Swansea University hosts leading authors from across the UK

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On Friday 13 – Sunday 15 September 2013, Swansea University will host some of the biggest names in literature as part of the Rhys Davies Short Story Conference.

Speakers already confirmed include writers Will Self, Edna O’Brien, Tessa Hadley and Swansea University’s Professor Dai Smith.

The conference, organised by Literature Wales and the Rhys Davies Trust in conjunction with Swansea University, will include an exclusive premiere performance of Silverglass, D.J. Britton’s new play about Rhys Davies, plus the launch of the 2014 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.

The weekend is open to the public and will appeal to all those with a passion for the written word.

Rhys Davies (1901-1978) was born in Blaenclydach in the Rhondda, and became one of the most prolific Welsh prose writers of the 20th Century. Best known for his short stories, he was especially appreciated in the USA, where his work was regularly published in the prestigious New Yorker magazine and where he won the coveted Edgar Alan Poe prize. He was awarded the OBE for his services to literature.

In 1991 the Rhys Davies short story competition was established to support Welsh authors writing in the English language.

Head of dramatic writing for the Creative Writing degree programmes at Swansea, playwright D.J.Britton said, “The weekend will be a great opportunity for general readers, aspiring writers, and those with an educational interest in writing.

“In Rhys Davies, Wales has one of the finest exponents of the craft of short fiction, a form which is too often overshadowed by the glamour of the novel, yet which requires unparalleled writerly control, combining energy, precision and delicacy. It is also through the short story that many writers begin their literary life, so this celebration of the form is hugely welcome.

“Swansea’s Creative Writing programme makes full use of the short fiction form, taught by such notable staff and guest writers such as Stevie Davies, Fflur Dafydd, Anne Lauppe-Dunbar, Alan Bilton, Roshi Fernando and Jon Gower.

“For myself, writing a play drawn from the life of Rhys Davies is a wonderful opportunity. He was an enigma, as was his friend and fellow writer Anna Kavan.”

The performance will feature BAFTA-winning actor Richard Elfyn, who worked with Britton recently on their hugely successful play about Lloyd George, along with Welsh favourite Eiry Thomas.

Among other writers already scheduled for the conference are Meic Stephens, Janice Galloway, Claire Keegan, Cynan Jones, Rachel Tresize, and Shena Mackay. Swansea University’s Professor Daniel Williams will also be speaking.

Full residential weekend tickets, including all events, two-nights accommodation and meals, are available from £140.00. Non-residential tickets are available from £80.00, and day tickets start at £30.00.

For more information, contact Literature Wales on:  029 2047 2266 / post@literaturewales.org

The Rhys Davies Short Story Conference is organised by the Rhys Davies Trust, in partnership with Literature Wales and Swansea University.