Academic writers win M Wynn Thomas prize

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TWO academic writers received the M Wynn Thomas Prize this week at the Swansea launch of the new International Journal of Welsh Writing in English.

Professor Sarah Prescott (Aberystwyth University) and Dr Mary Chadwick (Aberystwyth University) won a category each for the best critical essays in the field of Welsh Writing in English.

Judges Professor Damian Walford Davies (Aberystwyth University), Dr Kevin Mills (University of Glamorgan and last year’s prize winner) and Dr Alyce von Rothkirch (Swansea University) were very pleased with the quality of the submissions overall. They said the winners’ work displayed exceptional scholarship as well as originality and was worthy of this important prize.

Professor Prescott and Dr Chadwick received their prizes at a ceremony at Callaghan’s Lecture Theatre, Swansea University, on 16 October 2013.

Sarah Prescott, Professor of English Literature and Director of the Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts, won the  open category for established scholars.

She is currently completing a study of Women Writers and Wales, 1600-1800 and co-writing volume three (1536-1914) of the forthcoming Oxford Literary History of Wales. Her prize-winning essay was on “Katherine Philips and Archipelagic Coterie Space”.

The new scholars category was won by Dr Mary Chadwick. She teaches in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and provides study skills support at the University of Chester. In November 2011, Mary researched Romantic Wales-related novels.

They both received £150 and a full set of the Library of Wales titles published by Parthian Press. The University of Wales Press sponsored the award which was also supported by Parthian, The Library of Wales, Swansea University and the Learned Society of Wales.

The prize is named in honour of Professor Wynn Thomas, the former Director and founder of CREW (the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales) at Swansea University.

Professor Thomas is currently Chairman of the Welsh Books Council, and holds the Emyr Humphreys Chair of Welsh Writing in English at Swansea University.

This is the second annual M Wynn Thomas Prize. Professor Thomas also chaired the launch of the new International Journal of Welsh Writing in English (formerly Almanac). It included a talk on R S Thomas at 100 by Dr Daniel Westover and a panel discussion on Welsh Writing in English entitled New Horizons.