2015 Tir na n-Og Award Shortlist Announced

Welsh Books Council

2015 Tir na n-Og Award Shortlist Announced - 26 March 2015

This year’s shortlisted titles for the Best English-language Book with an authentic Welsh background, as chosen by the awarding panel are:

Best English-language Book Category
Cowgirl  – Giancarlo Gemin (Nosy Crow)
Dottie Blanket and the Hilltop  – Wendy Meddour (Firefly Press)
Tad-cu’s Bobble Hat  – Malachy Doyle & Dorry Spikes (Pont)

Bev Bannon, Chair of the English-language Selection Panel, said,  ‘The Tir na n-Og longlist this year covered a broad range of titles for a wide age range, including picture books, illustrated texts and novels for younger and older readers. The quality and quantity of the books submitted were of an extremely high calibre, and congratulations are extended to the authors, illustrators and publishers for the vast range and high standards of work. An increase in the number of publishers participating in this year’s award ensured that the range and quality of texts presented were of a very high standard, which made the task of selecting one overall winner a very challenging one.’

Speaking of the three shortlisted books Bev added,  ‘Dottie Blanket and the Hilltop  (Wendy Meddour) is a delightfully humorous story that is simply told but one that has great depth. It is extremely well-crafted with the illustrations expertly provided by Meddour’s thirteen-year-old daughter Mina May.

Tad-cu’s Bobble Hat  (Malachy Doyle & Dorry Spikes) is a simple yet effective story filled with the themes of family, love and loss. Doyle captures the essence of childhood and perseverance extremely well in this beautifully illustrated book by Dorry Spikes.

‘G. R. Gemin’s debut novel,  Cowgirl, is a story full of humour, passion, community spirit and great optimism. The lilting tones of the Welsh language permeate the story and this, coupled with excellent descriptions of the estate and its inhabitants, add to the "Welshness" of the piece.’

Also highly commended by the 2015 judging panel were:
A Child’s Dylan Thomas  by Phil Carradice (Pont)
The Great Cake Bake  by Jenny Sullivan (Pont)
The Shiver Stone  by Sharon Tregenza (Firefly)
Dragon Gold  by Shoo Rayner (Firefly)

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Books Council, said,  ‘We were very pleased with the standard and variety of books published for children and young people during the last year, and were delighted to have such strong contenders on the shortlist for the 2015 awards. Our warm congratulations go to the authors, illustrators and publishers involved and we hope that children and young people from all across Wales enjoy reading these wonderful books.’

The Tir na n-Og Awards were established in 1976 with the intention of raising the standards of children’s and young people’s books in Wales, and to encourage the buying and reading of good books. Three awards are presented annually by the Books Council and are sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Cymru/Wales and Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion.

There are three awards: the best English-language book of the year with an authentic Welsh background, the best Welsh-language book for the primary sector and the best Welsh-language book for the secondary sector.

The shortlists for the two Welsh-language categories have also been announced, and these are:

Best Welsh-language Primary Category
Sgleinio’r Lleuad  – Caryl Lewis a Valériane Leblond (Y Lolfa)
Straeon Gorau’r Byd  – Caryl Lewis (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
Gwylliaid  – Bethan Gwanas (Gwasg Gomer)

Best Welsh-language Secondary Category
Anji  – Gareth F. Williams (Cyfres Copa, Y Lolfa)
Y Gêm  – Gareth F. Williams (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
Y Planhigyn  – Mihangel Morgan (Cyfres yr Onnen, Y Lolfa)

Full details and reviews of the books can be viewed on www.gwales.com  

The name of the winner of the English-language award will be announced at a special event at Swansea Library during the CILIP Cymru Library and Information Conference on Thursday, 14 May 2015, and the winners of the Welsh-language awards at the Urdd National Eisteddfod on Thursday, 28 May 2015.

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