Catherine Fisher triumphed at the Tir na n-Og children’s literature award with her novel The Clockwork Crow (Firefly Press).
The Tir na n-Og English-language Award recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young adults.
The Clockwork Crow is a "gripping tale of enchantment and belonging, set in a frost-bound mansion in snowy mid-Wales, When Seren Rhys is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger late at night in a freezing Victorian train station, she has no idea of what trouble it contains", said organisers.
Sioned Jacques, Chair of the Tir na n-Og English-language Panel, noted: "This novel was considered by the panel to be imaginative, beautifully descriptive, captivating and derivative of many classic titles such as C S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Yet it is still unique and typical of the high quality expected from an exceptionally talented author such as Catherine Fisher. The main character is written in such a way as to make the reader want to be her and to feel empathy for her. It is well-edited with beautiful illustrations and contains some wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of the Welsh countryside."
Fisher, who is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy and in 2013 was appointed the inaugural Young People’s Laureate for Wales, said: "I'm delighted to win the Tir na n-Og Award. The Clockwork Crow is a novel that uses Welsh folklore and is set in a Welsh landscape. But I also hope that, as all imaginative fiction should, it will appeal to all readers everywhere."
The poet and author took home the award at an event held at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University on 16th May, as part of the CILIP Wales Conference.
Since its inception in 1976 the Welsh Books Council has annually celebrated the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background.Helgard Krause,chief executive of the Welsh Books Council, added: "All the titles shortlisted for this year’s Tir na n-Og award were of an exceptionally high standard, reflecting the quality of books available for children and young adults at present. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate Catherine Fisher and Firefly Press on their achievement."
The winning titles in the primary and secondary Welsh-language categories will be revealed on 30th May at the 2019 Cardiff and the Vale Urdd National Eisteddfod at The Millennium Centre, Cardiff.