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English-language shortlist revealed for Wales’ oldest children’s book award

25 Mar 2023 3 minute read
The Tir na n-Og 2023 English-language shortlist

The English-language shortlist has been announced for Wales’ oldest children’s book awards celebrating the power of story telling.

The Books Council of Wales revealed the shortlist for this year’s Tir na n-Og Awards which are the oldest and most popular awards for children’s literature in Wales.

Sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales, 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.

Some of Wales’ leading authors and illustrators have won the award in previous years, including Manon Steffan Ros, Jac Jones and Catherine Fisher.

The aim is to celebrate reading for pleasure and to inspire reading choices for young people so they can enjoy and be inspired by stories and writing from or about Wales.

Shortlist for the best English-language book with an authentic Welsh dimension:

  • The Blackthorn Branch – Elen Caldecott (Andersen Press)
  • Blue Book of Nebo – Manon Steffan Ros (Firefly)
  • The Drowned Woods – Emily Lloyd-Jones (Hodder)
  • The Mab – by various authors, illustrated by Max Low, Ed. Matt Brown and Eloise Williams

This year’s judges on the English Panel included Jannat Ahmed, Simon Fisher and Elizabeth Kennedy who bring with them a wealth of experience and passion for children’s books.

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to the books on this year’s shortlist.

“The English-language prize showcases books with an authentic Welsh dimension – and this year’s shortlist is a wonderful celebration of Wales’ storytelling traditions.

“I’m sure every one of these titles will capture the imaginations of young readers, and I’m looking forward to finding out the winner of the awards in June.”

Special category

The shortlisted titles for the Welsh-language Tir na n-Og Awards 2023 were announced on the Heno programme on S4C on Thursday.

The titles in the Welsh-language primary age category are Dros y Môr a’r Mynyddoedd, various authors, illustrated by Elin Manon (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch), Dwi Eisiau Bod yn Ddeinosor, Huw Aaron and Luned Aaron (Atebol), and Enwogion o Fri: Nye – Bywyd Angerddol Aneurin Bevan, Manon Steffan Ros, illustrated by Valériane Leblond (Llyfrau Broga).

The books shortlisted in the Welsh-language secondary age category are Gwlad yr Asyn, Wyn Mason, illustrated by Efa Blosse Mason (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch), Manawydan Jones: Y Pair Dadeni, Alun Davies (Y Lolfa), and Powell, by Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa).

This year there will be a special category: the Readers’ Choice Award which will be 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 winners of the Welsh-language categories will be announced at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire on Thursday, 1 June, while the winning English-language title will be revealed on the Radio Wales Arts Show on Friday, 2 June.

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.

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

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