Magazines Grant 2023

Magazines Grant 2023

Two new Welsh-language Magazines to launch in 2023

There will be two new Welsh-language magazines available for readers this year after Gwasg Carreg Gwalch and Golwg secured grants from the Books Council of Wales to pilot two new titles.

Gwasg Carreg Gwalch will launch their new popular history magazine, Hanes Byw, in September and Golwg will launch a new digital sports magazine by the autumn.

The two new titles have been set up with funding from the Books Council of Wales, which supports both English- and Welsh-language magazines from Wales, thanks to funding from Creative Wales.

Owain ap Myrddin, from Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, said: “The aim is to raise stories from history and archaeology, etymology and folktales, traditions and art that are still relevant to our lives today, and that shine a light on contemporary issues. It will also include elements of stories and grassroots history that the Welsh community can delight in and feel comfortable to contribute to. The majority of the articles will relate to the past 250 years and there will be an emphasis on weaving the past with the present – as the influences of yesterday can still be felt in daily life today.”

Hanes Byw will launch on 28 September, with 4 issues a year available from bookshops or through subscription on the Carreg Gwalch website.

Golwg will launch their new sports magazine by the autumn. Owain Schiavone, Chief Executive of Golwg Cyf, said: “Golwg is delighted to have the opportunity to pilot a new sports magazine and we have exciting plans for it. We are keen to try to develop an innovative Welsh-language service that offers specialist commentary on a number of different sports, from the popular and mainstream to less well-known sports. We will release more information about the exact nature of the magazine in due course. We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the project, via email, to”

Arwel Jones, Head of Publishing Development at the Books Council of Wales, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support the pilot programmes for these two new magazines, that bring a new range of subjects to the Welsh-language magazine market. The independent panel that awarded the grant noticed a gap in the provision for magazines relating to sports and to popular history. We have, therefore, been able to offer a one-year grant of £30,000 each to pilot brand new magazines on these subjects and to widen the choice for readers.”

Congratulations to Manon Steffan Ros and her novel The Blue Book of Nebo – winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal

Congratulations to Manon Steffan Ros and her novel The Blue Book of Nebo – winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal

The Books Council of Wales extends its warmest congratulations to Manon Steffan Ros as she is announced the winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, for her novel The Blue Book of Nebo. It is the first time in the award’s almost 90-year history that it has been awarded to a book in translation. The Yoto-Carnegies are the UK’s longest-running and best-loved book awards for children and young people.

The original Welsh novel, Llyfr Glas Nebo, won the Prose Medal at the 2018 National Eisteddfod and was a winner in three categories of the Wales Book of the Year in 2019. Set in post-apocalyptic Nebo, the poignant story unfolds through the shared diary entries of mother and son as they adapt to survive and create a new life after The End.

The Blue Book of Nebo is published by Firefly Press, Cardiff-based children’s and YA indie publisher, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Arwel Jones, Head of Publishing Development at The Books Council of Wales said: “We’re absolutely delighted for Manon and send our warmest congratulations to her for winning the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing. It is wonderful that Manon’s work has been recognised in this way and is a testament to her exceptional talent as a storyteller. Although The Blue Book of Nebo is Manon’s first YA book in translation, she has of course written many Welsh-language books and has honed her skills and her craft as a writer over time and in different genres, competing in Eisteddfodau, writing books for adults and children as well as writing for stage and screen. We hope that winning the award will enable more people to discover and enjoy Manon’s work.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I would like to congratulate Manon on the incredible achievement of The Blue Book of Nebo being the first ever translated book to win the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, showcasing the strength of storytellers from Wales on the international stage. I look forward to Manon’s books being enjoyed by an even wider audience in Wales and beyond.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony in London on 21 June 2023. As a Yoto Carnegie winner, Manon joins a selection of acclaimed authors such as Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett who have won the award in previous years.

As part of the prize, winners receive £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Manon is making her donation to her local library, Tywyn Library in Gwynedd, where she wrote a few of her books when she didn’t have the means to get internet at home. To celebrate Manon’s achievement, the Books Council of Wales has announced that they will match this amount through a donation of £500 of Welsh book tokens.

Manon Steffan Ros Wins Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing

Manon Steffan Ros Wins Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing



Wednesday 21 June 2023: The winners of the UK’s longest-running and best-loved book awards for children and young people, the Yoto Carnegies, were announced today in a live-streamed ceremony at The Barbican.

For the first time in the awards almost 90-year history, the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing is awarded to a book in translation – The Blue Book of Nebo (Firefly Press), written and translated by Manon Steffan Ros. Told through the dual narrative of a mother and son in post-apocalyptic Nebo, this “compelling, conceivable” story explores Welsh identity and culture, and offers a beautiful appreciation of language. The original Welsh publication, Llyfr Glas Nebo, won multiple awards, including the 2019 Wales Book of the Year.

Jeet Zdung has won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration for Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, (Kingfisher, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Books). This is the second consecutive year that a graphic novel has clinched the prize. Written and inspired by the real life of Vietnamese wildlife conservationist Dr Trang Nguyen, the “beautiful” manga-inspired illustrations – including scenic watercolours and detailed, pencil sketched journal entries – work together to offer “something new to discover on each re-reading” and inspire and educate young wildlife activists.

The Yoto Carnegies celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration and are unique in being judged by an expert panel of children’s and youth librarians, including 12 librarians from CILIP, the library and information association’s Youth Libraries Group.

Selected from shortlists of seven and six titles respectively, both winners were praised by the judges for providing an “immersive” reading experience, addressing questions about how we live now and how this might affect the future – from the domestic, day-to-day perspective in The Blue Book of Nebo, to environmental and animal protection in Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and around the world get involved in the Awards, with children and young people ‘shadowing’ the judging process, debating and choosing their own winners. They have voted for their favourites from this year’s shortlist and have chosen I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys for the Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Writing, and The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton for the Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration.

Sepetys previously won the Carnegie Medal for Writing in 2017 for Salt to the Sea and was shortlisted in 2021 for The Fountains of Silence. I Must Betray You, a YA novel set during the Romanian Revolution, was called “compelling”, “captivating” and “a must-read” by shadower Grace from The Abbey Readers, and Giselle from HAEC Books and Biscuits Carnegie Shadowers group described it as a “powerful and moving historical fiction novel. . . The author explores the themes of freedom, betrayal, and hope in a way that is both thought-provoking and relevant to our own lives.”

The Comet – a touching picture book about a father and daughter who move from the country to the city and are searching for a feeling of home – was praised by Darcy-Belle at Chandlings Prep School for its “bright and colourful illustrations” and Logan at The Great Bookish Club said it was “full of imagination and adventure.” Todd-Stanton was longlisted for the Medal for Illustration in 2018 for The Secret of Black Rock.

The winners were revealed at an in-person ceremony held at The Barbican, which was live-streamed and watched by shadowing groups around the country. The awards were hosted by former Children’s Laureate Lauren Child CBE, who won the Carnegie Medal for Illustration – then known as the Kate Greenaway Medal – in 2000 for her first Charlie and Lola book, I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato.

Janet Noble, Chair of Judges for The Yoto Carnegies 2023, said: “From an incredibly strong shortlist, our panel of librarian judges have debated long and hard to choose our two worthy winners of the Yoto Carnegie Medals 2023.

In The Blue Book of Nebo, the world building and distinct voices of the two main characters, the son and his mother, are expertly realised and the reader is compelled to question their own relationship with the modern world. Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear is a beautiful story, elegantly told, which brings together a global view of conservation and an empowering true story of an inspiring female environmentalist, told through dazzling manga art and watercolours. Jeet has crafted every illustration to immerse the reader, just as Manon draws the reader in completely with her vivid, deliberate prose.

Thanks to the young readers far and wide who have engaged with our shortlists and voted for their own deserving Shadowers’ Choice Medal recipients. Huge congratulations to all four of our Yoto Carnegie medal winners for this year, who demonstrate the best of children’s writing and illustration in its myriad of forms.”

Prolific Welsh writer Manon Steffan Ros lives in Tywyn, North Wales. She has written over 23 books for adults and children and is four-times winner of the Tir na n’Og Wales Children’s Book Awards. The Blue Book of Nebo is Ros’ first YA novel to be published in English, and is published by British Book Awards Wales Small Press of the Year, Firefly Press. The judges admired the “appreciation of language, reading and literature” and described it as “heartbreaking”, “poignant” and “rich with Welsh heritage.” Following the success of The Blue Book of Nebo, Firefly have since acquired two middle-grade titles by Ros, Feather (Pluen), and Me and Aaron Ramsey (Fi ac Aaron Ramsey), to be published in English in 2024.

Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing winner, Manon Steffan Ros, said: “I used to see the word Carnegie on the covers of my favourite books as a child, and the fact that The Blue Book of Nebo now has that honour bestowed upon it means more than I can say – and to be the first book in translation to win the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing is a source of great delight. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been the fact that I was raised through the medium of the Welsh language, and having access to two languages has brought me so much joy and opportunity. There’s a huge, lively, thriving Welsh language cultural scene that I’m honoured to be a part of. Each language offers a unique and enriching perspective on the world, and so literature in translation has the potential to enhance our lives greatly. Your favourite book might not yet be translated into a language that you understand.”

Comic artist-illustrator Jeet Zdung grew up in and still lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. He uses diverse drawing styles, from realistic depictions to cartoon, manga, and Vietnamese-Japanese folk styles, to create multiform works for readers of all ages. He has won several awards, including a Silent Manga Audition Excellence Award for his manga Stand Up and Fly. Considered alongside last year’s Illustration Medal winner Danica Novgorodoff for Long Way Down, written by Jason Reynolds, these two graphic novels demonstrate the range of storytelling this form can offer readers. The judges praised Zdung’s “clever use of panelling” and infusion of graphic novel and manga styles to deliver “drama and impact” as well as creating “perfect synergy” between the visuals and the text.

Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration winner, Jeet Zdung, said: “When I was a child, I always wished that I could create my own cartoon movies. The process of creating the book Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear was a journey to satisfy the child’s longing inside of me – to create an immersive movie on paper using influences of comics and manga. Together with Trang Nguyen, we hope these books will contribute to the conservation of wildlife by sharing with the readers what we know, what we love and care about. For me, this is a long and enduring journey. Winning the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration is a great honour. We hope that the impact of the prize will be felt widely and draw attention to the plight of the Sun Bears and other wildlife.”

The winners each receive £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice, a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize and a newly designed golden medal. For the first time, this year the Shadowers’ Choice winners were also presented with a golden medal.

Ros is making her donation to her local library, Tywyn Library in Gwynedd, where she wrote a few of her books when she didn’t have the means to get internet at home. Dr Trang Nguyen and her organization WildAct have set up libraries for children in localities near Vietnamese national parks to heighten their reading skills and knowledge of conservation; Zdung’s donation will be supporting this effort. 

Yoto, the innovative, screen-free audio platform for children, is the headline sponsor of the Awards. The Yoto Carnegies are sponsored by ALCS and Scholastic as the official book supplier, with First News as the official media partner for 2023.

Y Gragen launched at the Urdd Eisteddfod, Carmarthenshire

Y Gragen launched at the Urdd Eisteddfod, Carmarthenshire


Lansiwyd Y Gragen, llyfr stori-a-llun gwreiddiol gan Casia Wiliam, yn Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Sir Gaerfyrddin.

Darluniwyd y gyfrol gan Naomi Bennet, enillydd cystadleuaeth arbennig a drefnwyd gan Gyngor Llyfrau Cymru ac Urdd Gobaith Cymru i ddarganfod talent newydd ym maes darlunio llyfrau plant.

Dyfarnwyd y wobr i Naomi Bennet nôl yn 2022. Y dasg i ymgeiswyr rhwng 18 a 25 oed oedd creu gwaith celf gwreiddiol i gyd-fynd â’r gyfrol Y Gragen, stori ar fydr ac odl, gan Casia Wiliam sy’n un o awduron llyfrau plant amlycaf Cymru.

Dywedodd Bethan Jones, Pennaeth Adran Llyfrau Plant a Hyrwyddo Darllen Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru: “Rydym yn falch iawn fod Y Gragen bellach wedi ei gyhoeddi, a bod modd i bawb weld gwaith Naomi Bennet mewn print. Diolch unwaith eto i’r Urdd am gefnogi’r gystadleuaeth arbennig hon. Mae’n hollbwysig ein bod yn meithrin a hybu safon a thalent ifanc newydd yn y maes dylunio yma yng Nghymru.”

Cyhoeddir y gyfrol gan Gyhoeddiadau Barddas, ac mae hi ar gael yn awr mewn siopau llyfrau a llyfrgelloedd ar hyd a lled Cymru.

Bydd y Cyngor Llyfrau yn parhau i weithio gyda’r Urdd i gynnal y gystadleuaeth i ddarlunwyr ifanc yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yr Urdd 2024. Caiff y manylion eu cyhoeddi yn y Rhestr Testunau ym mis Medi 2023.

Announcing the Winner of the English-language Tir na n-Og Award 2023

Announcing the Winner of the English-language Tir na n-Og Award 2023

The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones (published by Hodder & Stoughton) is the 2023 winner of the Tir na n-Og English-language Award for children and young people’s literature.

The winning book was announced on The Review Show on Radio Wales at 18:30 on Friday 2 June 2023.

Established in 1976, the annual Tir na n-Og Awards celebrate the best books for children and young people in Wales. They are organised by the Books Council of Wales and sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales, the library and information association. The winning authors each receive a cash prize of £1,000 sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales, as well as a specially commissioned trophy created by Aberystwyth and Tregaron-based designers Dawn’s Welsh Gifts.

The Drowned Woods is both fantasy and thriller, set in a time in which the kingdoms of Wales are rife with magic and conflict. The main character, eighteen-year-old Mererid – or ‘Mer’ as she is known to the reader – is well-acquainted with both the good and the bad aspects of these kingdoms. As the last living water diviner, she can manipulate water with magic, a unique elemental power many would kill to possess. For years, Mer has been running from the prince who bound her into his service and forced her to kill thousands with her magic. Now, all Mer truly wants is a safe, quiet life, far from power and politics. But then Mer’s old handler, the king’s spymaster, returns with a proposition: she is to use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.

This winning title is the second book to be won by an author living in America. Emily Lloyd-Jones joins author Nancy Bond, who won the 1977 Tir na n-Og English-language Award with her novel A String in the Harp.

Emily Lloyd-Jones said: “I’m thrilled that The Drowned Woods has won the Tir na n-Og English Award! I can’t imagine having to choose between the shortlisted books — all the authors are so talented. I would like to extend my gratitude to the panel of judges, to the Books Council of Wales, and to my publishing team at Hodder. My love of reading was kindled by books based on Welsh folklore, and I’m excited to share those myths with a new generation of readers.”

Simon Fisher, from the judging panel, said: “Game of Thrones comes to Cardigan Bay! The Drowned Woods is a vividly imagined medieval heist full of danger, threat and magic. Drawing on Welsh mythology, including the legend of Cantre’r Gwaelod, this YA fantasy thriller is hugely enjoyable and will have wide appeal.”

The books on the 2023 shortlist introduce young readers to a whole cast of memorable characters that star in an array of exciting and enjoyable stories. The shortlisted titles exemplify the power of a good book to spark the imagination.

The other shortlisted titles for the English-language category are:

  • The Mab by various authors edited by Eloise Williams and Matt Brown, illustrated by Max Low (Unbound)
  • The Blackthorn Branch by Elen Caldecott (Andersen Press)
  • The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros (Firefly Press)

This year, the Books Council of Wales introduced a new element with the introduction of the Readers’ Choice Award. This is a special award chosen by children and young people who took part in the Tir na n-Og Shadowing Scheme. The winner of the Readers’ Choice Award was also announced today with The Mab, by various authors and edited by Eloise Williams and Matt Brown, illustrated by Max Low, named the 2023 winner.

Amy Staniforth from CILIP Cymru Wales said: “Many congratulations to the winners on their terrific achievement. We are proud to sponsor the Tir na n-Og Awards again this year, and to continue helping children and young people to discover the very best of books from Wales and about Wales.”

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s competition, and many congratulations to the winning authors, whose stories have stood out among the many fantastic titles on the shortlists. And a special thank you this year goes to the children and young people who have taken part in the Shadowing Scheme and contributed with such enthusiasm to the Readers’ Choice awards.”

The winners of the two Welsh-language category Tir na n-Og Awards 2023 were revealed at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire on Thursday 1 June 2023. The winning titles are Dwi Eisiau bod yn Ddeinosor by Luned Aaron and Huw Aaron, and Manawydan Jones: Y Pair Dadeni by Alun Davies. Manon Steffan Ros was awarded the Readers’ Choice Award in both the primary and secondary age categories with Enwogion o Fri: Nye – Bywyd Angerddol Aneurin Bevan and Powell.  

The other shortlisted Welsh-language titles are:

Primary age category

  • Enwogion o Fri: Nye – Bywyd Angerddol Aneurin Bevan by Manon Steffan Ros, illustrated by Valériane Leblond (Llyfrau Broga)
  • Dros y Môr a’r Mynyddoedd by various authors, illustrated by Elin Manon (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)

 Secondary age category

  • Gwlad yr Asyn by Wyn Mason, illustrated by Efa Blosse Mason (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
  • Powell by Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa)