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Elaine Canning

Cree: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology

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“It’s been an exceptionally difficult job selecting just twelve stories to represent The Rhys Davies Short Story Award entrants this year given the standard was so very high. In the end, the shortlisted stories included are brilliant samples of short story writing at its best – intriguing characters, clever plotting, powerful language and engaging themes – features Rhys Davies was known and of course, loved for. Many of the stories are set in Davies’ own south Wales valleys but there are urban settings too, and themes that range from identity and belonging to isolation, estrangement and grief.” – Rachel Trezise


A collection of new contemporary short stories by Welsh writers, representing the winners of the 2022 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.

Family connections, unconventional friendships, love and loss: the twelve stories in this collection of new contemporary fiction by the winners of the 2022 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition present characters seeking solace, self-discovery and self-fulfilment as they navigate familiar and unfamiliar territory.

Two sisters search for the last available Christmas tree while coming to terms with their mother’s death; a stammering teen hitches a lift with a Welsh Elvis; a man participates in his ‘endgame’; and a teacher and pupil create their very own time machine. From hillside encounters to conversations in homes, shops and on the street, these are stories about people and place, about relationships and revelations, peppered with memories and re-imaginings. These are stories where some voices are silenced and others get to sing.

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English in any style by writers aged 18 or over who were born in Wales, have lived in Wales for two years or more, or are currently living in Wales. Originally established in 1991, Parthian is delighted to publish the 2022 winning stories on behalf of the Rhys Davies Trust and in association with Swansea University’s Cultural Institute.


Previous winners of the prize have included Leonora Brito, Lewis Davies, Tristan Hughes and Kate Hamer.

Authors in this anthology: Lindsay Gillespie, Bethan James, Meredith Miller, Laura Morris, Jonathan Page, Matthew G. Rees, Eryl Samuel, Matthew David Scott, Carys Shannon, Anthony Shapland, Satterday Shaw, and Daniel Patrick Luke Strogen.



Originally from Belfast, Elaine Canning is a public engagement specialist, writer and editor living in Swansea, South Wales. She holds an MA and PhD in Hispanic Studies from Queen’s University, Belfast and an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University. She is currently Head of Special Projects at Swansea University and Executive Officer of the Dylan Thomas Prize. As well as having written a monograph and papers on Spanish Golden-Age drama, she has published several short stories. Her debut novel, The Sandstone City, publishes with Aderyn Press in November 2022. She is also editor of Maggie O'Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (forthcoming, Bloomsbury). Twitter: @elaine_canning