NWR celebrates women’s literature in Wales

Recently, we were treated to an excellent programme at this regional NWR event: three authors, a publisher and the dynamic CEO of Literature Wales. 

Judith Barrow kicked off explaining her work as a creative writing tutor in Pembrokeshire after obtaining an OU degree and higher degrees in middle age. She said that we could all write using our five senses and challenged us to send her our first impressions of the meeting. Her books are mostly family sagas but she also writes poetry, plays and short stories and organises a literature festival in Narbeth in late Sept each year.


Bethan Darwin is truly a superwoman working as a solicitor, organising a business group for women while maintaining her family as well as writing.  She encouraged us to write saying that just two hundred words per day would turn into a novel in a year. Her novels are usually set in the worlds that she knows – the law and the Welsh valleys. 


Carol Lovekin told us she only started writing when she retired and has had two novels published so far. She specialises in contemporary fiction based in West Wales in which the everyday is threaded with magic.


From Lleucu Siencyn, CEO of Literature Wales, we learnt about the Everyday Sexism Project, slam poetry, the Bechdel test and her support for women authors and literature in Wales.  


Finally, Penny Thomas shared her experiences of the Welsh publishing scene before and after setting up Firefly Press – and her quest to bring Welsh literature to the wider world.  


It was great to meet members from Basingstoke, Chandler’s Ford and Portishead as well as local groups from Chepstow and Radyr.  

Altogether, it was a stimulating and interesting day and, although we were a relatively small audience, there were many questions and much discussion.

Read Carol Lovekin’s blog post.