has meant feeling homesick, away from my family and friends, all these years. As you know, Chile is long and narrow (“Chile es una larga y angosta faja de tierra” is the first notion on Geography we are taught at school), and it takes quite a lot of time and money to travel along all the places our beautiful Imperial got to. So I lived in Arica, then in Iquique, and finally came to La Serena. I studied and graduated as a Translator English-Spanish in Universidad de Concepción (something I am very proud of). Apart from working as a translator, I taught in translation programmes at Universidad de Tarapacá in Arica, and Iquique English College in Iquique. I finally got a steady teaching post in Universidad de La Serena, where I taught Literary Translation, among other Translation and Spanish courses, for 20 years or so. I was known among students as a rigorous and strict teacher, because I aimed at showing, spreading, and sharing with them my love for language. In the meantime, I got a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies, major in Literature, by the same university. My thesis was a feminist study of works by María Luisa Bombal (20th century Chilean writer) and Virginia Woolf: La que procede del país próspero y el que procede del país glorioso: diálogo intertextual entre María Luisa Bombal y Virginia Woolf (an off-the-cuff translation would be something like “She who comes from the prosperous country and he who comes from the glorious country –intertextual dialogue between María Luisa Bombal and Virginia Woolf”). I had a great time writing it, by the way.

I am a feminist, therefore, I participated in Universidad de La Serena Gender Studies Programme, which unfortunately didn’t last long (it’s quite difficult for this kind of programme to survive, especially in an extremely conservative place such as La Serena). I have also formed and participated in feminist groups and organizations, among others, Casa de Encuentro de la Mujer in Arica, and Nayax Warmitwa in Iquique, aiming at contributing to women’s awareness, basically.

I retired three years ago, and that has enabled me to devote all my time to writing, and translating literature, which is what I’ve always wanted to do. At the moment I am also part of a team in charge of a fiction workshop, called “Los Viajeros del Mary Celeste”. You will probably meet them if you present My Beautiful Imperial in La Serena, I’ll do my best to arrange that.

Having a book published in this country is very difficult because of the enterprising focus prevailing over the literary one. So I’ve had only two plaquettes published, in a “marginal” way, so to speak: Crucifixión, and In Tempo de Réquiem. And I’ll have a book published soon, Piel de Culebra, in the same marginal way. I write political criticism columns, more or less regularly, which are published in online media, mainly in


Rhaglen 'Stiwdio', Nia Roberts

Screenshot 2018-05-16 13.15.21.png

Wedi mwynhau trafod 'My Beautiful Imperial' gyda Nia Roberts, Radio Cymru, ar ei rhaglen 'Stiwdio' heddiw. Mae'r rhaglen ar gael ar i-player, ac yn cael ail-ddarllediad am 5pm, Dydd Sul.

I enjoyed discussing 'My Beautiful Imperial' with Nia Roberts, Radio Cymru, on her programme Stiwdio today. The programme is available on i-player, and will be broadcast again at 5pm on Sunday.

Prynhawn Da - S4C

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 17.57.43.png

Wedi mwynhau sgwrsio am My Beautiful Imperial heddiw gydag Owain Gwynedd a Siân Tomos. Es i lawr i stiwdio Prynhawn Da yn Llanelli ar gyfer y rhaglen fyw ar S4C. Wedi cael croeso cynnes. Diolch i Hana am wneud yr holl drefniadau. Mae'r eitem tua 06:00

Enjoyed chatting about My Beautiful Imperial today with Owain Gwynedd and Siân Tomos. I went down to the Prynhawn Da studios for this afternoon's live programme on S4C. Had a warm welcome. Thank you to Hana too for arranging everything. The item is around 06:00.


Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 17.56.07.png
Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 17.46.33.png
Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 17.54.51.png

Version with English subtitles HERE

Ychwanegiad at y clawr / An addition to the cover

My Beautiful Imperial with sticker.jpg

Yn falch dros ben gallu cael ychwanegu hwn at glawr y llyfr. Yn ddiweddar, dewisiwyd y nofel yn un o 20 llyfr a argymhellir gan y Walter Scott Prize Academy. Dewisiwyd llyfrau o bob ran o'r Gymanwlad, ac roedd y rhestr yn cynnwys ennillydd y Booker Prize hefyd!


Delighted to be able to add this to the book cover. The novel was recently chosen as one of 20 recommended historical novels by the Walter Scott Prize Academy. Books were chosen from all parts of the Commonwealth and the list included a Booker Prize winner too!

Our readers - the unsung heroes. Excerpt from the Walter Scott Prize Academy feedback on My Beautiful Imperial

Do you ever wonder how the Walter Scott Prize chooses its longlists?  Every year we receive over one hundred entries for the Prize, and we also ‘call books in’ from publishers, based on recommendations from our judges who keep a beady eye on reviews and bookshops throughout the year.

So who sifts through all the books to find the hidden gems and to rate the contenders, before they go through to the Judges and our Academy list?  Step forward our band of expert Readers, who work tirelessly throughout the year reading and thoughtfully appraising each and every book received.

Our Readers come from all walks of life and are spread across the UK – we’ve had reading teams as far apart as Shetland and Dorset.  They are voracious readers with an interest in real people’s history and an eye for what might become a future classic. Over the years, the Readers have been responsible for picking out many titles that might otherwise have been overlooked, playing a vital part in the success of the prize. Motivated purely by their enjoyment of the books, they are our unsung heroes!

We thought you might like to see some of the things our Readers said about this year’s longlist and Academy Recommends books. Their salty summaries and insightful comments make great reading in themselves!

My Beautiful Imperial by Rhiannon Lewis (Academy Recommends)

“A mighty read this, I feel bereft now that I’ve finished it, always a sign of a writer who can fascinate and engross the reader over 500 pages or so. This novel has at its heart the Chilean civil war – who knew? Not me. It is also inspired by the life and exploits of the author’s great great uncle, a Welsh lad who ran away to sea and became the captain of a steamship carrying mail and cargo up and down the Chilean coast in the latter years of the 19th Century.

Forced to turn his ship over to the government side in the insurrection he then carried troops and ammunition, facing all the usual moral quandaries of loyalty and betrayal amongst his colleagues and shipmates as well as the horrors of engagement. Other strands of the story are deftly woven in to the complex tapestry of events and provide richness and increased understanding of the pressures involved. Parliamentary questions are asked about the danger to British commercial interests in Chilean minerals and an English journalist dispatched by The Times to report on the rebellion finds that the ‘facts’ required by his editor do not match up to the facts he finds on the ground in Valparaiso.

I found this a totally satisfying novel, full of history told with a light hand and with the spark of adventure, with credible characters and a sure touch with the setting of an important Chilean port in the late 1800s. A cracker!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 21.33.57.png

Awen Teifi

Fe gafon ni fore da iawn yn Awen Teifi, siop lyfrau Gymraeg Aberteifi, ar Ddydd Sadwrn y Pasg, yn arwyddo llyfrau ac yn sgwrsio ag ambell un am y llyfr. Diolch i bawb alwodd heibio neu a brynodd lyfr. Diolch yn arbennig i Rhian ac Anwen am yr holl help. Anghofion ni'n llwyr dynnu lluniau felly diolch i Paul Phillips am gael defnyddio'r llun hwn.

We had a very good morning at Awen Teifi, Cardigan's Welsh bookshop, on Easter Saturday, signing books and chatting to interested customers. Thank you to everyone who called by or who bought a book. Thank you especially to Rhian and Anwen for all the help. We totally forgot to take photographs so thank you to Paul Phillips for allowing me to use this picture.

Awen Teifi photo 31 March 18.jpg

The Walter Scott Academy recommends 20 historical novel

Titles by industry figures Mieke Ziervogel and Tom Tivnan are among the 20 historical novels published over the past year to be recommended by the Walter Scott Prize Academy.

Settings for the titles range from steamships in the Chilean Civil War to warships in Greenock during the Second World War, and from 1920s Hollywood to 18th century slavery in The Cape. The list includes newly published historical novels from Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and England.

For more information visit: www.the

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 11.00.13.png


The Walter Scott Prize Academy announces 2018 'recommended' list

The Walter Scott Prize Academy announces 2018 'recommended' list

Newyddion syfrdanol. Dewiswyd fy nofel, My Beautiful Imperial, i fod ar restr 'argymhellion' academi Gwobr Walter Scott. Mae'r datganiad swyddogol isod. Mae Gwobr Walter Scott ar gyfer ffuglen hanesyddol yn un o'r gwobrau llenyddol mwyaf nodedig yn y byd. Mae'n unigryw am wobrwyo ysgrifennu o ansawdd eithriadol sydd wedi'i osod yn y gorffennol. Mae'n fraint ac anrhydedd fod My Beautiful Imperial wedi cael ei dewis i fod ar y rhestr a argymhellir gan yr academi. Diolch i chi gyd am yr holl gefnogaeth, am ddarllen y llyfr ac anfon sylwadau mor ffafriol a gwresog. Gobeithio daw mwy o bobl i ddysgu am hanes Davy a'i gyfeillion wedi hyn, ac i ddysgu am hanes eithriadol Cymru a Chile.

Incredible news. My novel, My Beautiful Imperial, has been chosen by the Walter Scott Prize academy to be on its list of 'recommended' books. The official press release follows below. The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world. It is unique for rewarding writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past. It is an honour and a privilege for My Beautiful Imperial to be chosen for the 'recommended' list. Thank you, all of you, for the amazing support, for reading the book and for sending such warm and positive responses. Hopefully, many more people will now get to read about Davy and his friends, and learn more about the fascinating history of Wales and Chile.

The Walter Scott Prize Academy today released their twenty recommended historical novels to have been published in the last year across the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries. Subjects and settings range from steamships in the Chilean Civil War to warships in Greenock during WW2, and from 1920s Hollywood to 18th century slavery in The Cape, and the list includes newly published historical novels from Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and England.

The Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended Books are:

The Death of the Fronsac by Neal Ascherson (Apollo, UK)
Mrs Osmond by John Banville (Viking, UK)
Softness of the Lime by Maxine Case (Umuzi, South Africa)
He by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton, UK)
Larchfield by Polly Clark (Riverrun, UK)
Goblin by Ever Dundas (Saraband, UK)
The Water Beetles by Michael Kaan (Goose Lane Editions, Canada)
The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo (Tramp Press, Ireland)
My Beautiful Imperial by Rhiannon Lewis (Victorina Press, UK)
Soot by Andrew Martin (Corsair, UK)
Story Land by Catherine McKinnon (4th Estate, Australia)
Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons by Jocelyn Nullity (Inanna Publications, Canada)
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Tinder Press, Australia)
A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert (Virago, UK)
Speakeasy by Alisa Smith (Douglas & McIntyre, Canada)
A Reckoning by Linda Spalding (McClelland & Stewart, Canada)
The Secret Books by Marcel Theroux (Faber & Faber, UK)
The Esquimaux by Tom Tivnan (Silvertail Books, UK)
City of Crows by Chris Womersley (Picador, Australia)
The Photographer by Mieke Ziervoge (Salt, UK)

The twenty books recommended by the Academy are in addition to the Prize longlist of thirteen, which was released at the beginning of March. A shortlist will be announced in April.

The Walter Scott Prize Academy is an advisory group feeding into the submission process of the prestigious Walter Scott Prize, and comprises people at the centre of literary life in the UK and Commonwealth countries, including the artistic directors of book festivals around the world, leading book retailers and literary critics. The Academy was created two years ago to help broaden the reach of the Prize and strengthen its resources.

The Duchess of Buccleuch, the prize sponsor said:
“We’re delighted with the depth and richness of the recommended titles that our learned academy from home and overseas have brought to our attention. We would like to thank our Academy for giving us the opportunity to shine a light and share historical novels from further afield”
The full list of books, and a list of Academy members, is on the Walter Scott Prize website
My Beautiful Imperial  ar ganol y silff!  My Beautiful Imperial  on the middle of the shelf!

My Beautiful Imperial ar ganol y silff! My Beautiful Imperial on the middle of the shelf!

Eternal anthology of award winning Short Stories

Eternal, award-winning short stories, is now available directly from Hammond House Publishing. My story, At a Junction, which was placed third in the competition is included. Entries came from all over the world: Australia, Scotland, Canada, England, USA, Nigeria, Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, Colombia, Republic of Georgia, Japan, Netherlands, Romania. I was the only author from Wales!

'A wonderfully diverse range of stories from over the world - each one inspired by and crafted from imaginations and experiences that take the reader on unique journeys. A real celebration of modern, global writing and its power.' Stuart Spendlow. Best selling author.


Hammond House 1.jpg
Hammond House 2.jpg


Mae Eternal, award-winning short stories ar gael nawr oddi wrth Hammond House Publishing. Mae fy stori, At a Junction, a ddaeth yn drydedd yn y gystadleuaeth, wedi ei chynnwys yn y detholiad. Daeth yr ymgeiswyr o dros y byd: Awstralia, yr Alban, Canada, Lloegr, UDA, Nigeria, Denmarc, Seland Newydd, yr Eidal, Colombia, Georgia, Siapan, yr Iseldiroedd, Romania. Fi oedd yr unig awdur o Gymru!

'A wonderfully diverse range of stories from over the world - each one inspired by and crafted from imaginations and experiences that take the reader on unique journeys. A real celebration of modern, global writing and its power.' Stuart Spendlow. Best selling author.

Gabriel's Halo

One of my favourite short stories (yes, writers have favourites!), Gabriel's Halo, has been long listed for the InkTears short story competition. InkTears is one of the few competitions that will accept stories that have won prizes elsewhere. Gabriel's Halo won 1st prize back in November 2016 with Writers' Forum magazine. Some stories seem to have a life of their own when you let them go and this is a story which seems to appeal to all ages, all backgrounds. It's a story which is close to my heart. It was inspired by my wonderful Dad.

Mae gan awduron eu ffefrynnau. Mae'r stori, Gabriel's Halo, yn un o'm ffefrynnau i. Mae ar restr hir cystadleuaeth InkTears ar hyn o bryd. Croeswch eich bysedd! Mae InkTears yn un o'r cystadlaethau prin sy'n derbyn storïau sydd wedi ennill o'r blaen. Enillodd Gabriel's Halo'r wobr gyntaf ym mis Tachwedd 2016 gyda Writers' Forum. Mae rhyw fath o fywyd ar wahân gydag ambell stori, ac felly mae hi gyda hon. Mae'n apelio at bob oedran a phob cefndir am ryw reswm. Stori sy'n golygu llawer i fi gan yr ysbrydolwyd hi gan fy nhad annwyl.

Screenshot 2018-02-13 10.22.30.png