Each year the Arts Council of Wales funds the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship, a special award in collaboration with Hay Festival to support a writer in Wales in attending Festival editions around the world. Open to exceptional, ambitious and imaginative creative individuals, working within the literature art form, the Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for career development, while increasing Wales’s artistic profile internationally.

Alys Conran

2019–20 FELLOW

Novelist Alys Conran from North Wales is recipient of the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship 2019–20.

Conran’s second novel Dignity (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) has recently been published to critical acclaim, while her first novel Pigeon (Parthian) was released in 2016 and won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2017, the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and longlisted for the Author’s Choice First Novel Award. Her poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, creative essays, literary translations and other work is to be found in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Originally from North Wales, she speaks Welsh and English as first languages, and also speaks Spanish and Catalan. She has worked as a youth worker, teacher, and in community arts, and is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bangor University.

Cristina Fuentes La Roche, Hay Festival international director, said: “Alys Conran is one of the most exciting contemporary writers around. We’ve enjoyed celebrating her work at Hay Festival Wales over the past few years and are honoured to do so internationally, introducing new readers to her vibrant writing in Mexico, Spain, Peru, Colombia and Croatia. They’re in for a treat.”

Conran said: “I’m so honoured and delighted to be Hay Festival's International Fellow this year, and looking forward to having multilingual conversations, developing cross-cultural creative ideas and sharing inspiration at these wonderful festivals. I’ll not be forgetting where I’m from, though, and will be taking a piece of Welsh writing slate to each place, to honour the role that slate once had in supporting writing and literacy throughout the world.”

Follow Conran's global Hay Festival journey on the International Writer's Blog here.


Recipients of the Fellowship over the years have included Jon Gower, Tiffany Murray, Fflur Dafydd, Owen Sheers, Eurig Salisbury, Jay Griffiths, Jenny Valentine, and the 2018–19 Fellow Dylan Moore, whose debut collection of travel writing Driving Home Both Ways is out now.

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