Arts Council of Wales | John Williams
Creative Wales Awards 2011/12

John Williams


John-WilliamsJohn grew up in Cardiff and after leaving school he played in bands and wrote a punk fanzine. He moved to London in ’81, did a degree, and went on to work as a journalist. John wrote his first book, a literary travelogue, and moved back to Wales, where he continued writing with a mix of fiction, true crime and biography.

Cardiff was the recurring theme; whether in his novels, ‘Bloody Valentine’ (on the Cardiff Three) or ‘Miss Shirley Bassey’. Aside from writing, he has organised many literary and music events, including the Laugharne Weekend, a pioneering mix of literature and contemporary music.

Improvising Fiction

John-Williams-Bloody-ValentineJohn will, in essence, try to improvise a novel at a series of live performances, using the drive and focus of live performance to reinvigorate his fiction.

He‘ll begin with a period of research into storytelling – travelling around Wales, and further afield to the US. Subsequently, he will use that which he learns to help compose a work of fiction, one that has the energy and spontaneity of live performance.

Instead of spending every day at his computer writing, John will spend a month researching and reflecting on the story he wants to tell. At the end of the month, he will tell a part of this story in front of an audience, composing it on the spot. He will then repeat the process in successive months.

Finally John will research the best way to circulate the new work: whether as a conventional book, an audiobook, a series of podcasts, a multimedia app or some combination of these. At the end of the process, whether or not he produces a conventional novel, he is confident that he will have developed his practice as a writer.

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