Swansea & District Writers Circle (SDWC)

A group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, who are passionate about writing.

7 October 2020: Colin R Parsons

Fantasy fiction for children and young adults

Colin R Parsons was born in the Rhondda Valley, where he still lives, and started writing when still a child. He took up his pen again later in life and his first book, "Wizards' Kingdom", was featured at the launch of the Borders book store in Llantrisant in 2006. Colin gave two talks and sold 100 books over the weekend, which is where his journey as a writer began.

He now writes fantasy, steampunk, supernatural and sci-fi novels for children and adults, influenced mainly by the works of Tolkien, CS Lewis and HG Wells. In addition to the the popular "Wizards' Kingdom" series, Colin has written "The Curious World" series of fantasy children's books, several novels for young adults and a YA fantasy short story collection, "The Black Shoebox and Other Strange Stories", due to be published in 2020. He also writes children's picture books in collaboration with Clare Thomas, as well as adult crime novels under his pseudonym, Jake Ridge.

Colin runs the Rhondda Book Fair and has done for the past six years. It's a free event for the public to attend, with many authors in attendance and a special guest talk in the afternoon.

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Jen Wilson. September 2nd 2020

Writing: Is it All That Jazz?

Jen Wilson founded Jazz Heritage Wales in 1986 after the miners' strike. She will be talking to the Circle about her book, FREEDOM MUSIC: Wales, Emancipation and Jazz 1850-1950, which was published in 2019 by the University of Wales Press.

Jen took a circuitous route into the academic world. She left school in 1960 with RSAs in shorthand and typing, but was encouraged back into education by Ursula Masson MA after the miners’ strike. Jen gained an MSc (Econ) in Women’s Studies in 1996 while a Tutor in Performing Arts at DACE Swansea University. She left DACE for the voluntary and community sector, where she developed and delivered community arts projects: Women's Big Band, touring Exhibitions, a schools touring performance Before Freedom, while continuing to write. Her first published piece was Zen And The Art of Thelonius Monk, Honno Press 1989.

Jen has given academic papers in Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and has a paper accepted for Univ. of Austin Texas in July 2020. Jazz Heritage Wales moved into UWTSD in 2009, where Jen was made Hon. Professor of Practice in 2016. She received the Welsh Government’s St. David Award for Culture 2017.

Her publications can be seen at www.jenwilsonjazzpiano.com  Log in to see the presentation and meeting video.


Travel writing after COVID-19: Zoom talk by Karen Phillips

At 7pm on 3 June, Circle members will be welcoming travel and fiction writer Karen Phillips to talk to the group via Zoom. She will be chatting with us about travel writing after the pandemic, but she'll also be holding a general Q&A session on writing and getting published.

Join the circle

All current Circle members will be invited - and new members are always welcome, so if you would like to be involved, please contact us.

About our speaker

Karen is a freelance writer living in Pembrokeshire. She writes fiction with a magical realism twist and narrative non-fiction on travel, scuba diving, women’s health and living overseas.

An award-winning travel writer and recipient of a Literature Wales Bursary, Karen has lived across the world, from Mexico to Turkey, but always returns home to West Wales, where she was born. She is a frequent contributor to online and print journals including "Deeper Blue", the scuba website and "New Welsh Review".

In 2016, she was highly commended in the New Welsh Writing Awards for "Stranger Shores", a book-length account of her trip to the Yucatan, Mexico.

Find out more on Karen's website. 



Dewi Heald. 1st July 2020.

1 July at 7pm the monthly meeting will take place via Zoom and our scheduled speaker, Dewi Heald, will be giving a video talk and a Q&A session. This meeting will be for members only.


Dewi Heald - A sideways look at the world

Dewi Heald writes books, novellas, poetry, blogs and writes and plays his own music too. He claims that his hobbies include trampolining and lying about trampolining.

After studying at Aberystwyth and living for several years in Cardiff, Dewi is now based in Llantwit Major, which is the setting for his novella, "Me, I'm Like Legend, I Am" which won the Highly Commended Award in the New Welsh Review's Dystopian Novella Competition at the Hay Festival 2019. Dewi explained at the time that “I was watching the film 'I am Legend' and I started to wonder why the last survivor of the apocalypse is always living in New York or Los Angeles, so I wrote a version where the last survivors on earth live in Llantwit Major."

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4th March: Researching local history with Geoff Brookes

Researching local history for non-fiction and fiction writers

On Wednesday, March 4th we will be joined by Geoff Brookes who will talk to us about researching local history and traditions.

Our Speaker

After an early life in Sheffield and the Midlands, Geoff Brookes moved to his wife’s home town of Swansea in 1981 and spent 38 years in the teaching profession, beginning a parallel career as a writer in 1998. His early writing included articles and books about education, but Geoff is best known for his local history books, which came about through his writing for “Welsh Country Magazine”. His first history title, “Stories in Welsh Stone”, explored the tales behind gravestones across Wales.

This was followed by several books about the history of Swansea, initially for History Press and then for Amberley Publications, with titles including “Swansea in the 1950s”, “A-Z of Swansea – Places, People, History” and “Swansea in 50 Buildings".

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