Rhys Davies Short Story Workshops


In 2013, Literature Wales secured funding from the Rhys Davies Trust to initiate a Rhys Davies Education and Outreach programme into the South Wales Literature Initiative. This runs in all eight authorities, to reflect Rhys Davies’ heritage as ‘the writer of the valleys’. This programme will target young people and those who are out of work, with the aim to up-skill and offer training opportunities through creative engagement in a meaningful and innovative way, taking Rhys Davies as the inspiration and starting point.

Celebrated author Rachel Trezise is the champion of the project and has been part of a team of authors delivering workshops throughout South East Wales since June 2013.

Projects to date have included workshops with:

RCT Young Carers. Young carers are children and young people who are the main carers of a sick or disabled parent or sibling.  According to the 2011 Census, there are almost 200 000 young carers in the UK. Throughout June and July members of the group worked with Rachel Trezise to create a series of short stories.

Valleys Kids.  Valleys Kids is a charity based in South Wales with a 34-year track record of working with disadvantaged children and families. Their  work is about changing lives for the better. The Rhondda  Valleys now rank in some of the most deprived areas of Europe. Valleys Kids works alongside local people to improve the lives of children and families in these communities, helping people to help themselves. Throughout July and August members of the group worked with Rachel Trezise to create a series of short stories.


Treorchy and Bridgend school link: Engaged, gifted and talented young people from Treorchy and Bridgend enjoyed a series of workshops with Rachel Trezise exploring how to write dialogue for a play. The young people were also supported in attending a day of workshops with ‘Dirty Protest’ supported by the National Theatre Wales, as well as enjoying the opportunity to watch Rachel Trezise’s Play ‘Tonypandimonium.

Newport Communities First:  a project working specifically with young men using sport as a means of engagement. During an intensive week in August, members of the group worked with Mike Church to create a number of scenarios inspired by experiences in the sports changing room. Here are some of their recordings:


Torfaen Youth Forum: Torfaen Young People’s Forum was set up to make sure young people’s voices are heard in Torfaen. Young people have a right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account (UNCRC article 12). During an intensive week in August members of the international Youth Forum from Torfaen, Germany, Portugal and France worked with Mike Church exploring scenarios and issues around young people in Europe today.

Caerphilly:  The New and Expectant Parents Project provides education and support for new and expectant mothers under the age of 25. It is a young person centred project, which aims to support young mothers and expectant mothers living within the Caerphilly Borough. This is achieved through delivery of a programme, which has run for ten years and is designed to ensure the inclusion and participation of these young women. The young Mum’s enjoyed a series of workshops with Cheryl Beer exploring Nursery stories and fairytales. They enjoyed creating a series of storytelling devices including story maps, story mobiles, story talkers and story wheels. The group created a collection of three digital stories, which enabled them to achieve an OCN in digital storytelling.