The 2010 English Tir na n-Og Award

14 May 2010

The Welsh Books Council has announced the name of the winner of the prestigious  Tir na n-Og English Award  which recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young people.

The 2010 English Award has been won by Paul Manship for his novel for young people,  Dear Mr Author,  a gripping and funny story set in Newport. It is an original, clever and fast-paced story. The main character, eleven-year-old Sam Willoughby, always seems to be trying too hard for success, but fails miserably as a result of his blind enthusiasm.  Dear Mr Author  is published by Pont Books, Gomer Press.

Paul Manship was born in Newport, south Wales but spent a year in South Africa when he was seven. He now teaches in a primary school in Newport and says he gets his ideas for his books from his life as a teacher, through watching a lot of films, and pure imagination. Paul Manship has written two other novels for children –  The Cube  and  Rewind.

Paul Manship said, ‘I started writing ten years ago, partly inspired by the books I was reading to my class, notably Jenny Nimmo’s  The Snow Spider.  It’s thrilling to think that I’ve been awarded something that has been won previously by such fine writers, storytellers and illustrators as Frances Thomas, Graham Howells and Daniel Morden. Winning the Tir na n-Og Award has given me a real boost of encouragement.’

The award is sponsored by CILIP Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). The award was presented to the author at a special reception held at the CILIP Cymru annual conference at Llandrindod, Powys.

Menna Lloyd Williams, Head of the Children’s Books Department at the Welsh Books Council, said, ‘There was a wealth of books to be considered for this year’s Tir na n-Og Award, reflecting the high standard of books for children. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate the winner and the publisher.’

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