Francesca Rhydderch

Francesca Rhydderch's debut novel, The Rice Paper Diaries, was longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award and won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize 2014. She was also shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2014. Read her shortlisted story 'The Taxidermist's Daughter' on the Waterstones blog, or purchase a copy of the award anthology from Comma Press.

Other recent projects include a play in Welsh, Cyfaill, which was shortlisted in several categories for the Theatre Critics Wales Awards 2014, including Best Playwright (Welsh-language).

Francesca is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Swansea University.




Hong Kong, 1940. When Elsa Jones loses her first baby, she is torn apart by grief and homesickness. War is coming closer – there are soldiers on the streets and bomb shelters in downtown Wan Chai – but Elsa hardly notices. Then the Japanese invade.

Told from the intimate perspectives of Elsa, her husband Tommy, their daughter Mari, and Chinese amah Lin, The Rice Paper Diaries dramatically brings to life the events of wartime Hong Kong, and lays bare the tragedies as well as the joys of coming come.


The Rice Paper Diaries is a stylish debut. Rhydderch writes beautifully, each sentence elegantly honed.  New Welsh Review

A poignant and accomplished first novel.  Planet: The Welsh Internationalist 

Francesca Rhydderch introduces The Rice Paper Diaries (3 mins)

A rare, brave and unforgettable novel. 

Wales Arts Review






Upcoming events include the following:

  • Francesca is busy working on new projects - more dates will be posted here later in the year.



Francesca Rhydderch was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2014: you can read more about the award, including links to the accompanying anthology and Radio 4 broadcasts, here.

Brian Edgar, who blogs about Hong Kong during WW2, has posted an extended review of The Rice Paper Diaries: 'This is simply a magnificent book that anyone who enjoys first-rate literary fiction should consider reading.' 

Read the review in full.




Archwilia'r ddrama hon un o'r cyfnodau mwyaf cythryblus ym mywyd Kate Roberts, pan fu farw ei gwr, Morris, yn annhymig o alcoholiaeth. Gwelwn sut y mae ymddangosiad sydyn ymwelydd afieithus, bengaled ac ymhongar o Hwngari, Daisy Wagner, yn cymell Kate i'w chodi ei hun o ddyfnderoedd ei galar ac i wynebu bywyd unwaith eto. A tybed ai'r ferch ifanc hon oedd yr ysbrydoliaeth ar gyfer un o greadigaethau mwyaf lliwgar yr awdures, sef Winni Ffini Hadog?

Llwyfannir Cyfaill ochr yn ochr ag addasiad syml, agos-atoch, yn seiliedig ar straeon Te yn y Grug (addasiad gan Manon Wyn Williams).

Derbyniodd Cyfaill sawl enwebiad ar gyfer Gwobrau Beirniaid Theatr Cymru 2014, gan gynnwys Dramodydd Gorau (Cymraeg).

Theatr Bara Caws