Celebrating women’s writing with top names in publishing in Wales

Wales has a surprising amount of publishing houses for such a small country and many of their writers are female. At the NWR Cardiff-Newport Conference, we’ll be hearing from some of them as well as having a lovely lunch – all in beautiful surroundings of the Celtic Manor Resort.


Book your place by contacting the NWR office at [email protected] or 01603 406767 by 5 May.


Lleucu Siencyn – Chief Executive of Literature Wales

Ms Siencyn, from Talgarreg, Ceredigion studied English at Oxford University. She has worked as a researcher and screenwriter for various television companies and has started several new projects, including setting up the Young People’s Laureate for Wales. She was formerly a literature officer for the Arts Council of Wales and has worked for Literature Wales since 2002.

Carol Lovekin – Author of GhostBird

Carol describes herself as a writer of stories, a feminist & a flâneuse and says “Where publishing is concerned, I am the living proof that it’s never too late. If you have written a story you feel passionate about, one you believe in, persevere and don’t give up.” I write because I can’t tapdance on a tightrope. Or juggle. And because I’d like to leave something attached to whatever exists after I’m gone. My home is in the beautiful countryside of West Wales, a place whose legends and landscapes inform my writing. She writes contemporary fiction set in Wales in which the everyday is threaded with elements of magic.

Bethan Darwin – Author, Solicitor, Superwoman!

Bethan Darwin was born in Toronto but brought up in the Rhondda Valleys in South Wales. She studied law at King’s College London and worked as a solicitor in London for a number of years before eventually returning to Wales in 1998. Bethan works full time as an employment and boardroom law solicitor at law firm Thompson Darwin. Bethan also runs the women’s networking group Superwoman which raises funds for various charities through its events. Her first novel Back Home was published by Honno in March 2009, her second novel Two Times Twenty came out in October 2010 and her third Two Times Twenty was published in August 2016.

Judith Barrow – Author and creative writing tutor

For the last forty years Judith has lived near the coast in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. She says “I’ve written all my life and have had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles. But only started to seriously write novels after I’d had breast cancer twenty years ago. Four novels safely stashed away, never to see the light of day again, I had the first of my trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, published in 2010, the sequel, Changing Patterns, in 2013 and the last, Living in the Shadows in 2015.” She is now editing the prequel which will be published in 2017. Judith is also a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

Penny Thomas – Publisher, Firefly

Penny is a compulsive reader and has been since she first learnt to read. She took a degree in English at Keble College, Oxford, and worked as an editorial assistant in London before moving to Cardiff to train as a journalist in 1998. After fourteen years in regional journalism and two kids she took a proofreading course and realised publishing was for her. She has since freelanced for many great presses and been part-time fiction editor for literary publisher Seren Books since 2006. She never got over that early love of books, so Firefly, who publish books for children and teenagers, is a long-cherished ambition. Books for children and teenagers have moved on since those dark ages of course, although classics remain, but she is determined that Firefly books will inspire readers in just the same way.


13 May 2017, 10am (refreshments available from 9.30am) – 4pm

Coldra Court Hotel (part of the Celtic Manor Resort), Chepstow Road, Langston, Newport, NP18 2LX

Members £37/Non Members £42 per person including lunch and refreshments