Parthian Books, Faber and Jonathan Cape all have English-language titles in the shortlist for the 2014 Wales Book of the Year Award, while the shortlisted Welsh-language entries come from just three Welsh publishers.
The shortlist was announced today (Friday 9th May) via an online broadcast in collaboration with the Welsh-language television programme Pethe.
Tessa Hadley has been shortlisted in the English-language Fiction category for her novel Clever Girl (Jonathan Cape). She is up against Tyler Keevil’s The Drive (Myriad Editions) and Francesca Rhydderch’s The Rice Paper Diaries (Seren).
In the English-language Roland Mathias Poetry Award category, Mike Jenkins is up for Barkin!, (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch). He faces competition from Jemma L King for The Shape of a Forest (Parthian Books) and Pink Mist by Owen Sheers (Faber).
The contenders in the English-language Creative Non-Fiction category are: Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life by Meic Stephens (Parthian Books); R. S. Thomas: Serial Obsessive by M. Wynn Thomas (University of Wales Press) and Thelma Wheatley’s And Neither Have I Wings to Fly (Inanna Publications).
Judging the English-language titles this year are journalist Jasper Rees, lecturer Andrew Webb, and comedian Nadia Kamil.
Rees said there had been “a huge variety of poetry, fiction and non-fiction to absorb” in this year’s competition. He commented: “What’s been thrilling is not only the high standard of the literature produced by those living in, coming from or writing about Wales, but also the breadth of subject matter. Wales and Welshness are of course an abiding preoccupation, but this year’s writers have also roamed the continents and the centuries in search of stories. From the evidence of 2013, Welsh writing in English remains conscious of its roots, but has the curiosity to spread its wings and look far beyond the horizon.”
All three of the contenders in the Welsh-language Creative Non-Fiction category are published by Gwasg Gomer: Ffarwél i Freiburg by Angharad Price; Y Brenhinbren by Derec Llwyd Morgan and Bob by Alan Llwyd. Gwasg Gomer also has a book in the Welsh-language Fiction shortlist with Ioan Kidd’s Dewis. The other titles in that category are Eneidiau by Aled Jones Williams (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch) and Paris by Wiliam Owen Roberts (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas).
Cyhoeddiadau Barddas dominates the Welsh-language Poetry category with both Rhwng y Llinellau by Christine James and Dafydd John Pritchard’s Lôn Fain on the shortlist. That category is rounded up by Sian Northey’s Trwy Ddyddiau Gwydr (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch).
Judging the Welsh-language books for the 2014 Award are the writer Gareth Miles, poet Eurig Salisbury and blogger and writer Lowri Cooke.
Lleucu Siencyn, chief executive of Literature Wales, who administer the prize, said: “The 2014 Wales Book of the Year shortlist reflects the high standard of work published during 2013…Each book is worth reading, and with nine weeks before the Award Ceremony, this is the perfect time to start.”
The winners of the 2014 Award will be announced at an awards ceremony at Galeri Caernarfon on 10th July. Each category winner will receive a prize of £2,000, and the two main winners in each language will receive an additional £6,000.
At the ceremony both, the People’s Choice Award and Gwobr Barn y Bobl (the Welsh-language People’s Prize) will also be presented to the reading public’s favourite shortlisted titles.
- Conran and Griffiths on Wales Book of the Year shortlist
- Y Lolfa and Parthian frontrunners on Wales Book of the Year shortlist
- Tyson Fury and Ben Stokes make Autobiography of the Year shortlist
- Obama, Mantel and Moore make BBA Books of the Year shortlists
- McAnulty, Bennett and O’Farrell make Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist