Popular and Well-known Broadcasters Win Top Awards

30 May 2013

The Welsh Books Council has announced the winners of the 2013 Tir na n-Og Welsh awards. In a special ceremony at the Pembrokeshire National Urdd Eisteddfod on Thursday afternoon, 30 May, awards were presented to Iolo Williams and Bethan Wyn Jones for  Cynefin yr Ardd  (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch), and to Alun Wyn Bevan for his book  Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry  (Gomer Press).

The Tir na n-Og awards are presented annually by the Welsh Books Council to the authors of the best books for children and young people published during the previous year. The awards were established in 1976 and, over the years, they have been presented to some of Wales’s leading authors of children’s books.

The primary school category was won by  Iolo Williams  and  Bethan Wyn Jones  for  Cynefin yr Ardd    a delightful book for children and adults alike to learn to enjoy all the wildlife in the garden habitat: the animals, birds, insects, reptiles, trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that inhabit the rich areas on our doorstep.

Bethan was brought up in Talwrn, Anglesey. She’s a botanist, a broadcaster, a weekly columnist in the  Daily Post  and an experienced author of many nature books.

Bethan said:  ‘I’m delighted to win this prestigious award. I hadn’t even realised that we were eligible for the prize, so it was a very nice surprise to reach the short list, let alone to win! We had a lot of fun preparing the book. I hope it will spark an interest in children not only to read about nature but to venture to the outside world and discover the wonders of nature for themselves. Thank you very much for this award  –  I truly appreciate the honour, and a special thank you to Gwasg Carreg Gwalch for publishing the work.’

Born in Builth Wells, Iolo spent most of his childhood in Llanwddyn. After gaining an ecology degree, he worked for a short time in farming and forestry before joining the staff of the RSPB in mid-Wales. Frequently asked to contribute to radio and television, he left the RSPB to work in the broadcasting industry. Since then he has become well known as a TV presenter and regularly presents a number of wildlife and open-air programmes in both English and Welsh on BBC and S4C.

Iolo said:  ‘Winning the award came as a complete surprise to begin with, but it’s an honour to have won it. Although Bethan and I are named on the cover of the book, it was a team effort, and thanks go to Elgan, Gordon and all at Carreg Gwalch. It was a pleasure working with them.’

Alun Wyn Bevan  won the secondary school category for his wonderful book to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics,  Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry . The book is full of intriguing facts and includes some of the Games's most interesting and remarkable stories over the years, with an emphasis on the Welsh connection.

Alun Wyn Bevan is an experienced broadcaster, rugby commentator and retired rugby referee. He is originally from Brynaman, but now lives in Neath. He is also highly regarded as a sports author, with his books  Stradey  Stories ,  St Helen's Stories  and  Grav in his Own Words  proving to be bestsellers.

Alun said:  ‘It is an honour and a pleasure to win this prestigious award. While it’s the author who gets recognised for his achievement, I would like to sincerely thank my editor, illustrator, photographer and Gomer Press for their contribution.’

Cynefin yr Ardd  is published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Llanrwst, and  Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry  is published by Gomer Press, Llandysul.

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said:  ‘Our warm congratulations go to the authors and publishers on their success in winning the Welsh-language Tir na n-Og awards 2013. The standard of the books on the short list were particularly high this year, reflecting the wide variety of titles published. We warmly congratulate the three authors, and publishers Carreg Gwalch and Gomer, on their success.’

The Tir na n-Og awards are sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), together with Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion. With the support of the Urdd, the awards were presented at their National Eisteddfod.

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