Friday, 1 June 2018

Tales From Wales Summer Issue - Your Free Digital Download

Welcome to the Summer edition of Tales From Wales
Here is your download link:

The Spring issue was downloaded 392 times. 
However, disappointingly, only 22 people 'joined the revolution'.

Please take the time to JOIN THE REVOLUTION.

The Autumn issue (September 1st) is now almost full but I am still accepting contributions for the Winter edition (December 1st).

Tales From Wales exists to:
1. Provide great free content for readers.
2. Provide Welsh writers and artists with an opportunity to showcase their work.


Please support us whether as a reader or writer and SHARE this blog post and download link.

Without your support Tales From Wales will cease to exist.


There are hard copies available on Amazon CLICK HERE

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Tales From Wales Summer Edition

No guesses what this blog post is about. It's basically a heads up to let you know that the Summer edition of Tales From Wales will be available to download and/or purchase from Amazon on 1st June.

Make sure you get the Summer edition delivered to your inbox by joining our revolution (see right).

To date Tales From Wales has been downloaded over 380 times. To put this in some kind of context paid sales of the three main franchised English-language periodicals in Wales (Planet, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales) in 2011/12 averaged 549 per issue.

We have some way to go to match that but the advantage we have is that our digital magazines are free. Tales From Wales is not under any pressure from any external body to justify its existence. Tales From Wales exists  for Welsh writers as long as they want to use it as a platform for their work. If there is no demand it will simply cease to exist.
Hopefully that will not be the case but that's up to you.

The Summer publication of Tales From Wales includes:
Short Stories:
Sally Spedding’s ‘Strangers Waiting’: A young woman discovers stampeding cattle and amorous drovers are not the only dangers she must face.
‘The Man Who Kept the Red Flag Flying’ is Dave Edwards account of a Rhondda boy who helped save one of the most famous football clubs in the world.
‘Saved by The Bell’ by Bel Roberts: How a teacher’s most disruptive pupil became her salvation.
Phil Rowlands’ ‘Remember Yesterday’ is a salutary warning to all middle aged men that they re-visit their first love affair at their peril.
Lucy Mitchell’s Roxy is back and on ‘Her First Date’. Will her dating app turn up trumps this time?
Poignant contributions from Melanie Peet (New Zealand) and Tony Berry (Australia) in our Wales Around the World feature.
If you love words then you must read one of Terry Victor’s unique blog posts – ‘You Must Remember This’.
Authors Extracts include:
‘The Crossing Place’ by Karen Ankers, is a dark edged love story.
‘Where Rowans Intertwine’ by Margaret Grant is a historical novel for those who enjoy a mystical tale of romance set against the background of the Roman occupation of Celtic Wales.
‘Hidden Chapters’ by Mary Grand is a tale of tragedy and family secrets that threaten Catrin’s present and future happiness.
‘Bits & Pieces’ is where you will find poems and short short-stories by Arthur Cole, Tony Lawrence and Angela Saunderson.
Author Seamus Gallagher offers hard won advice to aspiring authors.
The Summer Edition of Tales From Wales is graced by stunning paintings from the artists of Abergaveny. Contact details included.

Finally, Ifan Odwyn Jones, an Australian ex-pat who featured in the Spring edition was so encouraged seeing his poem in print that he went ahead and published an anthology that is well worth the read and available on Amazon. Odwyn has lived a remarkable life and is one of those people who makes me proud to be Welsh.

REMINDER: To ensure you receive your download link to the free Summer edition of Tales From Wales delivered to your inbox on June 1st please JOIN OUR REVOLUTION

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Writers, the BAD NEWS is. . .You Have to Fight Your Own Corner

From comments I've received from writers, published, self-published or otherwise it's obvious the vast majority feel they are on their own when it comes to 'getting their book out there'.
This is not something most aspiring authors want to hear. Surely once you've written that fantastic novel everyone will clamour to buy it? The sole purpose of this blog is to encourage writers but the cold hard facts are these:
According to Amazon(February 2016) only 40 self-published authors make money. (These figures relate to Kindle)
Before you ditch your laptop in despair let me clarify something. . . by 'make money' Amazon mean selling more than 1 million eBook copies in the last 5 years. Doesn't sound quite so bad now.
Hold on though, back in 2016 there were already 4 million titles in the Amazon Kindle store(New York Times.) If you publish on Kindle that's a lot of competition.
Even if you are the next Stephen King how do you stand out from the crowd?
There is no easy answer but one thing for sure you can't sit back and wait for something to happen.

The last thing most new writers 
want to do is spend time on something else like social media. It's hard enough staying focused as it is. But, let's look at this another way. 
What if, like the bestselling elite, you were writing for an audience in waiting. Wouldn't an expectant readership be a great incentive to stay focused and persevere? And that brings us right back to social media. You just have to try and embrace it.
In our Summer edition of Tales From Wales author Seamus Gallacher asks the question:
"Mister Author, why are you Blogging so much when you'should' be Writing?"
Seamus is a committed blogger and in the article he explains why. By January 2014 downloads of his novels had exceeded 70,000. Not too shabby eh? Perhaps he is someone worth listening to.
Some time back New Zealand author Jonathan Gunson wrote an article for Kindle Authors entitled:
"How to Attract Readers"
He advocated the systematic use of Twitter to garner a readership-in-waiting. You can read the article here:
Both writers urge other writers to employ the power of social media to create a readership for their books.
Well, perhaps not quite as drastic as that.
Don't try and dive into all the social media pools. 
Choose one that suits your personality and concentrate on mastering it
Don't go running around like a headless duck. I speak from experience. It nearly quacked me! There are, after all, quite a few to choose from.
Over the years I've accumulated quite a few 'How To' publications on using social media. Although written primarily as internet marketing guides they can easily be adapted as promotional tools for writers.
I intend making them available through our Tales From Wales Newsletter. Every fortnight I'll send out a new guide to subscribers. The first one will focus on Pinterest. Pinterest is user friendly and good fun, not too demanding time wise and growing in popularity. here are a few more waiting in the pipeline. 

You can subscribe via this blog or visit:

It won't cost a penny so what have you got to lose?
It's your call.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Tales From Wales - We're On Our Way

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
Lao Tzu
I wonder if Lao Tzu had the beach at Porth Ceiriad near Abersoch in mind? Well, if we took our first steps when we launched the magazine on March 1st there are quite a few of us who have made it to the beach already. 

To date 319 copies of the digital magazine have been downloaded. Maybe not a best seller just yet but a sound base on which to build. 

The Summer edition is almost ready for the printers oven and we are now accepting submissions for Autumn and Winter. If you have not got your hands on a free digital copy of the Spring issue yet grab it HERE

Those of us on the beach are a mixed bunch. We hail from far and wide, even  Australia - haven't they got their own beaches? 

There are the intermittent scribblers happy to languish in their deckchairs, in between writing the odd piece of flash fiction. Occasionally they shout encouragement to the more adventurous who have waded into the shallows to test the literary buoyancy of their poems and short stories. 
Then of course there are those hardy souls who have launched out into the deep, balancing confidently on their novels as they negotiate the waves and currents of capricious fortune, keeping a wary eye out for unscrupulous agents lurking beneath the surface.
Inevitably, peace is shattered by the arrival of an author powering past on the back of a series of books complete with a catchy tagline.

We all keep a wary eye out for anyone who may not in fact be actually waving. 

More will be joining us this Summer. Everyone is welcome. There's plenty of room on the beach and the sea is warm and inviting. What do you say? Life is a blank page. . . start writing on it.

Tales From Wales exists to help promote and showcase your writing. 
Don't be afraid to get in touch.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Tales From Wales - No Turning Back!

The die has been cast and there's no turning back. Although we haven't crossed the Rubicon, in fact we haven't even got our feet wet, we have made a significant statement.
Heartfelt thanks to all the writers and artists who have made this first step possible. Perhaps it's time to remind ourselves why we are doing this. Tales From Wales and the magazine in particular have been created to allow the work of established and aspiring writers, self published or otherwise to be seen by a wider audience. 

This is not a commercial venture - nobody is getting paid. The magazine exists as a community venture for anyone who wants their work to be read, or seen, for whatever reason. That's why most of us write isn't it? 

To create an expanding readership the magazine has to look professional and create an impact. Thanks to the paintings of Oneill Meredith I believe we achieved this objective with the first issue. Sally Spedding, who incidentally provides a short story for the Summer edition, has described his work as 'haunting'. The more I explore the more I appreciate what an outstandingly creative nation we are. 

To date the digital edition of the magazine has been downloaded over 180 times. Not massive, but a substantial base to build on. What has been disappointing is that only 21 people have so far subscribed to the Newsletter through which future digital editions will be delivered. 

If all those people who expressed their support by 'Liking' the Facebook page were to subscribe then our subscriber base would be at least triple its size and my task would be a lot easier. A few print copies have been ordered but I assume they will be of more interest to contributors although they are worth it for the art work alone.  

There will be no turning back on my part but my only fear is running out of fuel!

All you authors, writers, artists and would be writers please take advantage of Tales From Wales to showcase your work, This includes writers with Welsh roots or links, however tenuous, wherever you live. The magazine has been downloaded more times in America than anywhere else!

The Spring Edition can be downloaded direct from this blog (top right sidebar) or the website (

Alternatively use and share this link with friends on social media: "If you didn't sign up and missed your copy of the first edition of Tales From Wales, here's a second chance. Just click the link for immediate download. Enjoy and share."

I would encourage everyone to sign up to the Newsletter (top right sidebar) to ensure you get the Summer, Autumn and Winter editions - what have you got to lose? You don't even have to worry about recycling.

Thanks to everyone who has supported and helped us get this far. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Tales From Wales Magazine Spring 2018 - Raising the Flag for Welsh Writers

Don't anyone accuse me of not being over dramatic. Still, the first issue of Tales From Wales hopefully marks a significant moment for the large number of Welsh writers, home and abroad, who have battled against the odds to get their work into print. That, primarily, is why Tales From Wales exists.

Support for the venture is growing at an encouraging pace. Discouraged and aspiring writers are emerging from the shadows of self doubt to declare their allegiance to the flag.

I think it's time to ditch the metaphor before it collapse under the strain. But the point is Tales From Wales is here for you. Yes, we want to include published and established authors to provide extracts from their books or the occasional short story but that equates to a win win situation for both parties.

Yes, some of the writing will be lacking in maturity.
Yes, some may lack quality.
Yes some may be unpolished.

BUT. . . 

. . . I feel sure some of the great writers look back at their initial scribblings and cringe. Writing is all about writing and rewriting. You simply have to keep on keeping on. Stephen King maintains his concept of the Muse is a guy in shirt sleeves slaving over a typewriter. If you keep on turning up so will he, eventually. And whether he does or doesn't the more you write (and read) the more you will improve. It's inevitable.

What most writers need, indeed what we all need in every area of life, is encouragement. It is like water in a dry land. It refreshes our spirit. There are more than enough discouragements and discouragers in life. Tales From Wales does not intend to add itself to the list. No matter what your aspirations with regard to writing, however lofty or humble they may be Tales From Wales is here for you. After all isn't writing something a reward in itself?

Tales From Wales Spring edition is out on March 1st. I have done my best to ensure it is professional and attractive enough to appeal to a wide audience. It cannot succeed without your support. All I can do is raise the flag. If you have not already done so please sign up for the Newsletter and you will receive a download link for your free Spring digital issue and all subsequent issues. These you are encouraged to share with whoever you please.

A print version of the magazine is available from Amazon at £6.99. This is as cheap as I could list it given it is a full colour publication. I assume the print copy will be mostly of interest to contributors. I have a copy and can honestly say I am delighted with the end result. The covers depicting the work of Oneill Meredith are stunning.

It is now up to you. Thanks to everyone from individuals and writing groups who have already pledged their support.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Tales From Wales - The Revolution Is Spreading!

One of the stated aims of Tales From Wales is to reach out to writers with Welsh roots across the world. Meet Elizabeth Jane Corbett who discovered quite by chance she wasn't as Australian as she thought she was.

I'll let Elizabeth tell her own story.

Finding my Way Home 

It started with a mid-life crisis. On approaching a significant birthday (let’s not be specific), I realised I’d always wanted to write a novel. I’d never written a novel before, mind. But I loved history, and moving to Australia had been the defining event of my childhood. So why not make it an Aussie immigration novel? Dad was born in England, but Mum was Welsh. Almost as an afterthought, I threw a Welsh couple into my fictional group of migrants. Looking back, I am struck by how casually the decision was made.

            It has changed my life in so many ways.
I knew nothing about Wales at that stage, beyond a history of coal mining (mum was from Aberafan in South Wales) and that Wales played rugby. I also knew Welsh people spoke a different language. I wanted my Welsh couple to be an agent of change in the life of, Bridie, my fifteen-year-old main character. But rugby wasn’t invented in 1841 and, even if I could have invented a scenario in which a whole male voice choir emigrated en mass, I didn’t think she would find it particularly inspiring.

Some quick research told me Wales also had a strong bardic tradition. I read the Mabinogion and a host of other Welsh fairy tales. Wow, like wow! These were my stories, part of my heritage, and I hadn’t even known they existed – not the story of the red and white prophetic dragons, nor the legend of Taleisin, nor the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach, or any of the other tales in the Mabinogion. To me this is akin an aboriginal Australian not knowing about the Dreamtime. A travesty. I think that’s why the mythology resonated so strongly. Why, Rhys, my Welsh viewpoint character became a storyteller.

Around this time, I also realized there were Welsh classes, in Melbourne. Welsh classes, in Melbourne. Hmm… maybe some basic knowledge of the language would be useful?

I enrolled for what I thought would be a term. I had four children living at home in those days. I must admit being able to say, I’m off to my Welsh class, and walk out the door became part of the appeal. But I also found the language strangely enticing. It had amazingly, onomatopoeic words like GwdihĊµ which meant owl and sounded like twit-twoo, and pilipala which meant butterfly and sounded like wings fluttering and corgi which literally meant dwarf dog and drewgi (skunk) which meant stink dog and and buwch goch gota’r haf which meant short red cow of the summer. One term of classes turned into two, then three. Before I knew it, Welsh class had become part of my life.

            I didn’t expect to ever speak the language. I’d done Japanese at school and never progressed beyond the basics. But writing a novel with Welsh characters and learning the language were waking a hidden part of me, a part that I hadn’t not known existed.
  I finished a first draft and got shortlisted for a manuscript development award. I also won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Then disaster struck. Our youngest daughter began to work her way through a list of every parent’s worst fears. The running away, the self-harm, the dropping out of school and shoplifting had a terrible effect on my mental health. I couldn’t write. I could barely function. My husband insisted I take a break. We had loads of frequent flyers points.

            Why not travel to the land of words and stories?
            In preparation, a friend recommended I try Say Something in Welsh. I felt so fragile. The idea of doing strange online language course terrified me. But I summoned the courage to try one lesson. Aran, the man on the podcast, was so kind and encouraging. He told me I was doing a great job, I would succeed. It was like rain on parched earth.

            Five years of language learning fell into place.

            I did Cwrs Haf in Aberystwyth, the following year. Whilst there, I met Veronica Calarco, an Aussie artist living in Wales. When Veronica set up Stiwdio Maelor, a residency studio for artists and writers, I became her first long-term volunteer.

            I improved my Welsh, during my seven months I spent living in Wales and finished my novel, The Tides Between - an historical coming of age novel about fairy tales and facing the truth – which has recently been published by Odyssey Books. It is an Aussie immigration novel, filled with Welsh fairy tales, that is set in the steerage compartment of an emigrant vessel, and somehow, through the process of its creation, I had found my way home.

(The Tides Between is available online through The Book Depository, Amazon,, or you can simply order it through your local bookshop. The details are on my website at:

Elizabeth Jane Corbett is one of our featured authors and you can read an extract from the enchanting 'The Tides Between' in the Spring issue of Tales From Wales - out March 1st.
Please sign up to our newsletter (SIDEBAR TOP RIGHT) at to make sure your free digital copy of Tales From Wales is delivered on time.

Staying firmly on the subject of 'revolution (writing that is) and the world' one Welshman has done more, unaided,  than most to engage Wales globally. Over to you Dave Lewis.

Calling All Poets!

This year sees the International Welsh Poetry Competition reach out to poets for the 12th time. Founded in 2007 by Welsh writer and poet Dave Lewis the contest is now the biggest, and some might say the best, in Wales.

The aim of the competition remains the same - to encourage and foster the wealth of creative writing talent that we know exists in Wales but currently languishes in the doldrums.

“We aim to inspire people to capture life in the present day and to give a voice to a new generation of poets and writers. We are not interested in purely academic types of literature but would much rather see pure raw passion burst onto the creative writing scene in Wales.” said Dave Lewis.

“It was obvious, after our first few years, that our competition was here to stay, and with entries from as far a field as Abu Dhabi, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Corfu, Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, USA and Vietnam as well as Wales of course, the Welsh Poetry Competition is a truly international competition, accessible to all (through the English language).

“It should also be noted that the competition is totally independent and financed purely by the organisers and entrants. We receive no grants, bursaries or funding from any external agencies whatsoever. In fact during our first 12 years we’ve had no support at all from Literature Wales even though it is their job to promote Welsh literature! Maybe they feel encouraging writers and poets gets in the way of whatever else it is they do? After all 75% of their funds are spent on staff salaries according to a recent Welsh Assembly report.

“We just carry on though, regardless of any help or hindrance from the establishment. The wider world has embraced us and that’s all that matters. We do the same thing each year – we offer a chance for budding writers to compete on an equal footing with more experienced and established poets. Our competition is honest and fair, we don’t use filter judges and is judged anonymously by excellent Welsh writers.

We have also published two fantastic anthologies of our first ten years of winners’ poems.
If you’d like more information just visit our website.




Tales From Wales Summer Issue - Your Free Digital Download

Welcome to the Summer edition of Tales From Wales Here is your download link: DOWNLOAD  The Spring issue was downloaded 392 times....