Success for Llandrindod in the Quick Reads Story-writing Competition

Sioned Elin Hughes

Winner Sioned Elin Hughes

Winner Frances Kay


Frances Kay and Family Verzon Books

The winners of the Welsh Books Council’s Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn Wales-wide creative writing competition are Frances Kay and Sioned Elin Hughes, both from Llandrindod Wells, Powys.

There must be something special in the water in Llandrindod Wells, as the winners of both the Welsh-language and English-language categories of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn Short Story Competition hail from the town.

The writing competition – part of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn campaign – invited aspiring authors in Wales to enter by submitting a short piece of creative writing on a subject of their own choice.
Entrants to the competition, which was open to all residents in Wales writing in either English or Welsh, were limited to a short piece no longer than 2014 words.
The competition formed part of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn campaign – an initiative that, through the publication of eight new titles for Wales each year, aims to encourage reluctant readers to enjoy reading by providing them with bite-size books.
Angharad Tomos, Reading Promotions Project Manager said: “I was overwhelmed by the quality of the entries. The stories were judged not only on their length, but also on their originality, the use of language and the ability to hold the readers’ interest. The aim of the competition was to write a piece that would draw the reader in, and encourage people to read to the end – and the two winning stories certainly succeeded in doing that.”

Frances Kay, winner of the English-language category, is already an established author with the ending of her latest novel, Dollywagglers, set in Wales. Her short story, ‘His Nose and Eyes’, captured the judges’ attention due to its original use of letters to weave the story of intrigue and deceit based in a fantasy land.
Frances Kay said: “Winning this competition has surprised and delighted me. I feel passionately that reading and books are ours, for everyone to enjoy. If reading does not come easily to you, you have my deep respect; surviving in a world where we are besieged on all sides by written words is a major achievement. I hope everyone will enjoy my ‘Quick Reads’ story.”
The judges felt that Sioned Hughes, winner of the Welsh-language category, showed tremendous sensitivity in her writing. Her short story ‘Dydd Mercher’ focuses on two relationships – a blossoming intergenerational friendship and a marriage torn apart by degenerative illness.
According to Sioned, who is the Acting Deputy Headteacher at Ysgol Trefonnen: “Winning the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn Short Story Competition Prize, together with the positive comments from the judges, will encourage me to make time for writing in my busy life as a teacher in the Welsh stream of Ysgol Trefonnen. Who knows – some day, I may have an opportunity of publishing a novel!”
The winners were presented with a set of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn titles and book vouchers to the value of £150.

Copies of all Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn titles are available to purchase on and in bookstores, priced at £1 each, or available to borrow from your local library. They are also available as e-books.

2015 Quick Reads Titles Announced

PicMonkey Collage 2015 Titles

Former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas leads the charge on behalf of the Quick Reads series as the titles of the 2015 series are released.

Fresh from the success of his autobiography Proud, the former Wales rugby captain is among the eight authors revealed today as the names behind the 2015 Quick Reads titles.

“I’m thrilled to be involved with Quick Reads. I have always been passionate about increasing people’s confidence, and the books really do have a positive influence on readers’ lives.” Gareth Thomas

With one in six adults still struggling to read[1], the Quick Reads campaign aims to break down barriers and get Wales reading by producing short, snappy books available from libraries, bookshops and online for just £1.

The latest books in the series will be available from the end of February 2015:

English Titles (Accent Press)

Gareth Thomas – Captain Courage

Beth Reekles – Cwtch Me If You Can

Tom Anderson – Code Black

Jason Mohammad – My Sporting Heroes

 Welsh Titles (Y Lolfa)

Siân James gydag Alun Gibbard – O’r Llinell Biced i San Steffan

Bethan Gwanas– Bryn y Crogwr

Phil Stead – Ar Dy Feic

Gwyn Jenkins – Cymru a’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

In Captain Courage, Thomas uses his own experiences to explain overcoming personal fears. His book will stand alongside a romance novel by Wattpad sensation Beth Reekles; a surfing adventure set during the 2014 storms by novelist and surfer Tom Anderson, and a personal account of some Welsh sporting heroes by BBC Sports commentator Jason Mohammad.

The Welsh Stori Sydyn titles will consist of a horror story from popular author Bethan Gwanas; a personal account of the miners’ strike, 30 years on, by Siân James MP; an overview of Wales and the First World War by historian Gwyn Jenkins, and Phil Stead’s intriguing look at the world of cycling and his own personal journey on two wheels.

Angharad Tomos, from the Welsh Books Council, noted: “Quick Reads are just that —short, snappy books with fewer than 100 pages each, especially written for people who wish to improve their skills and confidence around reading. By taking a bite-sized approach to reading we aim to overcome any confidence issues and show that reading can be a fun and inspiring activity.”

For further information, logos or images regarding Quick Reads, please contact:

Medi Jones-Jackson, Welsh Books Council:

01970 624 151



Read for yourselves 
as well as for the kids

New research published this month shows that modern parents read bedtime stories more often to their children than their parents did with them. The number of parents who regularly read bedtime stories has almost doubled in a generation, with half of all parents now reading to their children every night.

But whilst the number of people reading bedtime stories to their children has increased, the number of adults picking up a book for their own enjoyment has fallen – with ‘lack of time’ given as the most common reason.

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