Owen Martell was born in 1976 and grew up in Pontneddfechan, south Wales. After studying at Aberystwyth and Oxford universities, he spent a number of years working as a reporter with the BBC. His first Welsh-language novel, Cadw dy ffydd, brawd (Strong and Prophetic; Gomer, 2000), written while still a student at Aberystwyth, won the Arts Council of Wales' Welsh Book of the Year award in 2001.
His second novel, Dyn yr Eiliad (The Other Man; Gomer, 2003), was short-listed for the same prize in 2004 and, according to one reviewer, is 'a landmark in recent Welsh fiction'. Dolenni Hud (Welsh Knot; Gomer, 2008) is a collection of short stories in collaboration with photographer Simon Proffitt. He has also completed a translation of Martin Crimp's Attempts on her life, which was produced in 2009 by the Sherman Cymru theatre in Cardiff.
In 2009 he was selected for the Scritture Giovani project by the Guardian Hay festival and in the same year won a Creative Wales award to research future writing. He now shares his time between Wales and Paris. His most recent novel, Intermission (Heinemann, 2013), is his first book originally written in English has been translated into French, German and Spanish. He is also co-editor of the Welsh-language review of books, O’r Pedwar Gwynt.