Professional development programme to champion diverse voices within Wales’ literary culture launched by Literature Wales


Literature Wales, the national company for the development of literature, launches the second round of its professional development programme for under-represented writers today, 11 April 2022. Representation and equality are key goals for Literature Wales, and the Representing Wales programme directly contributes towards achieving targeted and authentic change within the sector. 

Building on the success of the first year of the programme, Representing Wales provides professional development opportunities to 14 writers from low-income backgrounds, selected by an independent Assessment Panel. Emily Burnett, a member of the 2021/22 cohort said: 

“The support and generosity I’ve received from Literature Wales over the course of the programme has been incredible. I now have a Literary Manager, and my confidence in my writing has grown so much, as well as my desire to explore new genres. My relationship with my Mentor has been invaluable and has pushed my career in such a positive direction. I can’t thank Literature Wales enough for this opportunity.”

Literature Wales will support the cohort and help nurture their talent by awarding up to £3,500 to each selected writer and by facilitating mentoring sessions. The cohort will also receive 10 workshops which aim to demystify the writing profession and the publishing process. Further support will be given through networking opportunities and access to literature festivals and events. Bespoke creative writing masterclasses with established writers, two of which will take place at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, will also be key elements of the programme. 

The 12-month programme is funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales and was designed in consultation with communities and writers from Literature Wales’ extensive networks. 

Leusa Llewelyn, Creative Lead, Literature Wales, said:

“Representing Wales is an important step in our efforts to develop a culture that is truly reflective of Wales’ communities and to establish a pipeline of diverse Welsh talent that will be recognised across Wales and beyond. We are very fortunate to have a rich variety of writers in Wales, telling our own stories in our own languages. We are proud that this programme shines a light on 14 exceptional voices, who have 12 months of fantastic opportunities ahead of them.”

During the year-long programme, the cohort will hear from writers such as Cathy Rentzenbrink, Pascale Petit, Eloise Williams, and Kit de Waal, as well as publishers from Wales and specialist organisations such as The Society of Authors and The Good Literary Agency. They’ll also receive training on how to create an authentic author brand, build a freelance career, and work as a community practitioner.


Anastacia Ackers, Flintshire
Anastacia Ackers is a writer, theatre maker and facilitator from north-east Wales. She is
currently chair of National Theatre Wales TEAM panel and has worked as part of National
Theatre Wales TEAM Wrexham project since 2019. She also works alongside Outside
Lives, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Maeshafn, Flintshire and is currently
supporting the LikeMinded group for people living with dementia, as part of the Dementia
Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP). Anastacia is passionate about history
and mythology and is incredibly excited to be on the Representing Wales Professional
Development Programme 2022-23.

Rosy Adams, Aberystwyth
Rosy Adams lives in Aberystwyth. She grew up in the Brecon Beacons where she spent
significantly more time in the town library than in school, although she did attend her
English lessons where she was taught by award-winning Welsh writer Christopher
Meredith. She graduated as a mature student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint
David in 2017 with an MA in Creative Writing. She mostly writes short stories but is
working towards producing novels and narrative non-fiction. Her stories have been
published by Writing Magazine and Muswell Press, and her poetry has appeared in The
Lampeter Review.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Kittie Belltree, Cardigan
Kittie Belltree grew up in south London and has lived in west Wales for 35 years. Her
debut poetry collection, Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks was published in 2019
(Parthian) and her short stories and reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies
such as The Brown Envelope Book (Caparison, 2021), and the forthcoming Cast a Long
Shadow (Honno, 2022). Alongside her writing, she works as a workshop facilitator,
delivering creative well-being projects in schools and community settings as well as a
Specialist Tutor for neurodivergent students at Aberystwyth University. She recently
completed a PhD examining linguistic representations of trauma. She is also currently
participating in Equal Power Equal Voice, a cross-equalities programme to increase
diversity of representation in public and political life.

Jon Doyle, Port Talbot
Hailing from Port Talbot in south Wales, Jon Doyle holds an MA in Creative Writing from
Cardiff University and a PhD from Swansea University. His writing has appeared in
Hobart, Short Fiction, The Ploughshares Blog, The Rumpus, HAD, 3:AM Magazine and
other places. He is currently working on his debut novel.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Alix Edwards, Cardiff
Alix Edwards is a multi-platform artist based in Cardiff. She combines photography,
painting, text, installation and spoken word to give a voice to marginalised communities.
She has an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, London and an MA in photography
from Central Saint Martin's. Alongside her writing, she facilitates art and creative writing
groups in her community including for Women’s Aid. Her work has been exhibited in
various galleries across England and Wales and her writing has been published in various
anthologies. She is currently working on a novel about the aftermath of domestic violence
and creating an online programme to empower women creatively.

Simone Greenwood, Newport
Simone Greenwood grew up in Cumbria, but has lived in the Sirhowy Valley, south Wales
for the last two decades, raising her family, teaching, and fostering. More recently, she
has worked for Arts Council of Wales’ Arts and Education Network, and with children’s
publishers Burst and Firefly Press. In 2021, she co-founded Ymaginosity, an organisation
devoted to nurturing young storytellers. Simone writes children’s fiction and short films.
She won Best Film and Best Script at It’s My Shout Awards 2019, and her short film,
Tabard aired on BBC Wales. Her Christmas romcom, Jangle was selected for the Pride
Online Film Festival and has been widely viewed internationally.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Ben Huxley, Bangor
Ben Huxley is a writer based in north Wales. With fingers in many pots – stage, film, video
games journalism – he is currently focusing on his fiction. Since publishing a short story at
the age of 12, he’s always known that writing is his true love.

Bridget Keehan, Cardiff
Bridget Keehan has been working in the arts for 25 years, primarily in theatre. She is the
founding Director of Papertrail / Llwybr Papur, a theatre company that specialises in
developing new writing for non-conventional theatre spaces. Prior to establishing
Papertrail, Bridget wrote her PhD on the practice of theatre in prisons, a subject that
arose from her experience of working in prison as a writer and theatre maker. Aside from
academic writing, Bridget has written short fiction and texts for performance. She has
been a runner-up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition and her prize-winning short
story was produced for Radio 4.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Ciaran Keys, Bangor
Ciaran grew up all over the UK and Ireland and now lives in north Wales. His interest in
writing and fictional media started during childhood whilst watching classic genre films
and raiding wholly age-inappropriate horror novels from libraries and lost-property boxes.
He is currently recoiling/recovering from lifelong addiction issues and enjoying life as a
domesticated human. As a writer, his major influences are Iain M Banks, Clive Barker and
anyone who succeeds in writing emotive historical narrative. His ambition is to write
books that will resonate with people who are also fascinated and disturbed by the weird
things humanity gets up to, whilst also exploring his own experiences through
exaggerated genre fiction.

Amy Kitcher, Mountain Ash
Amy Kitcher lives in the south Wales Valleys and divides her time unevenly between her
two jobs, her two children and her two passions; reading and writing. She speaks four
languages and has a Masters degree in modern warfare. She started writing around the
same time she was run over by a pensioner and wrote the first draft of her first novel in
about six weeks, much less time than it took her injuries to heal. Her poetry and short
stories have been published in various online magazines and anthologies.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Hattie Morrison, Llandysul
Hattie Morrison writes narrative non-fiction and fragmented essays. In 2022, she finished
her debut book Venus As A Spinster, which weaves memory, dream, folklore,
archaeological research and text messages together to explore the history, depiction and
erasure of thread spinning women from Welsh heritage. Her work is satirical, melancholy
and firmly rooted in rurality. Born in Carmarthenshire in 1997, Morrison received a degree
in Fine Art at the University of Oxford on a socio-economic supported scholarship,
followed by an MA in Writing from The Royal College of Art – which she completed online
during the pandemic between 2020 and 2022, in the village she was raised. Her
understanding and study of visual culture repeatedly informs her written work.

Frankie Parris, Penarth
Frankie Parris is a trans poet and author living in Penarth. Having performed at various
poetry events in Cardiff to a warm and encouraging response, he has recently decided to
pursue his writing more openly. Frankie writes mostly from personal experience, reflecting
on his struggles with mental illness, queerness, love and relationships and acceptance of
his identity as a trans man. Although most of his work is poetry, Frankie also has been
working on a collection of short stories and hopes to explore all forms of writing, including
plays and film writing.

Representing Wales 2022 Cohort

Anthony Shapland, Cardiff
Anthony Shapland is an artist, writer and curator form south Wales. He grew up in
Bargoed and was the first of his family to go to college, where he studied Fine Art. He
grew up in an era that was only just starting to shift its social, legal and moral attitudes
toward gay men, and the desire to ‘not stand out’, even after ‘coming out’, has had a
lasting impact on all of his work. He is currently working with fiction, in short form and
novella, and regularly writes on the visual arts in reviews, artists monographs, exhibitions
and catalogues. Recently, he was on the judging panel for Artes Mundi 8 and has served
on the Wales in Venice committee. He currently works at g39, an artist-led community
space he co-founded in Cardiff, where he lives.

Alex Wharton, Pontypool
Alex Wharton is an award-winning writer and performer of poetry. In 2020, he won The
Wales Rising Stars Award launched by Literature Wales and Firefly Press. Daydreams
and Jellybeans is Alex’s first collection of poetry, published with Firefly Press in January
2021. The book was named as a National Poetry Day recommended read and was short-
listed for the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award. Alex is one of 11 writers that
collaborated on a retelling of the Mabinogion called The Mab, which will be published in
the summer of 2022 in both English and Welsh. He will be publishing his second
collection of poems for children with Firefly Press.

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