Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize 2020 open for submissions

The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre was established in 2016. Open to new and emerging writers living in the UK aged 18 or over, the Prize was established to celebrate and develop life writing in the UK thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. Blake Morrison is Patron of the Prize.

Closing date 3rd February 2020

Now in its fourth year, the Life Writing Prize, in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, was established to find and develop the best life writing from emerging writers from across the UK. The Prize defines life writing as ‘intended to be true’ – work that reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences through non-fiction.

The competition, which is free to enter, is open to writers who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent.

This year’s judges are the writers Kerry Hudson and Nell Stevens, and Sathnam Sanghera, an award-winning columnist and feature writer for The Times.

Others supporting the Prize this year include writer Max Porter; Colin Grant, historian, writer and producer, and Kerri ní Dochartaigh, whose work was highly commended in the inaugural Life Writing Prize in 2017. They will mentor the winning and commended writers.

Twelve writers will be longlisted and offered publication on the Spread the Word website, and offered publication in a new Life Writing Prize booklet designed to showcase the Prize’s top writers to the literary world.

The winner of The Life Writing Prize will receive £1500, an Arvon course, a writing mentor, two years’ membership of the Royal Society of Literature and an optional development meeting with an agent and editor. Two highly commended writers receive a writing mentor and £500.

All 12 longlisted writers will be invited to attend and read from their work at a special Prize celebration event at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London in June 2020.

The Prize is generously funded by Joanna Munro.

Further information on how to enter the prize can be found at https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/projects/life-writing-prize/

Free Music & Mince Pies Concert,

21st Dec 2019 , 3-4pm, Bethany Baptist Church Rhiwbina, Cardiff

A FREE Music and Mince Pies Christmas concert  will  be held at Bethany Baptist Church Rhiwbina on Saturday 21st December 3-4pm with a retiring collection in aid of the work of Live Music Now in Wales. 
It is an all age event and dementia friendly. Our fantastic brass quintet Blackweir Brass will help herald the arrival of Christmas with a range of festive and familiar tunes, and free mince pies and hot drinks will be served afterwards. 
Live Music Now is the UK’s leading musicians development and outreach charity, and in Wales we work in all 22 counties delivering 350-550 performances a year. In particular we bring the transforming power of high quality live music to care homes and hospitals with isolated older people and those living with dementia, as well as rurally deprived primary schools and children with special educational needs and disabilities. We are also currently working with Ty Hafan children’s hospice and Noah’s Ark children’s hospital.
Here is a short video which explains more of our work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSL-_2L3mM0&t=31s
We hope you can join us for this free festive celebration!

Walking with my eyes Exhibition at Arcade Campfa, Cardiff

ARCADE CAMPFA 3b Queen’s Arcade, Queen St, Cardiff CF10 2BY

I will be exhibiting artwork that I have produced during my residency at ARCADE. The exhibition is entitled “Walking with My Eyes” I am a neurodiverse artist and the work displayed explores my experience with autism.

Opening event27th of November (6-8pm)
Exhibition dates 27th November 2019 – 8th January 2020


2018 Poetry iBook is out now

Disability Arts Cymru’s Poetry Competition 2018 iBook is now available for download

Absolutely free, £0.00 is all it costs to download this colourful iBook, full of the images from 2018’s annual exhibition and poetry competition brought together into one publication. 

The iBook can be read on any iPad or Mac computer. If you do not have access to either of these, you can download the whole thing as a pdf file instead. 

This is the 4th year we have produced this publication, the other 3 are also available on the iBooks store. Why not check them all out and take the inspiration to enter the next poetry competition which will be based on this year’s theme of ‘Trust’ – keep an eye out for the opening of that competition on here, or sign up as a member to get a weekly update on everything we are doing and more. Membership is free to disabled artists living in Wales and at a small cost for non-disabled artists and organisations. 

Have a look at the slides below for screenshot of this year’s book, then use the download links at the bottom of the page to grab your free copy.


Can be viewed:

  • On iPad with iBook 2 or later and iOS 5 or later
  • On iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later
  • On a Mac with OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later

Download pdf

Can be viewed on just about anything

Disability Arts Cymru Appoints New Director

It is with great delight that Disability Arts Cymru has appointed Ruth Gould (MBE) as its new Director.

Hailing from Liverpool, Ruth has been working in the disability arts sector since the mid 90’s, mostly known for her pioneering work as Director of the award winning DaDaFest.
Ruth is eager to bring her years of experience to the role, but acutely aware of the need to portray unique arts and expressions from Welsh perspectives. Ruth hopes to develop a more national and international platform for new work, emerging and established Welsh Artists and practitioners, as well as foster new connections across the country.
Ruth says,

“I am so looking forward to getting involved with DAC. It is an organisation I have admired from afar. It is one in which I feel my skills can flourish to increase its impact with this next phase to become a leading Disability Arts Organisation within the UK and beyond.
Though it is a challenge to leave my beloved Liverpool, I am excited to be settling in Cardiff and becoming more immersed in Welsh culture and its arts; and familiarising myself with the language”.

Aled Rhys-Jones – Chair of DAC says,

“We are thrilled that Ruth has joined the staff of DAC, bringing with her a vast knowledge and experience of the sector. The time is now for disabled artists and we are looking forward to exciting developments for the organisation and a whole new world of opportunities for disabled artists in Wales”.

For more information contact  [email protected].  01570493356: 02920551040. Text: 07726112784

Ruth Gould MBE

Celfyddydau Anabledd Cymru yn Penodi Cyfarwyddwr Newydd

Mae’n bleser mawr gan Celfyddydau Anabledd Cymru roi gwybod ei fod wedi penodi Ruth Gould (MBE) fel ei Gyfarwyddwr newydd. Mae Ruth, sy’n hanu o Lerpwl, wedi bod yn gweithio yn y sector celfyddydau anabledd ers canol y 90au, ac mae hi fwyaf adnabyddus am ei gwaith arloesol fel Cyfarwyddwr y DaDaFest arobryn.

Mae Ruth yn awyddus i ddod â’i blynyddoedd o brofiad i’r rôl, ond mae hi’n ymwybodol iawn o’r angen i bortreadu celfyddydau a mynegiannau unigryw o bersbectifau Cymreig. Mae Ruth yn gobeithio datblygu llwyfan mwy cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol ar gyfer gwaith newydd ac artistiaid ac ymarferwyr newydd a sefydliedig o Gymru, yn ogystal â meithrin cysylltiadau newydd ar draws y wlad.

Meddai Ruth,

“Rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn fawr at weithio gyda DAC.  Mae’n sefydliad rwyf wedi’i edmygu o bell. Rwy’n teimlo y gall fy sgiliau ffynnu er mwyn cynyddu ei effaith gyda’r cam nesaf hwn i ddod yn sefydliad Celfyddydau Anabledd blaenllaw yn y DU a thu hwnt.
Er ei bod hi’n anodd gadael Lerpwl, rwy’n edrych ymlaen at ymgartrefu yng Nghaerdydd ac at ymgolli yn niwylliant a chelfyddydau Cymru; ac at ymgyfarwyddo â’r iaith.

Meddai Aled Rhys-Jones – Cadeirydd DAC,

“Rydym wrth ein boddau bod Ruth wedi ymuno â staff DAC, gan ddod â gwybodaeth a phrofiad helaeth o’r sector gyda hi. Nawr ydy’r amser ar gyfer artistiaid anabl, ac rydym yn edrych ymlaen at ddatblygiadau cyffrous ar gyfer y sefydliad, ac at fyd newydd sbon o gyfleoedd i artistiaid anabl yng Nghymru. “

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth, anfonwch e-bost at [email protected].  Ffôn 02920551040. Testun: 07726112784

The Big MaDCaff Project is happening

MaDCaff is going National, and we want you to get involved

We are very pleased to announce that our MaDCaff project, which has been running successfully in and around Ceredigion for 5 years, is about to go National with the help of funding from the WCVA’s Volunteering in Wales grant. 

MaDCaff is a pop-up café style open mic event showcasing the musical talents of people affected by mental illness. It was set up in response to the difficulty that many very talented musicians, dancers, poets, performers who have personal experience of mental illness face in trying to get an audience for their work. The music business, venues and organisations don’t always respond well when a performer pulls out at the last minute because their anxiety has become overwhelming. We decided on the open mic as a pressure free opportunity, nobody is named in advance publicity so there’s no pressure to attend or play, it’s totally up to how they feel on the day.

This project will see 7 new MaDCaff groups forming, all around Wales, with two new groups in the North West, North East and South and one extra group in West/ Central Wales. Each of the 7 new groups will put on 4 MaDCaff  events between now and 31/03/2020. Volunteers will have some amazing training opportunities available to them and each group will be supported by one of our Regional Officers with the aim of ultimately becoming self-sustaining as we have done in Ceredigion.


If you are interested in signing up as a volunteer or are interested in the performance opportunities or have a good, accessible venue in mind please get in touch and we will direct you to your nearest DAC Regional Officer. Email [email protected] or call 02920 551040

Here’s the Big Announcement that went out on Facebook last week, listen to find out more about MaDCaff and the volunteers posts that we will be looking to fill.

The Big Announcement

Posted by MaDCaff on Wednesday, 3 April 2019

MaDCaff is funded by Volunteering in wales funding from WCVA, and has been supported by Disability Arts Cymru from the beginning 

Dugout – An Amazon Adventure

Presented by Adventure Travel Film Night

November 17 Tachwedd

A multi award winning documentary film following Benjamin Sadd (a filmmaker) and James Trundle (an artist) as they travel alone through the Ecuadorian Amazon to build a canoe from scratch. The journey builds on their 10-year friendship in this isolated and often challenging environment. Their relationship is tested as they struggle to deal with the conditions and the complexity of the issues that surround this part of the Amazon Rainforest.
Mae’r ffilm yn dilyn Benjamin Sadd (gwneuthurwr ffilm) a James Trundle (artist) wrth iddyn nhw deithio i Amazon yr Ecwador i adeiladu canŵ o ddim, yna fynd ar eu pen eu hunain drwy’r goedwig law. Mae’r daith yn adeiladu ar eu degawd o gyfeillgarwch mewn amgylchedd unig a heriol yn aml, gan roi prawf ar eu perthynas wrth iddyn nhw ymdrechu i ddelio gydag amodau a chymhlethdodau y materion sydd ynghlwm â’r rhan yma o Goedwig Law yr Amazon.


Visually Impaired Audience Guide for Welsh Venues and Companies | Canllaw Cynulleidfaoedd â Nam ar y Golwg i Sefydliadau a Chwmnïoedd Celfyddydol Cymru

Invitation to the Discussion

I’m Chloë Clarke, a visually impaired theatre-maker and audio description consultant. Much of my work focuses on improving the theatre experience for visually impaired audiences and helping those producing theatre to understand and implement access.

Arts Council Wales has commissioned me, in collaboration with Disability Arts Cymru, to publish a comprehensive and practical guide for Welsh venues and companies to help develop visually impaired (VI) audiences.

We are very keen to hear your thoughts on what a helpful and practical guide would look like for you. Please join us for an open discussion to share your views. What are the barriers you face? Whose responsibility is it? How much adjustment is reasonable?

Before the session we invite you to join us for a matinee performance of ‘The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?’, a collaboration between Chloe Clarke, Elbow Room Theatre and Galeri Caernarfon, a 60-minute comedy exploring a new style of audio description. This will give attendees a chance to experience integrated access that considers the needs of VI audiences from the outset.

This session will be held at Galeri, Caernarfon on 2nd November 2018 at 3pm following the matinee at 2pm.

To express your interest please contact [email protected], call or text 07968 139020 or contact Galeri directly to book tickets www.galericaernarfon.com 01286 68522.

A Poster that says “The importance of being described earnestly’ and depicting a garden scene with a table bearing cake and tea, a man in a suit sits at the table, eating cake with one hand and holding a red handbag in the other. A woman stands to one side, wearing headphones, she is throwing a cup of tea towards the man, the camera has captured the tea in mid air

Gwahoddiad i’r drafodaeth.

Fy enw i yw Chloë Clarke, dwi’n ddyfeisiwr theatr gyda nam ar fy ngolwg ac yn ymgynghorydd sain ddisgrifio. Mae rhan helaeth o fy ngwaith yn ffocysu ar wella‘r profiad theatrig i gynulleidfaoedd sydd â nam ar y golwg ac hefyd i helpu’r rheiny sy’n cynhyrchu theatr i ddeall ac i weithredu yr anghenion hygyrchedd.

Mae Cyngor y Celfyddydau Cymru wedi fy nghomisiynu, mewn cydweithrediad gyda Disabilty Arts Cymru, i gyhoeddi canllaw ymarferol a chynhwysfawr i sefydliadau a chwmnïau celfyddydol yng Nghymru i’ch helpu chi dyfu cynulleidfaoedd sydd â nam ar y golwg.

Rydym yn awyddus i glywed eich barn ar sut i chi buasai canllaw defnyddiol ac ymarferol yn edrych. Plis ymunwch gyda ni am drafodaeth agored i rannu eich barn. Pa rwystrau ydych yn eu hwynebu?  Pwy ddylai dderbyn y cyfrifoldeb? Faint o addasu sy’n rhesymol?

Cyn y sesiwn rydym am eich gwahodd i berfformiad o ‘The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?’, mewn cyd-weithrediad rhwng Chloë Clarke, Elbow Room Theatre a Galeri Caernarfon. Comedi 60-munud o hyd sy’n datblygu arddull newydd o sain ddisgrifio. Bydd hyn yn rhoi cyfle i’r gynulleidfa i brofi hygyrchedd sydd wedi ei integreiddio i’r darn, ac yn ystyried anghenion cynulleidfaoedd sydd â nam ar y golwg o’r cychwyn cyntaf.

Cynhelir y sesiwn yn Galeri, Caernarfon ar yr 2il o Dachwedd 2018am 3yh, yn syth wedi’r matinee sydd am 2yh.

I ddatgan eich diddordeb plis cysylltwch â [email protected], ffoniwch neu anfonwch neges destun at 07968 139020, neu cysylltwch gyda Galeri yn uniongyrchol i arbed tocynnau drwy www.galericaernarfon.com neu 01286 685222.

Tŷ Newydd Courses 2019

Explore your creativity in Wales’ Year of Discover


Literature Wales is proud to announce a new programme of creative writing courses at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre for 2019. Earmarked by Visit Wales as the Year of Discovery, in 2019 we will encourage the writers of Wales and beyond to visit our home between the mountains and sea to discover their creativity and hone their skills as a writer.

The new programme offers an eclectic mix of courses and retreats suitable for a range of writers, from the up-and-coming and unpublished, to the established who wish to join a masterclass. From today, you can register for all courses on the Tŷ Newydd website, and a discount of 10% is available on all courses until the end of October with the code TN2019.

Programme highlights include a course on writing for TV led by Matthew Hall, the creator of record-breaking BBC Drama Keeping Faith; a Crime Writing Course led by bestselling author and ex-detective Clare Mackintosh; and two Poetry Masterclasses tutored by Gillian Clarke, former National Poet of Wales. A number of noteworthy guest readers will join our tutors during the year, including Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, award-winning literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes, and former Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner.

Poetry courses in 2019 will explore a range of themes from the sea, to politics, to finding poetry in our past; and feature a wide-range of tutors including Paul Farley, Patience Agbabi, Raymond Antrobus, Deryn Rees-Jones, clare e potter, Inua Ellams and Pascale Petit. Guest readers in 2019 will include Andrew McMillan, Jay Bernard and the spoken word collective, Tongue Fu.

Prose courses will include short stories, novels, YA fiction, myths and fairytales, editing, life-writing and will feature tutors and guest readers Tom Bullough, Rebecca F John, Mavis Cheek, Catherine Fisher, Holly Müller and many more. Our Emerging Writers Course for writers under 30, run in partnership with Poetry Wales, Wales Arts Review and Parthian books, will return after a successful debut last year, and will feature poetry in addition to prose.

Further courses include: LGBTQ+ Writing; Creative Writing for Welsh Learners; Storytelling; Writing to Heal; Reviewing the Arts; and Nature Writing with Guardian country diarist Mark Cocker and poet Kathleen Jamie.

Leusa Llewelyn, Head of Tŷ Newydd said, “Tŷ Newydd, with its unique Welsh welcome, exists to provide support for writers of all backgrounds, abilities and ages to develop their writing. There’s something to suit everyone, and the range of courses offers an opportunity for participants to discover their own writing potential.”

During every course, home cooked meals and treats will be provided by the resident chef, and you will enjoy the tranquillity that Tŷ Newydd and its beautiful surroundings provide.

For further information about Tŷ Newydd, including testimonials from recent participants, and to read the programme in its entirety, visit www.tynewydd.wales or to request a print programme contact Tŷ Newydd: 01766 522811/ [email protected]