The Lionesses of Llangwmlitfest

By Patrick Ovenden   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 3rd August 2022 7:55 am
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Jane Reynolds
Farmer’s daughter turned caterer and cookery writer, Jane Reynolds (Pic. Huw Jones )

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“If you go down to Llangwmlitfest, you’re in for a big surprise,” says Michael Pugh, Director of the Llangwm Literary Festival.

“We have some amazing women writers this year,” says Pugh of the so-called Lionesses of Llangwmlitfest. “In fact, a significant number of our Lionesses are from Llangwm itself.”

Prime examples of the Llangwmlitfest Lionesses, who look set to make this year’s festival a roaring success are farmer’s daughter turned caterer and cookery writer, Jane Reynolds. Jane has produced the most amazing recipe books featuring economical and delicious vegetarian food with intriguing names such as Squashage Rolls and Linguini Mor Gwyrdd.

“We’re particularly lucky with this event,” explains Pugh “because Wales Cottage Holidays has sponsored it so that tickets for children are free.” There will be plenty of delicious and nutritious food to taste during this session on Friday, August 12.

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Another Llangwm Lioness who is presenting at this year’s Llangwmlitfest is Philippa Davies, who will be chairing a session on Women Crime Writers, including her own short story ‘Docked’. “These are fantastic stories,” says Pugh. “Some of them are simply unforgettable!”

But the reach of Llangwmlitfest’s Lionesses takes us far outside Llangwm to Afghanistan, and for children, Willow Wildthing and the Swamp Monster. For example, Lucy Hannah will be unveiling her collection of short stories from Afghan women. “These stories were sometimes smuggled out of purdah in WhatsApp messages,” says Pugh. “It is the closest we can get to understanding their cloistered lives now.” And Veronica Doubleday will be sharing the beautiful Afghan songs that she learned in Herat in the 1970s in a rousing session with Cardamom tea and Afghan pastries.

“We feel very privileged to be welcoming Nuala O’Connor who is coming across the sea from Galway with the support of Culture Ireland,” adds Pugh. “Nuala has written the most brilliant love story about Nora Barnacle’s life with James Joyce. It is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.

“There is a lot more that I haven’t mentioned,” adds Pugh, pointing out various other sessions by the Llangwmlitfest Lionesses covering Princess Nest, Vladimir Putin, Liz Monk’s ’Come Paint with Me’ and ‘Ellie Brick’s morning dance and stretch, “and I haven’t even mentioned the Llangwmlitfest Lions yet. But I hope that gives you an idea of what makes our small and friendly litfest roar!”

The Llangwm Literary Festival takes place between August 12 and 14 in Llangwm. For more information on the festival, please contact [email protected], or visit

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