Welsh-language shortlist revealed for Wales’ oldest children’s book award – the Tir na n-Og Awards 2022

Exciting mysteries and comic book capers… a fresh look at the history and people of Wales… and powerful and empowering stories of growing up in Wales today. The Books Council of Wales will reveal the Welsh-language shortlists for this year’s Tir na n-Og Awards on S4C’s progamme, Heno, on Thursday, 10 March. This year’s awards are an eclectic mix of the very best of stories from Wales and stories of Wales published in 2021.

The Tir na n-Og Awards are the oldest and most popular awards for children’s literature in Wales and are held every year by the Books Council of Wales, sponsored 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.

Some of Wales’ leading authors and illustrators have won the Award in previous years, including Manon Steffan Ros, Jac Jones, Caryl Lewis and Gareth F. Williams. The aim is to celebrate reading for pleasure and to inspire reading choices for young readers. Through the Awards, children and young people can enjoy and be inspired by stories and writing from or about Wales.

Primary Age Shortlist

Gwil Garw a’r Carchar Crisial, Huw Aaron, Broga
A book full of humour, imaginative events, special monsters, and a main character who can somehow survive all misery and disorder.

Sara Mai a Lleidr y Neidr, Casia Wiliam, Y Lolfa
A story that grips the reader from the outset; the writing is skilful, well proportioned and has an easy humour.

Gwag y Nos, Sioned Wyn Roberts, Atebol
An action-packed story that captivates the reader from the first few paragraphs, and captures the alien world of the workhouse subtly and compellingly.

Secondary Age Shortlist

Hanes yn y Tir, Elin Jones, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
A beautiful book that, in its simplicity of presentation and language, makes complex history accessible to the reader.

Y Pump, ed. Elgan Rhys, Y Lolfa
A collection of challenging and experimental stories that inverweave into one complete composition.

Fi ac Aaron Ramsey, Manon Steffan Ros, Y Lolfa
A contemporary and gripping novel that presents real characters of flesh and blood that can resonate with today’s young readers.

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 Alun Horan (Chair), Morgan Dafydd, Sara Yassine and Ceri Griffith, who bring with them a wealth of experience and passion for children’s books. 

The Chair of the Welsh-language Panel, Alun Horan, said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to chair the Welsh-language Panel this year with the output being a clear indication that the industry is very healthy. It was nice to see a number of new names and the standard of writing and the appearance of the shortlisted titles was excellent. Amongst the titles, there were several highly original books, taking children and young people’s books in Welsh to exciting new areas, with the potential of attracting reluctant and harder-to-reach readers.”

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said:Huge congratulations to everyone who has been involved in creating the excellent books on this year’s shortlists. The aim of these awards is to celebrate the best of original Welsh writing and it’s a real pleasure to see such innovative and exciting books being recognised. I’m very glad that I don’t have to choose the winners from this wonderful selection!”

The shortlist for the best English-language book with an authentic Welsh dimension (age 4–18) will be announced at 18:30 on Friday, 11 March on the Radio Wales Arts Show.

The winning titles in each category will be announced on 20 May on the Radio Wales Arts Show (English-language) and on 2 June at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire (Welsh-language).