The winners of the 2019 Tir na n-Og Welsh-language awards were announced at this year’s Urdd National Eisteddfod at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on Thursday, May 30.
The winners of the 2019 Tir na n-Og Welsh-language awards were announced at this year’s Urdd National Eisteddfod at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on Thursday, May 30. Winners of the primary category are Elin Meek from Carmarthen and Valériane Leblond from Llangwyryfon for Cymru ar y Map (Rily), a stunning picture atlas that portrays Wales at its best. Winner of the secondary category is Manon Steffan Ros with Fi a Joe Allen (Y Lolfa), a story that recreates the excitement of Euro 2016 as we follow the story of Marc Huws and his father on their unforgettable adventure. Chair of the judging panel, Bethan Mair, said, “We were in no doubt that the primary category prize should go to Cymru ar y Map – the decision was unanimous. Here is a truly original book, innovative, excellent and beautifully illustrated, that combines many aspects of language, history, geography, culture, heritage and art of Wales, suitable not only for primary pupils but for all ages.” She continued, “Bethan Gwanas recently noted in her blog that we as judges didn’t share this year’s shortlisted books into primary and secondary age groups. The truth is that we found it very difficult to do so as many of the titles under consideration could bridge both categories. One thing became obvious – that Fi a Joe Allen was a story that touched us deeply.” Bethan Mair added, “I’m sure that some people will think us mad for not awarding the prize to Llyfr Glas Nebo, considering the praise already heaped upon this captivating book. My response is this: If you have enjoyed any of Manon’s previous books, read Fi a Joe Allen – whatever your age – and make up your own mind!” Earlier this month, the Tir na n-Og English category prize was awarded for the second time to Catherine Fisher, this time for her book The Clockwork Crow, published by Firefly.
A magical mystery of snow and stars by a master storyteller.
In a prestigious event held at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University on 16 May, as part of the CILIP Wales Conference (Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals), this year’s award was presented to Catherine Fisher for her novel The Clockwork Crow, published by Firefly Press. Since its inception in 1976 the Welsh Books Council has annually celebrated the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background. The Clockwork Crow is a gripping tale of enchantment and belonging, set in a frost-bound mansion in snowy mid-Wales, When Seren Rhys is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger late at night in a freezing Victorian train station, she has no idea of what trouble it contains. Catherine Fisher is an acclaimed poet and children’s author who lives in Newport. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy and in 2013 was appointed the inaugural Young People’s Laureate for Wales. Catherine has won many awards and received much critical acclaim for her work including the 1995 Tir Na n-Og Award for The Candleman. The Clockwork Crow was the winner of Wales Arts Review’s Welsh Books for Young People 2018 and was shortlisted for this year’s Blue Peter Book Awards. Sioned Jacques, Chair of the Tir na n-Og English-language Panel, noted “This novel was considered by the panel to be imaginative, beautifully descriptive, captivating and derivative of many classic titles such as C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Yet it is still unique and typical of the high quality expected from an exceptionally talented author such as Catherine Fisher.” She added “The main character is written in such a way as to make the reader want to be her and to feel empathy for her. It is well-edited with beautiful illustrations and contains some wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of the Welsh countryside.” Catherine Fisher said, “I’m delighted to win the Tir na n-Og Prize. The Clockwork Crow is a novel that uses Welsh folklore and is set in a Welsh landscape. But I also hope that, as all imaginative fiction should, it will appeal to all readers everywhere.” According to Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, “All the titles shortlisted for this year’s Tir na n-Og award were of an exceptionally high standard, reflecting the quality of books available for children and young adults at present. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate Catherine Fisher and Firefly Press on their achievement.” The Tir na n-Og English-language Award – which recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young adults – is sponsored annually by CILIP Wales. The event began with an entertaining panel discussion in the company of all shortlisted authors and chaired by broadcaster and author Lucy Owen. A crew of avid young readers were invited to quiz the authors as part of this year’s shadowing scheme. Free resource packs were also available online so that schools could adopt the role of unofficial judges. The winning titles in the primary and secondary Welsh-language categories will be revealed on 30 May at the 2019 Cardiff and the Vale Urdd National Eisteddfod at The Millennium Centre, Cardiff.
Full programme details for this year’s Montgomeryshire Literary Festival have been released, featuring a stellar line up of leading authors including Horatio Clare, Sir Simon Jenkins and Clare Mackintosh.
Press Release Now in its second year, the 2019 Monty Lit Fest will take place over the weekend of 14-16th June in the stunning and historic setting of Gregynog Hall, near Newtown. As with last year’s inaugural Festival, the event celebrates authors with personal and literary links with Wales and the Welsh borders:
• Hear Simon Jenkins’ often controversial views on Welsh architecture.
• Meet bestselling author, Clare Mackintosh, who will be talking about her work and her brand-new novel, After the End.
• Find out how mid-Wales has inspired, and continues to inspire, authors as wide ranging as Alan Garner and Tom Bullough.
• Listen to stories of Horatio Clare’s writing adventures around the world, and how they have influenced his work.
• Learn from Andrew Green how the history of Wales can be told through 100 of its most significant objects – and see some of them for yourself.
• Ponder an alternative outcome to the D-Day landings with military historian, Peter Caddick-Adams.
• Be inspired by the winners of the 2019 New Welsh Review Writing Awards in conversation with author Cynan Jones and NWR editor, Gwen Davies.
…and more. Budding authors can take advantage of two lunchtime sessions, one with top literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes and the second a hands-on working lunch with Gwen Davies and Julia Forster of New Welsh Review. Festival founder, Simon Baynes, said: ‘I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring to this year’s Festival such a range of literary talent. From bestselling thriller writers to writers in Welsh; from Welsh architecture to ‘what if’ military history; from Powys in fiction to the newest Welsh writing talent, this year’s Festival really does have something for everyone. We’re also delighted to be teaming up with Gregynog Hall, a fitting backdrop for a weekend of stories and readings, debate and literary delights.’ The Festival will also shortly release its children’s programme, featuring sessions with authors and illustrators and supervised trails through the Gregynog grounds. Accommodation for the weekend, as well as a fine array of food and drink, is available at Gregynog Hall. And, once again, the Festival bookshop will be run by Oswestry’s Booka Bookshop. How to find out more Online ticket sales and full programme details are available via the Festival’s website: https://montylitfest.wordpress.com/tickets/ . For more information about the programme, interview requests, speaker biographies and photographs, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Press passes are available for the weekend. Please contact email@example.com. About us The Montgomeryshire Literary Festival is run by the Montgomeryshire Literary Festival Trust. It aims to celebrate writing in Wales and the Welsh borders, with an annual festival circulating through key locations in Montgomeryshire. The inaugural 2018 Festival took place at Bodfach Hall, Llanfyllin and, in 2020, the Festival will take place in the town of Montgomery. https://montylitfest.wordpress.com
Literature Wales has today announced which titles have been shortlisted for both the English and Welsh-language WalesBook of the Year Awards2019. Literature Wales has today announced which titles have been shortlisted for both the English and Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Awards 2019. The Award is presented annually to the best works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction. This year’s Short Lists include some of Wales’ leading writers. Collectively they have won a range of literary prizes including: the Somerset Maugham Award, Sunday Times Business Book of the Year, the Orange Prize, Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award, the Costa Poetry Award, the Branford Boase Award, National Eisteddfod Chairs, Crowns and Medals for poetry, prose and drama, and last but not least, the Wales Book of the Year Award. Going head-to-head with established literary giants are some of Wales’ most exciting debut writers. The English-language Short List 2019 titles are: Roland Mathias Poetry Award Insistence, Ailbhe Darcy (Bloodaxe Books Ltd.) Salacia, Mari Ellis Dunning (Parthian Books) Gen, Jonathan Edwards (Seren) Aberystwyth University Fiction Award Arrest Me, for I Have Run Away, Stevie Davies (Parthian Books) West, Carys Davies (Granta Publications) Sal, Mick Kitson (Canongate Books) Creative Non-Fiction Award Moneyland, Oliver Bullough (Profile Books) The light in the dark: A winter journal, Horatio Clare (Elliott & Thompson) Having a go at the Kaiser: A Welsh family at war, Gethin Matthews (University of Wales Press) The English-language judges are: Sandeep Parmar, poet and Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University; Louise Holmwood Marshall, Head of the English and Creative Writing Department of Aberystwyth University; and novelist and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London Russell Celyn Jones. On behalf of the judging panel, Louise Holmwood-Marshall said: “The range and quality of the entries demonstrates, yet again, the incredible talent of Welsh writers and the cultural contribution that authors from and of Wales make to the country’s long-established literary heritage. The 2019 shortlist illustrates not only an incredible breadth and variety of writing but also the significance of the stories of Wales to a global readership.” The Welsh-language judging panel for Wales Book of the Year 2019 are: poet and 2017 Wales Book of the Year winner, Idris Reynolds for his memoir of Dic Jones, Darn o Haul Draw yn Rhywle: Cofio Dic (Gwasg Gomer); popular broadcaster and sports author, Dylan Ebenezer; and the Aberystwyth University’s Head of Welsh and Celtic Studies Cathryn Charnell-White. The Welsh-language Short List titles are: Gwobr Farddoniaeth Twt Lol, Emyr Lewis (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch) Cyrraedd a cherddi eraill, Alan Llwyd (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas) Stafell fy Haul, Manon Rhys (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas) Gwobr Ffuglen Prifysgol Aberystwyth Ynys Fadog, Jerry Hunter (Y Lolfa) Llyfr Glas Nebo, Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa) Esgyrn, Heiddwen Tomos (Y Lolfa) Gwobr Ffeithiol- Greadigol Cymru mewn 100 Gwrthrych, Andrew Green (Gwasg Gomer) Cymru Ddu a’r Ddalen Wen, Lisa Sheppard (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru) Rhyddhau’r Cranc, Malan Wilkinson (Y Lolfa) Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “These exceptional titles encourage readers to explore and consider some of life’s biggest questions. Mental health and identity – both personal and national – flow through these selections. This is contemporary Welsh writing at its very finest.” To read more about the shortlisted titles and their authors, visit www.literaturewales.org. The winners of this prestigious award will be announced at an Award Ceremony held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Thursday 20 June, where a total prize fund of £12,000 will be distributed to the winning writers. Each category winner will receive a prize of £1,000, and the main award winners in each language will receive an additional £3,000. Each winner will also receive a specially commissioned trophy created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones. Tickets for the Award Ceremony are £7.50 (£5 concessions) and can be purchased via the Aberystwyth Arts Centre website. At the Award Ceremony both the People’s Choice Award and Gwobr Barn y Bobl (the Welsh-language people’s prize) will also be presented to the reading public’s favourite title from the Short List. Visit the Wales Arts Review website to vote for your favourite English-language title: www.walesartsreview.org. The Welsh-language poll is hosted by Golwg360: www.golwg360.com For further information on the Wales Book of the Year Award visit: www.literaturewales.org/wales-book-year
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