PENfro, Llangwm, PENfro…
For many Pembrokeshire book-lovers, summer has come to mean Llangwm Literary Festival, while the autumn is PENfro – two beautiful, but quite different locations, at (almost) opposite ends of the county.
This year, being slightly later, visitors to the latter had the pleasure of being greeted to a wonderful display of the reds, yellows and browns of the magnificent trees and shrubs that line the mansion avenue.
Then, when you reached the house – Rhosygilwen – such a mixture of literary events were waiting to entertain you! A celebration of poetry in song, music, and acting; writers’ workshops and talks; drama performances.
This was PENfro’s ninth festival, and I’ve been attending every year since 2013. I’ve written before (in my blog) about the ‘personal’ connection I have with the event, and I am thrilled that this has continued in 2019.
PENfro has always held competitions in a number of writing forms. This year, these consisted of the perennial poetry award, the return of the short story, and the popular drama competition.
And, in a new, exciting initiative, the winners of the short stories and poetry were to feature in an inaugural Festival anthology published by Parthian Books, who have sponsored the festival from the start.
Having won the last short story competition in 2014, I was delighted to be among this year’s top twelve, with my story ‘Dead Sheep/Babies’, which was therefore included in the book.
Overall winner in fiction was Richard Owain Roberts, with ‘Terrence Malick’.
And the winning poem was ‘Heartland’ by Elizabeth Wilson Davies, which gave the anthology its title.
Many congratulations to them.
The book was launched at PENfro on Saturday lunchtime, with many of the contributors attending, and reading our work.
Both judges, Rhiannon Hooson (poetry) and Niall Griffiths (prose) were present and introduced the occasion with a few words about the standard of entries and the way a winner is chosen.
It’s a beautiful-looking publication – the cover by Lianette Art and Design – and contains an amazing variety and quality of work.
It was a pleasure to be there to celebrate the occasion.
With many thanks to PENfro, the judges, Parthian – especially Carly Holmes for organising and editing (along with the judges).
The anthology is available to buy from Parthian Books website.