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.