Author Giancarlo Gemin has won a Welsh book award for his debut children’s novel Cowgirl (Nosy Crow).
The English language Tir na n-Og award, organised by the Welsh Books Council, and sponsored by Cilip Wales, is for the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background.
The judges said Cowgirl, which is about a girl called Gemma who lives in the Mawr estate in South Wales, skilfully showed aspects of contemporary life in Wales and “is brimming with personality”.
Gemin, who was presented with the prize last night (14th May) at an event at Swansea Central Library, said: “It’s great to win this important prize for my debut book, as it certainly encourages me to keep writing. I was very moved and proud to receive such an acknowledgement from my native country. Cowgirl was the first book I decided to set in Wales, and in writing it felt immediately at home.”
The book beat two other titles; Dottie Blanket and the Hilltop by Wendy Meddour (Firefly Press) and Tad-cu’s Bobble Hat by Malachy Doyle and Dorry Spikes (Pont Books).
Cowgirl was also shortlisted for this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the fiction category, and is in the running for the Branford Boase Award, which will be announced on the 9th July.