January's 'Author of the Month' is Terry Hetherington, a celebrated poet from Neath, who passed away in 2009. To honour Terry's memory, the Cheval organisation was established with the goal to promote young writers in Wales. The result was the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award, an annual award that accepts submissions of short stories and poetry, the winner of which receives £1000, while entrants have the opportunity to contribute to the Cheval anthology.According to the Wales Online's interview of Terry's partner, Aida Birch, Terry had a heart for cultivating young writers. 'He’d go over their work with them, and he had more pleasure seeing their work published than his own.'
Cheval approach Parthian in 2012 with the possibility of publishing the work that was submitted to the competition, which yielded the Cheval 5 anthology. There have been several new anthologies since. Terry's memory is starting to be commemorated in fields outside of poetry and short story. This year, in conjunction with Cheval 11, Parthian is hosting a design competition for the cover for aspiring designers. It's another way that the legacy of Terry is impacting new creative voices in Wales.
The award is funded in several ways, including sales from the Cheval anthologies, entrance fees to the competition and to the Neath Cheval Poems & Pints event on Thursday nights at the Cambrian Arms. The ceremony, which will take place in June this year, will feature past winners, judges, friends and family of Terry and this year's contributors. It's an event that celebrates new writing in Wales which is the best way to honour the memory of the man who inspired it all.
The 2018 Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award is currently accepting submissions of poetry and short stories until 31st January. To learn more about the requirements to submit, go to the Cheval Writers website: chevalwriters.org.uk