Parthian: A Carnival of Voices
‘For almost thirty years, [Parthian] have been one of the most consistently agile imprints in Wales.’ – Mike Parker, Planet Magazine
‘I'm always delighted to hear of new releases from Parthian because I know they will be of such a high standard. From the selection of its authors and topics covered through to the editing and production of the books, Parthian exudes quality. It puts out a dazzling, stimulating, thought-provoking selection of books on par with (if not better and more interesting than) the bigger publishing houses.’ – Jenny White, journalist
‘a vital part of our publishing scene in Wales and great ambassador for the best of Welsh writing.’ – Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales
We have always published first time fiction and aim to give new writers as much development support as we can. Our recent success includes writers such Richard Owain Roberts (Not the Booker Award Winner 2020), Alys Conran (Wales Book of the Year Winner 2017).Tristan Hughes (Stanford’s Fiction Winner 2018), and Lloyd Markham (Betty Trask Award Winner 2018) Glen James Brown (shortlisted for the Orwell Fiction Award 2019).
“My novel—Ironopolis—exists today as the best-possible version of my novel, and this is entirely down to the bottomless reserve of enthusiasm, care, insight and attention to detail…from editorial and design, to post-publication support and marketing, the entire team went above and beyond what I expected as a debut novelist.” Glen James Brown, writer
The literary culture of Wales
An engagement with the culture of Wales through our Library of Wales series has reached fifty titles of classic writing. The Library of Wales has been a ten-year publishing project with support from the Welsh Government and the Welsh Books Council which has seen an investment of over £500,000 in the literary and educational culture of Wales, with sales approaching 100,000 copies across print and digital formats. It has changed the perception of Welsh writing, with the Poetry 1900-2000, a title commissioned by Parthian for the series being adopted onto the Welsh Joint Education GCSE English syllabus while many of the books are now studied at university level in Wales.
We have launched a new series Modern Wales in collaboration with The Rhys Davies Trust which takes a look at the recent history of Wales this includes the publication of major works of biography, Rocking the Boat: Welsh Women who Championed Equality 1840-1990 by Angela V John and Labour Country: Political Radicalism and Social Democracy in South Wales 1831 to 1985 by Daryl Leeworthy. The Rhys Davies Literary Trust have committed to a three-year investment in the series.
‘Parthian takes chances, moves fast, and because of that consistently surprises, enlightens, and excites with its lists. As a novelist, it's a publishing house that has given me the space to evolve as a writer out there in the open, which is such a rare thing nowadays. Parthian is an invaluable cultural institution, and one that puts the writers first.’ – Gary Raymond, author, critic and presenter of The Review Show
Our engagement strategy is to work collaboratively and look to develop new initiatives. We aim to produce attractive and readable books in our areas of interest: new writing, the heart of Welsh culture and a view to the wider world through our Parthian Carnival.
The Classics of Welsh Literature
We also publish the Library of Wales series edited by Professor Dai Smith. The series includes books such as Border Country, The Black Parade and Dannie Abse’s Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve. Recent books include Dat's Love and Other Stories by Leonora Brito and In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl by Rachel Trezise. Booker long-listed author Stevie Davies for her novel The Element of Water.
Over the years we have developed good translation links throughout Europe and beyond, and our books have appeared in over thirty foreign-language editions including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, Danish, Turkish, Portuguese and Russian. New for 2021 will be The Blue Tent by Richard Gwyn in French and Gary Raymond’s The Golden Orphans in Turkish and Arabic, while we have just signed a deal with the Nigerian publisher Purple Shelves for Eric Ngalle’s memoir.
The Carnival of Voices
A growing list of fiction in translation from European languages, which has included novels translated from Basque, Latvian, Catalan, Czech, French, Slovakian, and Turkish. We have been publishing a series of books with support from Creative Europe. An investment of £150,000 over three years, collaboration with the literature councils of five European countries and eleven new books in translation from some of the smaller languages of the European Union such as Greek, Danish and Irish.
Cortina Butler, Director Literature at British Council said, “I am delighted that Parthian Books has received this funding for their programme – a shining example of the way that independent publishers lead the way in identifying and promoting literature in translation in the UK.”
For all rights enquiries please contact Richard Davies: email@example.com
The Parthian Team
Gillian Griffiths is one the founding partners of Parthian and is the financial director. She has worked in fine art and photography and held a number of exhibitions in Wales including Child for a Moment and Freeways, both at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Her photography and artwork have appeared on a wide range of covers for Parthian including Grace, Tamar, and Laszlo the Beautiful and Tree of Crows.
Carly Holmes is an editor and has been the publishing manager with Parthian since 2019, though her involvement with us goes back to 2013 when she started taking on freelance editing projects. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Scrapbook, was shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award and her award-winning short stories have been widely published. Her debut 'Literary Strange' short story collection, Figurehead, was published by Tartarus Press in 2018 and her second novel, Crow Face, Doll Face, was published by Honno Press in October 2023. Before taking this role with Parthian Carly worked as a freelance editor and proof-reader for a variety of publishing houses and literary agencies, and a mentor for CW students at TSD Lampeter University. She also event-managed the Penfro literary festival for three years, and managed and hosted 'The Cellar Bards' spoken word events for four years.
Ravi Pawar is the Headteacher of Bryntirion Comprehensive School in Bridgend. He was born in Merthyr and grew up in Neath before studying English at Cardiff University and education at Swansea University. He has taught in schools in Cardiff, Merthyr and Neath and was head of Blackwood Comprehensive from 2009 before taking up his current role at Bryntirion in 2018. He has edited a number of projects for Parthian. He is a keen cyclist, travelling anywhere, and reading anything! He is Chair of the board of Parthian Books Ltd.
Dai Smith edited the Library of Wales series and is the current editor of the Parthian Modern Wales Series. He is the chair of the Dylan Thomas Award. He studied History at Balliol College, Oxford, and Literature at Columbia University, New York City, before a Phd at Swansea University for a thesis on the South Wales Miners' Federation, which subsequently became the subject of his book, with Hywel Francis, The Fed. He has written extensively about modern Wales, including Aneurin Bevan and the World of South Wales (1993) and Wales: A Question for History (1998). His critically acclaimed biography of Raymond Williams was published in 2008 as Raymond Williams: A Warrior's Tale. His debut novel of stories Dream On was published in 2013 as well as a novella What I Know I Cannot Say in 2015. His novel is The Crossing was published in 2021. A new work, a memoir, Off the Track will appear in 2022.
Susie Wildsmith is Parthian's publishing editor specialising in poetry and fiction. With Parthian since 2007, she’s worked with award-winning writers including Mari Ellis Dunning, Lloyd Markham and Rebecca F. John. Following an MA in creative writing from Swansea University and an MA in Journalism from Goldsmiths, Wildsmith has also built a portfolio career in the arts as a journalist, festival and events organiser, performer, editor and university lecturer.
Writing as Susie Wild, she toured extensively with her debut poetry collection Better Houses. Her second collection Windfalls was published in 2021. She also writes fiction: The Art of Contraception (2010) and Arrivals (2011).
Richard Lewis Davies
Davies is a founding partner of Parthian which he set up with Gillian Griffiths and Ravi Pawar in 1993. It was initially established to publish his first novel, Work, Sex and Rugby but quickly developed into a leading independent publisher based in Wales with a focus on Welsh writers working in English while also assembling a carnival of voices from many languages and cultures. Parthian received the inaugural Bookseller Small Publisher of the Year Award for Wales in 2019. He has worked as an editor on recent award-winning books including Pigeon by Alys Conran and Hummingbird by Tristan Hughes while project managing the Parthian India Wales Valley City Village venture.
In addition to publishing, he has a parallel career as a creative writer. His work has received a number of awards, including the Rhys Davies short story prize and the John Morgan writing award. He has also worked extensively in Welsh theatre. Davies has been involved in the literary scene in Wales since 1990 and is the current commercial director of Parthian and the Library of Wales series.
Gina Rathbone is a freelance project editor who has worked with Parthian since 2020. She has worked on a wide range of books including the award-winning novel The Lake by Bianca Bellová and Charles – the King and Wales by Huw Thomas. Her background in corporate communications combined with her English Literature degree from Cardiff University led her into proofreading and copyediting. She is an outdoor enthusiast, and when she isn’t reading, can be found biking and hiking
After interning at Parthian Books in 2020, Holly Porter now works as a freelance Publishing Assistant within the press, undertaking projects in several areas of the publishing process including production, editorial and publicity. Some of her biggest projects to date include co-editing the poetry anthology New World, New Beginnings produced for the 2021 Being Human festival, and her interview with awarding winning author, Rachel Trezise, which was printed in the limited-edition version of her novel Easy Meat as exclusive content. Holly has a particular interest in queer fiction and contemporary literature. She has a first-class degree in English Literature from Swansea University where she was awarded the John Victor Evans Prize by the Swansea University Senate. She has also interned for The Dylan Thomas Prize. Holly currently resides in the Midlands, but often takes nostalgic trips to visit Swansea, the place where her love of books was cultivated.
David Lloyd Owen
David Lloyd Owen was born in London and spent his summers at the family house near Llangrannog, Ceredigion. After reading environmental biology at Liverpool University, he went to Jesus College, Oxford for his doctoral research on the behaviour and ecology of the chough. He put his animal behaviour research to good use by becoming an equity analyst in the City of London. He started following the water sector in 1989. Since 1996, he has been a water consultant, advising governments, multilateral institutions, companies, and banks about water policy, especially regarding finance and sustainability. He has written books on water management and finance and travel to Wales in the 17th and 18th century in Wilder Wales.
He now lives in Newcastle Emlyn with his wife, Polly, children Bethan and Trystan. As well as collecting books on Wales and south & central Asia, he dabbles in rural life, writing, epicure and local politics, serving as Mayor of Cardigan in 2003-4.
The Parthian publishing programme is produced with support from of the Books Council of Wales.