New Welsh Writing Awards 2017

7 April 2017

Creative writing postgraduate Joao Morais

Cardiff postgraduate student makes Novella Longlist

A postgraduate student from the University has been shortlisted for the AmeriCymru Prize in the novella category of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017.

Shortly due to complete a PhD in Creative Writing, Joao Morais is among ten writers longlisted for the popular prize. Both new and established writers based in Wales, England and the US are in the running for the top prize.

Taking some surprising twists and turns in 19th century Cardiff, Morais’ novella Smugglers’ Tunnel charts the journey of a young man struggling to escape the shadow of his late father, while uncovering the mystery behind an exotic trinket.

Winner of the 2013 Terry Hetherington Prize for Young Writers, Morais has previously been shortlisted for the Academi Rhys Davies Short Story Prize, the Percy French Prize for Comic Verse, and the All Wales Comic Verse Award. His first short story collection is due out next year with Parthian.

New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies, who judged both categories with help from students from Aberystwyth University, said:

“These Awards keep going from strength to strength in their third year with a much-increased number of entries and an excellent standard of writing. The novella category this year offers a range of voice and expertise of style, as well as historical span, that bodes well for the future of the novella in Wales, a place that has long been a haven for the shorter form in literature.”

The New Welsh Writing Awards shortlist will be announced at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 4 May, with winners announced at the Hay Festival on 1 June.

Joao Morais follows in fellow postgraduate footsteps. Last year Cardiff postgraduate Nathan Munday won the New Welsh Writing Award in the travel writing category.