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Shortlist revealed for prestigious children’s book awards

23 Mar 2023 3 minute read
The Tir na n-Og Awards shortlists will be announced this evening

The Welsh-language shortlist has been revealed for Wales’ oldest children’s book awards.

The Books Council of Wales announced the shortlists for this year’s Tir na n-Og Awards on S4C’s programme, Heno, on Thursday.

The awards celebrate the talents of authors and illustrators who either create original works in Welsh, or write about authentically Welsh themes or backgrounds through the medium of English.

This year’s shortlist will champion the wide range of different formats published in 2022, including story and picture books, humorous rhymes for small children, a graphic novel, short stories and novels.

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.

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

Primary Age Shortlist

  • Dros y Môr a’r Mynyddoedd – various authors (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
  • Dwi Eisiau Bod yn Ddeinosor – Huw Aaron and Luned Aaron (Atebol)
  • Enwogion o Fri: Nye – Bywyd Angerddol Aneurin Bevan – Manon Steffan Ros (Llyfrau Broga)

Secondary Age Shortlist

  • Gwlad yr Asyn – Wyn Mason (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
  • Manawydan Jones: Y Pair Dadeni, Alun Davies (Y Lolfa)
  • Powell, Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa)

This year’s judges on the Welsh-language panel were Morgan Dafydd, Sara Yassine, Francesca Sciarrillo, Sioned Dafydd and Siôn Edwards (primary), who bring with them a wealth of experience and passion for children’s books.

The Chair of the Welsh-language Panel, Morgan Dafydd, said: “Despite the cost of living crisis, from looking at this year’s provision we can see that the book industry continues to hold its ground and that creativity is flourishing.

“This year we saw a mixture of new names in the world of children’s books alongside more familiar ones. In my third year on the panel I can say with certainty that the standard is very high this year – and in truth it continues to rise every year.”

Special category

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in creating the wonderful books on this year’s shortlist.

“It’s heartening to see original Welsh-language books in such a range of different formats that will appeal to young readers. I’m really looking forward to discovering which books will take the awards this year.”

The English-language shortlist will be announced at 18:30 on Friday, 24 March on the Radio Wales Arts Show.

 This year there will be 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 a winner 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 winning titles in each category will be announced on Thursday, 1 June at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire (Welsh-language), and on Friday, 2 June on the Radio Wales Arts Show (English-language).

Bookshops will be holding Tir na n-Og Treasure Hunts over the Easter holidays with the chance for children aged 4–11 to win a £15 book token.

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