NEWS Simone Greenwood wins Representing Wales award


SCBWI member Simone Greenwood is one of 14 writers who have been selected for the second cohort of the Representing Wales programme. She talked to Deputy Editor Fran Price about this wonderful opportunity.

Congratulations on winning this award Simone! How did you feel when you heard the news?

Diolch yn fawr! I got a call out of the blue on a Friday night. It was such an amazing surprise. Marvin Thompson (from Literature Wales) said to take the weekend to think it over before deciding whether to accept, but I was 100% sure I would. It's such a brilliant opportunity to be part of this cohort. 


Simone at the It's My Shout awards, 2019

What aspects of this programme are you looking forward to the most? 

I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone, so I'm looking forward to trying out new genres I haven't written before, through the workshops and retreats. I also can't wait to find out who my mentor is, and to learn from them; as well as meeting all the cohort in person and getting to know them.


The programme lasts for a year. You have a lot of projects on the go – what will you be working on during this time? Children’s writing? Scriptwriting? Grown-up writing? Or a mixture?!

Probably a mixture, although it depends who my mentor is. We were asked to suggest names of who we'd like, and my list was some children's / YA fiction writers and some screenwriters. I'm also looking forward to the poetry workshop, because I used to write a lot of poetry (and songs) when I was a teen, and more recently I have been trying again, as a form of therapy to deal with Long Covid. I also really want to finish a chapter book I'm working on, so I can start querying that with agents. It's a funny book, but also touches on economic inequality, which is sadly on the rise at the moment. I'm having fun developing the characters, especially the protagonist's sidekick; a headless chicken with a homemade sock head. What's not to love about her?! She's a perfect metaphor for a glimmer of hope when all seems hopeless. 

On the set of Simone's Christmas romcom, Jangle

How do you think the award will benefit your writing career?

Primarily, I think it will help because it will give me accountability to get words on the page. Like lots of writers, I'm highly skilled at procrastination. It's also given me a great confidence boost to be selected, and that the panel liked my writing sample and wanted to offer me this support to develop my career. I'm ambitious to get an agent and a publisher, so I hope this is a stepping stone towards that goal.

Do you know any of the other cohort?

I know a couple of the cohort already: YA and short fiction writer Amy Kitcher, and children's poet Alex Wharton. I was so excited when I saw them on the introductory Zoom we had with the Literature Wales team. I'm excited to get to know the others too, and to see who everyone's mentors are. 


Simone co-founded Ymaginosity in 2021 
(Source: Twitter @ymaginosity)

What do you think you will learn from the other writers in the cohort?

I find people fascinating, and am always interested in how and why writers write. I think we all bring different styles, experiences and skills to the table, so I'm sure I'll learn lots. I'm looking forward to meeting them all on the two retreats at Ty Newydd (a creative writing centre in North Wales) – it's a place I've been wanting to go to for years. 


You’ve worked for Burst and Firefly Press in the past, so you’ve already got plenty of knowledge of the children’s book industry. What about the wider publishing community in Wales and beyond?

I'm grateful to have met lots of people in the publishing industry in Wales, but I'm looking forward to meeting more (for example there'll be some industry experts on the workshops) and finding out more about the wider publishing community. Things are always changing, with trends and such. I'm interested to see if the current pressures on cost and supply of paper pushes digital publishing in new ways.


Simone's short film, Tabard, aired on BBC Wales

How important do you think Representing Wales is for writers?

In the introductory Zoom, we heard from two of the writers from last year's cohort, and it was clear to see what a positive impact it had on them and their peers; in particular in terms of confidence and also what they had gained from their individual mentors, who had really taken them under their wings. I think it's such a valuable programme, and I hope it goes from strength to strength, and helps more writers from all across Wales. Writing is an unparalleled career choice in many ways. Until you have an agent and/or a publisher, there's no pay, no line manager, no CPD (other than what you seek after yourself). Having this support, both financially and in terms of the training and mentorship, is so amazing.


Do you have any advice for applicants thinking of applying to next year’s scheme and equivalent ones in other countries?

Apply. That's it really. Chase any opportunity you can. I did wonder at first whether to apply, as I had to talk about being from a low income background in the application (I was a free school meals pupil in secondary school). It's not something I'm ashamed of in any way, but I've never really talked about it much before, or the impact it had on my writing and career – but I'm so glad I went for it.

Diolch yn fawr! Best of luck with your writing, Simone!

*All images courtesy of Simone Greenwood


Simone Greenwood grew up in Cumbria and now lives in South Wales, where she raised her family and was a primary school teacher. More recently, she’s worked for children’s publishers Burst and Firefly Press. In 2021, she co-founded Ymaginosity, an organisation devoted to nurturing young storytellers. Simone writes children’s fiction and short films. She won Best Script at It’s My Shout Awards 2019, and her Christmas romcom, Jangle, was selected for the Pride Online Film Festival.


Fran Price is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures magazine. Contact her at

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