Swansea University creative writing graduate Rebecca John has won the PEN International New Voices Award 2015, announced in Canada, for her short story ‘Moon Dog’ from her debut collection of short stories Clown’s Shoes.

Graduate Centre blocks thin

Rebecca F. JohnRebecca F. John is from Pwll, a village on the South Wales coast. She studied Creative Writing at Swansea University. She has been published in Parthian's Nu: Fiction & Stuff, and the Terry Hetherington Award anthologies Cheval 4 and 5.  Her short story, ‘The Dog Track’, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013, and she was highly commended in the 2014 Manchester Fiction Prize.

"Clown’s Shoes" had also been shortlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2015.

In an interview with Wales Arts Review Rebecca John said: 

"One of the great joys of the short story is that it can take you anywhere.  The stories in Clown’s Shoes amble around the globe, trip across history and into the future; they run through the minds of starving little girls and lost mothers, desperate men and neglected children; they explore voices and styles that might not be sustainable over the length of a novel.  And though they are small, short stories tackle the very biggest of subjects with more punch, often, than any novel."

Clown's Shoes Rebecca JohnSusie Wild, Publishing Editor at Parthian Booksand Rebecca’s editor for Clown’s Shoes said: 

‘We are so thrilled for Rebecca F. John, it is wonderful to see new Welsh talent recognised in this international award and we are sure she has a future as glittering as her writing ahead of her.’

Rebecca will be officially launching Clown's Shoes at a free event chaired by Peter Stead at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea as part of the Dylan Thomas Festival at 2.30pm on Saturday 7th November.  

There will also be a book signing and Q&A with the author on Monday 23rd November from 12.30pm in John Smith’s Bookshop, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University (Singleton Campus).  This is  free event, and all are welcome.

About Clown's Shoes:

Dr Francesca Rhydderch, associate lecturer in creative writing at Swansea University, said of the book:

"This first collection of stories features a wonderfully diverse array of characters, including a dog racer, a music shop owner, singers, circus performers, and two young sisters in Warsaw during the Second World War. Behind each colourful backdrop lies the inner turmoil of depression, grief and loss, which Rebecca F. John explores with touching empathy and a profound humanity.’