The Tir na n-Og Children’s Book Awards and the Books Council of Wales has announced the shortlists for the 2020 awards, with four titles from Y Lolfa and two each from Atebol and Puffin (see below for full details).
The awards are organised by the Books Council of Wales and sponsored by CLIP Cymru Wales, celebrating the work of authors and illustrators published in 2019.
Chief executive of the Books Council of Wales Helgard Krause said: “The Tir Na n-Og Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate the talents of our writers and illustrators, who are creating world-class content for our children and young people.”
The three main categories for the awards are: Welsh language books for primary school age, Welsh language books for secondary school age and English language books for children of any age with an authentic Welsh background.
The Welsh-language shortlists for primary age includes picture books promoting tolerance, tackling materialism and highlighting inspirational women from Wales. While books exploring mental health, eating disorders and migration dominate in the category for secondary schools.
Chair of the Welsh-language judging panel Gwawr Maelor Williams, said: “We have heard the voices of new, exciting and unique writers this year – books by young people for young people. In the midst of adventure and fantasy, there’s a voice for children’s well-being, a voice for Welsh women, a voice for mental resilience and mental health, and a voice for young people with physical ailments and conditions.”
Chair of the English language judging panel Eleri Twynog Davies added: “All four books on the shortlist are of very high quality, from the covers, illustrations and design to great character depiction and excellent storytelling. They take us from Abergavenny to Ogmore and Snowdonia, giving us a real sense of place—one of the central criteria for this award. It is so important that the children of Wales can see themselves reflected in Welsh literature, and that children outside Wales have a window on another culture.”
The names of the winners will be announced in May. Previous winners include some of Wales’s leading writers such as Emily Huws, T Llew Jones, Caryl Lewis, Gareth F Williams and Angharad Tomos.
The Welsh language shortlist—Primary:
Y Ddinas Uchel (The High City) by Huw Aaron (Atebol)
Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus (Great Girls and Skilled Women) by Medi Jones-Jackson (Y Lolfa)
Pobol Drws Nesaf (The People Next Door) by Manon Steffan Ros and Jac Jones (Y Lolfa)
Welsh language shortlist—Secondary:
Byw yn fy Nghroen (Living in my Skin) edited by Sioned Erin Hughes (Y Lolfa)
Tom by Cynan Llwyd (Y Lolfa)
Madi by Dewi Wyn Williams (Atebol)
The English language Shortlist:
The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke (Puffin)
Max Kowalski Didn’t Mean It by Susie Day (Puffin)
Storm Hound by Claire Fayers (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Where Magic Hides by Cat Weatherill (Gomer)