blank
Connect with us

Arts and Entertainment

Swansea-born writer wins Rhys Davies short story competition

Published

on

Naomi Paulus has won the 2021 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition for her story Take a Bite, a “delightful, wistful, satisfying piece” in which a young woman, Rhian, returns home to the voices and rituals of her mother and aunts for an important family event.

The competition recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English in any style and on any subject up to a maximum of 5,000 words by writers aged 18 or over who were born in Wales, have lived in Wales for two years or more, or are currently living in Wales.

Originally established in 1991, there have been eight Rhys Davies Short Story contests to date, and the 2021 competition has been relaunched by Swansea University’s Cultural Institute on behalf of The Rhys Davies Trust and in association with Parthian Books.

Paulus wins £1,000 and has her winning entry featured in the Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology 2021, which is published by Parthian next month. The stories from the other 11 finalists will also feature in the anthology and they receive £100.

Commenting on Take a Bite, guest judge Julia Bell said: “This story was a winner from the moment I read it. A delightful, wistful, satisfying piece which echoes some of the best of Rhys Davies, for a few pages giving us a window into a world which is both tender and profound. I extend Naomi Paulus many congratulations and look forward to reading whatever she produces next.”

Naomi was born, and had most of her formative experiences, in Swansea. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and began writing shortly after turning 30. Since then, she has been longlisted for the Primadonna Prize three times and won their 2020 flash fiction competition. Alongside her writing, she also runs a digital agency in London.

Advertisement

On receiving the award, Naomi Paulus said: “Growing up, I loved listening to my grandmother tell stories about her sisters. I can’t describe how thrilled I am that my story inspired by them has won this prize. It means an incredible amount to me to have the recognition of Julia Bell and to follow in the footsteps of talented Welsh writers under the revered name of Rhys Davies. I’m completely overjoyed and immeasurably proud to continue in the important tradition of Welsh storytelling.”

The official launch of Take a Bite: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology will be held online on 30 September between 7pm-8pm. The launch will feature guest judge Julia Bell, editor Elaine Canning, and readings from the 2021 winner and finalists.

Born in Blaenclydach in the Rhondda in 1901, Rhys Davies was among the most dedicated, prolific, and accomplished of Welsh prose-writers in English. He wrote, in all, more than 100 stories, 20 novels, three novellas, two topographical books about Wales, two plays, and an autobiography.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Art

Carmarthenshire Museum reopens for National Gallery painting exhibition

Published

on

By

It will be the first time the museum has been open to the public since 2020 when it closed for phase one of improvement, funded by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Advertisement

People will be able to visit from Saturday to see Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’, a painting from the National Gallery’s masterpiece collection, which was painted by the 18th century French artist in around 1740–1.

Carmarthenshire Museum was chosen by the National Gallery as one of only three museums in the UK to exhibit part of its collection.

The museum, in Abergwili, re-opens following completion of the first phase of restoration by Carmarthenshire County Council which has invested significantly to create a better environment for museum collections.  

The expansive programme of phased works includes roof repairs, two new galleries, re-building of the chimneys and decorative stonework.

Phase one involved making the historic landmark building watertight, installing a new roof, restoring stonework on the front of the building, repairing over 100 windows, restoring the iconic lantern window over the museum’s central hall and the distinctive carved stone porch – both legacies of the building’s past as the palace of the Bishops of St Davids.

Advertisement

The museum also has a new shop to showcase gifts inspired by the museum collections and regional crafts and will open next week.

The museum entrance has also been adapted and is fully accessible with a gentle ramp and a power assisted outer door. Other sensitive modernisations have also been carried out.

Phase two of the ongoing restoration works is well underway and involves upgrading two galleries on the ground floor.  

This work, funded by Welsh Government, is expected to be completed by Easter.

The final phase will focus on smaller projects throughout the museum and the park and will get underway later this year.

Advertisement

During the museum’s closure, the surrounding Bishop’s Park has also undergone a transformation under the management of the Tywi Gateway Trust, featuring accessible pathways, landscaping, interpretation, and planting after the council granted £300,000 towards the cost of developing disused outbuildings into a vibrant visitor centre and café within the museum grounds. 

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “A huge amount of restoration work has been already done and is continuing at Carmarthenshire Museum, and we are working towards a completion date later this year.

“We are pleased that we have been able to complete phase one of these works just in time to host this magnificent painting as part of the National Gallery’s Masterpiece Tour.

“We wanted to be able to welcome visitors back as soon as was possible so we kindly ask our visitors to bear with us as we complete the rest of the phased restoration works that are underway at the museum. Investing in our museums and engaging in cultural activity has a demonstrable positive impact on starting well, living well and ageing well.

“Our museums are the family photobook of the history of our county, documenting where we’ve come from and helping to shape the unique cultural identity of our future generations.”

Advertisement

(Lead. image: Carmarthenshire Council)

Continue Reading

Carmarthenshire

Kaiser Chiefs to headline at Ffos Las Racecourse in Carmarthenshire

Published

on

By

Kaiser Chiefs are set to headline at Ffos Las Racecourse near Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire on Thursday 2 June 2022.

The special ‘Live After Racing’ show will invite audiences to enjoy an entire day of horse racing, with the added bonus of a full live set by the indie titans late into the evening.

Advertisement

Established as one of the best loved guitar bands to emerge this century, the Kaiser Chiefs will be heading to the races with a winning set-list of bona fide indie belters in their arsenal.

Over the last 15 years the Kaisers have become a real household name, from their seven critically acclaimed and Top 10 charting albums selling multi-millions worldwide, to making memorable performances at some of the biggest events in recent history including Live 8 and the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, and winning innumerable awards including ‘Best Live Act’ at both the Brit Awards and Q Awards. 

With top 10 hits like ‘I Predict A Riot’, ‘Ruby’, ‘Oh My God’, ‘Never Miss A Beat’, and ‘Everyday I Love You Less & Less’ all cementing the band’s penchant for penning contemporary pop classics like few of their peers, the many highlights to be found on their acclaimed #3 charting 2019 album ‘Duck’, illustrate a band that have no intention of slowing down soon.

With a reputation as one of the best live acts in the biz, if there’s one safe bet to place all day, put it on a hit-packed set from the Kaisers…

The event, rescheduled from 27 August last year, is priced at £35 advance, £25 for under 18s, with under 5s admitted free of charge.

Advertisement

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.

(Lead image: Kaiser Chiefs)

Continue Reading

Carmarthen

Save the Cinema Film make scenery at UWTSD Set & Design Production Workshop

Published

on

By

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) Set Design Production Scenery Workshop has revealed its involvement in the newly released ‘Save the Cinema film for Sky.

The film ‘Save the Cinema’ is a true story looking back at Liz Evans’s campaign to save the Lyric Theatre from closing in Carmarthen. Stars such as Jonathan Pryce, Samantha Morton, Tom Felton, Adeel Akhtar and Susan Wokoma feature in the film.

Advertisement

As the production started, art director Gwyn Eiddior visited UWTSD’s Carmarthen Campus to see if there were any props or scenery he could possibly use for the film as it was being filmed in Carmarthen. After requesting on social media later that day for use of a workshop to build sets for the film in Carmarthen, Lecturer Dave Atkinson suggested for them to use the facilities at UWTSD.

As a result of this, the film’s construction team were based at UWTSD’s Set Design Production Scenery Workshop, meaning that all of the construction work and scenic art created for the film was made on campus. Along with Dave who was employed as the workshop manager, two graduates from the BA Set Design & Production course, Mari Hullett and Ashley Phillips were fortunate to gain work from this project in the scenic art and graphics departments.

They worked alongside the experienced production designer Jonathan Houlding who has  worked on high-end screen productions such as ‘Love Actually’, ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Martian.’ Dave adds,

“We created a variety of scenery for the film. Largely dressing for the Lyric Theatre, and the theatre scenery they were filming on. The hairdresser’s salon was the largest build which was an empty shop. We had to reinstall a whole salon in there. One fun element to make was the Big Breakfast set – we made the bedroom where they interviewed people.”

UWTSD Lecturer Dave Atkinson at the University’s set design workshop (Image: UWTSD)

Graduate Mari Hullett said, “Working on ‘Save The Cinema’ as a scenic artist was an amazing opportunity and I will always value my time being involved in the production as an experience to take further into my career.

“I am extremely grateful for the chance of working alongside the friendly and highly skilled scenic and construction team as I was able to learn so much from them. I was also able to work on different roles within the art department such as graphic props, which I greatly appreciated as I got to experience a broader spectrum of skills involved on a film set.

Advertisement

“As a whole, it was a really heart-warming experience to be a part of a project that involved my university town and the wider community.

“This was also my first professional role on a film project which has opened my eyes to the growing opportunities within the film industry in Wales. I am very excited to see this on-screen!”

An experience like this has been a fantastic opportunity, and a chance for the students to have an insight into the industry.

Dave Atkinson adds: “Welcoming Sky Cinema onto campus has given UWTSD Carmarthen the opportunity to not only showcase the high-quality practitioners that graduate from the Set Design & Production course, but to also exhibit the facilities we have, such as the scenery workshop which is equipped with top of the range tools and machinery.”

(Lead image: UWTSD)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News