The Books Council of Wales revealed the Welsh-language shortlist for this year’s Tir na n-Og Awards on S4C’s programme, Heno on Wednesday 13 March. The awards celebrate the very best of stories from Wales and about Wales that were published in 2023

The Tir na n-Og Awards are the oldest awards for children’s literature in Wales and are held every year by the Books Council of Wales, supported by CILIP Cymru Wales. They celebrate the talents of authors and illustrators who either create original works in Welsh, or who write about authentically Welsh themes or backgrounds through the medium of English.

The Welsh-language prize has two categories: Primary (age 4–11) and Secondary (age 11–18).

Though this year’s Welsh-language shortlist includes a wide range of themes, characters and styles, they are all books for readers to relate to. We can follow characters as they discover friendship, have new experiences and live through difficult times – and learn how to get to know and accept each other, and ourselves.


Jac a’r Angel by Daf James, illustrated by Bethan Mai (Y Lolfa)
A humorous, charming and sensitive novel. Jac a’r Angel is a lively Christmas story. Children and adults alike can enjoy the ‘coming of age’ story of an innocent boy who uses his imagination to overcome grief and the dark forces of life.

Mari a Mrs Cloch by Caryl Lewis, illustrated by Valériane Leblond (Y Lolfa)
On Christmas Eve, Mari takes mince pies to Mrs Cloch – a lonely old lady who has no visitors. Mari helps her to decorate the Christmas tree with unusual decorations from all over the world, and a very unexpected visitor arrives…

Wyneb yn Wyneb by Sioned Wyn Roberts (Atebol)
Twm is a thief, a cheat and a bully. But something is missing in his life and he doesn’t know why. One dark night, when Twm is out thieving, he comes face to face with his fate … and discovers a shocking truth that changes his life for ever.

Y Gragen by Casia Wiliam, illustrated by Naomi Bennet (Barddas Publications)
A charming rhyming story about a city child visiting the beach in a seaside village for the first time. The child returns home with a seashell as a souvenir of the place where children laugh while eating ice cream, seaweed squeals and nature sings.


Astronot yn yr Atig by Megan Angharad Hunter (Y Lolfa)
Rosie is mad about the tv series Yr Estronos and about astronauts, and when a spaceship lands in her back garden, she cannot believe her luck. This is a novel about friendship, about time-travelling, about growing up in a complex and difficult world, and about pushing the boundaries of the imagination to the extreme.

Fi ydy Fi by Sian Eirian Lewis, illustrated by Celyn Hunt (Y Lolfa)
A factual book for girls relating to issues about growing up. Each chapter deals with a specific growing up issue such as: Why does my body mature?, Hormones, Breasts, Hair, Sweating, Skin, Periods, Understanding my emotions, My Body, Friends.

Sêr y Nos yn Gwenu by Casia Wiliam (Y Lolfa)
This is the raw love story of Leia and Sam, which is also a story about community, learning, venturing and forgiveness. The story begins at the community centre, where Leia and Sam meet again after being kept apart for some time.

Independent panels of judges select the shortlists and decide on the winners for the Welsh and English awards each year. This year’s judges on the Welsh-language panel were Sioned Dafydd (Chair), Sara Yassine, Siôn Lloyd Edwards and Rhys Dilwyn Jenkins.

Sioned Dafydd, Chair of the Welsh-language judging panel said: “The panel really enjoyed reading the submissions and agreed that children in Wales are very fortunate to have such a range of quality books to enjoy and to treasure. We’d like to thank all of the publishers, authors and illustrators for hours of enjoyment and escape!

We are sure that books among this year’s collection are set to become firm favourites with children and will be read and re-read for years to come.”

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales said: “Congratulations to the authors and illustrators on this year’s shortlists. The entries were excellent once again this year and I’d like to thank the judging panels for all their work to select the shortlists from amongst so many wonderful titles. I’m looking forward to finding out which books win the awards in the summer and wish all the finalists the very best of luck.”

The English-language shortlist will be revealed at 12pm Friday 15 March by Ellis Lloyd Jones and the Books Council of Wales on their social media channels.

This year young readers can once again choose the winners in a special category: the Readers’ Choice Award. This award is chosen by children and young people who take part in the Tir na n-Og shadowing scheme. Schools, libraries and other children’s reading groups can register to take part and be unofficial judges to choose winners from the shortlisted books, with the guidance of the shadowing pack. You can find out how to register on the Books Council’s website, 

The winners of the Welsh-language categories will be announced at 1pm on Wednesday 29 May at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Meifod and the English-language category winner will be announced on Friday 17 May at CILIP Cymru Wales conference in Cardiff.

Bookshops and libraries will be holding Tir na n-Og Treasure Hunts over the Easter holidays with the chance for children aged 4–11 to take part. Ask your local bookshop or library for details.

Further information about the awards and the shortlisted titles can be found on the Books Council’s website,