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Wonderful Welsh Storytellers

25 May, 2023

To mark this year’s Hay Festival taking place in Hay-on-Wye from 25th May-4th June, we wanted to shine a light on some amazing Welsh fiction writers. With topics ranging from myths and legends to thrillers, from themes of climate to sexuality, this diverse selection of authors offers something different to any curious reader…

Daniel Morden

Born in Cwmbran, South Wales, Daniel Morden always had a love for storytelling and turned his passion into a profession in the 1980s. Since then he has travelled all over the world and attended theatres, festivals and schools. Morden retells stories of the myths and legends primarily hailing from Greek and Celtic origins and has adopted stories for TV, theatre productions and radio. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Tir na n-Og Award for Dark Tales from the Woods. His works include Secret Tales from Wales, Tree of Leaf and Flame, Orpheus and Euridice and The Adventures of Odysseus.

Join Daniel at the Hay Festival on 1st June at 10am for his ‘Storytelling: From the shadows’, sign up now >>

Visit Daniel’s website here >>

Sarah Woodbury

After studying Anthropology and raising her 4 Welsh-named children, Sarah Woodbury found her love for writing and turned to fiction. Selling over a million books, Woodbury has a collection of over 40 novels and novellas under her belt. With a strong ancestral Welsh connection and historian parents, Sarah has based all of her books in medieval Wales with mentions of legendary figures such as Llewellyn, the last Prince of Wales. After visiting Wales for the first time when studying in University, Sarah fell in love with her ancestral home. Some of her notable work includes; Daughter of Time and The Good Knight.

Connect with Sarah on GlobalWelsh Connect

Visit Sarah’s website here >>

Ken Follett CBE, FRSL

Cardiff-born Ken Follett, is an internationally acclaimed author of thrillers and historical novels, with over 160 million copies of his books sold worldwide. After writing fiction as a hobby and to make some extra money, Follett became an international bestseller with over 10 million copies sold of his novel Eye of the Needle in 1978. Since then he has gone on to publish over 35 books and has had some of his work adapted for film, video games and television, the most memorable of which being Ridley Scott's production of The Pillars of the Earth.

Reflect with Ken Follet on his “decades long career” >>

Visit Ken’s website here >>

Alys Conran

Originally from North Wales, Alys Conran studied English Literature at Edinburgh University before going to Manchester to gain a Creative Writing MA. Before settling back into life in North Wales, Conran spent time in Edinburgh and Spain, which is where she learnt to speak Spanish and Catalan. In 2017 Conran’s debut novel Pigeon won the Wales Book of the Year Award, the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award and the People’s Choice Award. Pigeon is also the first fiction book to be simultaneously published in English and Welsh. Alys went on to publish her second novel Dignity and currently lectures at the University of Bangor.

Join Alys at the Hay Festival on 30th May at 5.30pm for her ‘Everything change: Writing the climate crisis’, sign up now >>

Visit Alys’s website here >>

Philip Palmer

 Born to a dock pilot and a doctor, Philip Palmer, originally from Port Talbot, is a science fiction and fantasy novelist with six published novels, including; Version 43, Hell on Earth, Red Claw and Debatable Space, and two novellas; Murder of the Heart and Morpho. Palmer also works as film producer, audio drama writer and at Goldsmiths University of London as a Senior lecturer in Creative Writing and Screenwriting. He is also credited for radio plays such as The King’s Coiner and The Faerie Queen, and has previously worked as a script editor on popular shows like Taggart.

Connect with Philip on GlobalWelsh Connect 

Read more on Philip’s script and production work >>

Sarah Waters OBE

Originally from Pembrokeshire, Sarah Waters is an accomplished author with six novels in her portfolio. Her work focuses on Victorian society and the 19th Century, with most featuring strong lesbian protagonists. Some notable works include Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith and The Paying Guests. Waters was previously shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and she has won the CWA Historical Dagger and the Betty Trask Award. She has also been named as the Author of the Year four times by the British Book Awards, Waterstones and other publishers, and she was later awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to British literature.

Read more about Sarah's novel inspiration >>

Visit Sarah’s website here >>

Cynan Jones

Born in 1975 in the small town of Aberaeron, Cynan Jones has published his works in over 20 countries and has received multiple recognitions including the Wales Book of the Year Fiction prize and the Betty Trask Award. Jones has also written screenplays, stories for BBC radio and a short novel for children titled 3 Tales. He has also published his work into different languages including the novel Le Cose Che Non Vogliamo Più, translating to Things We Don’t Want Anymore, in Italian. One of his most notable works include The Edge of the Shoal, which was awarded the BBC National Short Story Award in 2017.

Read more about Jones’s Short Story Award >>

Visit Cynan’s website here >>

Marie Powell

Connected to Wales through her grandfather, Marie Powell is the author of over 40 books including the Last of the Gifted series, set in Medieval Wales. Powell completed her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and went on to publish numerous articles, short stories and poetry in literary magazines. As well as writing fictional tales inspired by exploring her ancestral roots through roaming Welsh castles, Powell also writes some non-fiction children’s books to help with punctuation and grammar and she holds writing workshops in her home country of Canada. 

Connect with Marie on GlobalWelsh Connect

Visit Marie’s website here >>

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