A WRITER from Haverfordwest has been named winner of the 2015 New Welsh Writing Awards.

Eluned Gramich’s memoir of living and working in Japan – ‘Woman Who Brings the Rain’ – also scooped the WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment.

"Woman Who Brings the Rain came out of a month living in rural Hokkaido with a Japanese family and their dog,” said Eluned, who works as a German and Welsh translator.

“The landscape and culture there moved me to keep a diary; a diary that eventually became an essay on the Hokkaidan autumn and my impressions of Japanese life and customs.

“It's wonderful to be able to share these personal experiences with readers and I hope it will inspire some of them to go and explore Japan for themselves. "Winning the New Welsh Writing Awards and seeing the essay published has given me the confidence to try my hand at writing full-time: I'm now trying to finish a novel set in two beautiful countries: Wales and Japan!"

The competition was organized by the New Welsh Review, Wales’s foremost literary magazine written in English. Eluned’s memoir has been published by the Review on its eBook imprint, New Welsh Rarebyte, as a Kindle ebook with White Fox.

The Review’s editor, Gwen Davies, said: “Eluned’s touching and perfectly written memoir shows how central nature and an appreciation of landscape is to Japanese culture. We are delighted to be publishing it as our first New Welsh Rarebyte eBook.”

Born in Haverfordwest, Eluned studied English at Oxford and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, before moving to live and work in Japan on a Daiwa scholarship. After living and working in Cardiff for a while, she recently moved to Germany and is working on her first full-length novel.