Rebecca F. John wins Pen International New Voices Award 2015

15 Oct 2015

Announced in Quebec last night, young Swansea writer Rebecca F. John has won the PEN International New Voices Award 2015 for a short story in her dark and dazzling debut collection of short stories  Clown's Shoes  released by leading Welsh indie publisher Parthian Books today.

Announced during the 81st PEN International Congress in Quebec, Canada, last night, young Swansea writer Rebecca F. John has won the PEN International New Voices Award 2015 for a short story from her dark and dazzling debut collection of short stories, Clown's Shoes released by leading Welsh Indie publisher Parthian Books today. Rebecca F John from Pwll, Llanelli, was Wales PEN Cymru's first ever nomination, and the only UK writer to have made the long-list.

The PEN International/New Voices Award provides a space for young and unpublished writers to promote their work, and encourages new writing from 'diverse linguistic regions and communities'. The award is open to unpublished writers aged 18-30, who are nominated by their local PEN Centre.

In an interview with Wales Arts Review published yesterday Rebecca said: 'One of the great joys of the short story is that it can take you anywhere. The stories in Clown's Shoes amble around the globe, trip across history and into the future; they run through the minds of starving little girls and lost mothers, desperate men and neglected children; they explore voices and styles that might not be sustainable over the length of a novel. And though they are small, short stories tackle the very biggest of subjects with more punch, often, than any novel. [ http://www.walesartsreview.org/an-interview-with-rebecca-f-john/ ]

Indeed for Rebecca the short story took her to London earlier in the year when she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for her story 'The Glove Maker's Numbers', and this week took her to Canada with the two other writers - Lee Sauer and Sophie Prévost - making up the PEN shortlist of three for last night's announcement.
Susie Wild, Publishing Editor at Parthian Books and Rebecca's editor for Clown's Shoes said: 'We are so thrilled for Rebecca F. John, it is wonderful to see new Welsh talent recognised in this international award and we are sure she has a future as glittering as her writing ahead of her.'

Rebecca will be officially launching Clown's Shoes at an event chaired by Peter Stead at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea as part of the Dylan Thomas Festival. So join us at 2.30pm on Saturday 7th November for that. She'll also be reading at our Wheatsheaf pop-up festival in London's Fitzrovia on Sunday the 6th of December. We'll be announcing more bookshop signings and readings in Wales and beyond soon.

Parthian have been building up a number of awards for their short story list, with Tyler Keevil recently winning Canada's Journey Prize and the Independent Publishers Award for his collection Burrard Inlet and also shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2015 and the Rubery Book Award 2015. Collections by Carole Burns, Alix Nathan and Georgia Carys Williams have also been longlisted for the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize.

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