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Winner of the 2023 Tir na n-Og English language award announced

03 Jun 2023 3 minute read
The Drowned Woods is published by Hodder & Stoughton

The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones has been announced as the 2023 winner of the Tir na n-Og English-language Award for children and young people’s literature.

Established in 1976, the annual Tir na n-Og Awards celebrate the best books for children and young people in Wales.

The Drowned Woods is both fantasy and thriller, set in a time in which the kingdoms of Wales are rife with magic and conflict.

This winning title is the second book to be won by an author living in America. Emily Lloyd-Jones joins author Nancy Bond, who won the 1977 Tir na n-Og English-language Award with her novel A String in the Harp.

Emily Lloyd-Jones said: “I’m thrilled that The Drowned Woods has won the Tir na n-Og English Award! I can’t imagine having to choose between the shortlisted books — all the authors are so talented. I would like to extend my gratitude to the panel of judges, to the Books Council of Wales, and to my publishing team at Hodder.

“My love of reading was kindled by books based on Welsh folklore, and I’m excited to share those myths with a new generation of readers.”

Simon Fisher, from the judging panel, said: “Game of Thrones comes to Cardigan Bay! The Drowned Woods is a vividly imagined medieval heist full of danger, threat and magic. Drawing on Welsh mythology, including the legend of Cantre’r Gwaelod, this YA fantasy thriller is hugely enjoyable and will have wide appeal.”

Readers’ Choice

This year, the Books Council of Wales introduced a new element with the introduction of the Readers’ Choice Award. This is a special award chosen by children and young people who took part in the Tir na n-Og Shadowing Scheme.

The winner of the Readers’ Choice Award was also announced today with The Mab, by various authors and edited by Eloise Williams and Matt Brown, illustrated by Max Low, named the 2023 winner.

The Mab – Readers’ Choice 2023

Amy Staniforth from CILIP Cymru Wales said: “Many congratulations to the winners on their terrific achievement. We are proud to sponsor the Tir na n-Og Awards again this year, and to continue helping children and young people to discover the very best of books from Wales and about Wales.”

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s competition, and many congratulations to the winning authors, whose stories have stood out among the many fantastic titles on the shortlists.

“And a special thank you this year goes to the children and young people who have taken part in the Shadowing Scheme and contributed with such enthusiasm to the Readers’ Choice awards.”

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

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