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Elaine Canning

Harvest: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology

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"Atmospheric, suspenseful and full of symbolism, it’s encouraging to see the wealth of Wales-based talent showcased in the short story form; Harvest offers excitement at what the future holds." – Rhianon Holley, Buzz Magazine


"Matthew G Rees' story, Harvest, lending the collection its title, is a tale of territory, control, of leaving, of rage – at bureaucracy and change – fuelled by the weight of generational expectation as the end of the line." – Anthony Shapland, Nation.Cymru



Inquisitive children and solitary beings; conflicted couples and a sprinkling of spirits and monsters: these are just some of the characters which inhabit the twelve stories in this collection of new contemporary fiction by the winners of the 2023 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.

A young girl discovers a body in the woods near her home; a man lords over his cockle-beds; and a holidaying couple set off on a nocturnal mission. A group of children enlist the help of a witch to assist a dying relative, while a local talent show casts a spotlight on hopes and dreams.

From an All-American Diner deep in the Rhondda to rural Welsh landscapes, working-class communities and cultural and linguisitic journeys beyond Wales, these stories combine traditional storytelling, realism and magical realism as protagonists face their demons head on. They are stories about longing and belonging, departure and desire, sparking with originality.

A collection of new contemporary short stories by Welsh writers, representing the winners of the 2023 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition recognises the very best unpublished short stories in English in any style by writers aged 18 or over who were born in Wales, have lived in Wales for two years or more, or are currently living in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 2023 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,  Naomi Paulus, Laura Morris and Kate Hamer.


Authors in this anthologyRuairi BoltonRuby Burgin, Bethan L. Charles, JL George, Joshua Jones, Emma Moyle, Rachel Powell, Matthew G. Rees, Silvia Rose, Satterday Shaw, Emily Vanderploeg and Dan Williams.



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, including the international 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, was published by Aderyn Press in 2022. She is also editor of Maggie O’Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (forthcoming, Bloomsbury, 2023). She is a member of the British Council Wales' Advisory Committee and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Twitter: @elaine_canning