Nia Morais is a writer and a teaching assistant. As one of the judges of the 2021 Tir na n-Og Awards 2021, she’s been talking to us about her writing work and what she enjoys reading.
I was born and raised in Cardiff and I work as a teaching assistant in the city. I also work as a freelance writer. I enjoy writing for young people and I like reading and writing horror. My first drama, Crafangau (‘Claws’), was performed in October 2020 as part of the Sherman Theatre’s audio drama series.
I started reading from an early age and I can remember reading in the car, in restaurants and even in the stadium during rugby matches. When I was young I loved books like Inkheart byCornelia Funke and The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I read every night in bed, often hiding a pile of books under my pillow which was bigger than the pillow itself!
I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading literature for young people and I hope to write my own novels in the future. My first drama, Crafangau, focuses on a 17–year–old girl who finds a panther in a forest near her home. I adore magical or scary stories like that.
I love books for children because they emphasise the magic that’s still in the world, andteach kind and community-minded principles through fantastic and funny adventure. I also love the incredible illustrations in children’s books.
I think that reading is very important for children and young people because it helps develop imagination and principles, as well as showing that you can enjoy yourself without relying on the quick satisfaction we get from phones or computers. I appreciate that reading takes me out of the real world, and I hope that children who enjoy reading can learn to appreciate that too.
I’m looking forward to exploring what exciting books have been published recently! The popularity of Welsh–language books has grown to be global and I hope to be able to award incredible books that appreciate and celebrate all Welsh children.