Griff takes the prize with his first novel!

27 May 2016

In a special ceremony held as part of the CILIP conference in Swansea, the Welsh Books Council has announced the name of the winner of the 2016 Tir na n-Og English-language Award, Wales's top prize for authors of books for children and young adults.

Griff takes the prize with his first novel!

In a special ceremony held as part of the CILIP conference in Swansea, the Welsh Books Council has announced the name of the winner of the 2016 Tir na n-Og English-language Award, Wales's top prize for authors of books for children and young adults.

Griff Rowland, who was born in Bangor and now lives in the Canton area of Cardiff, based his story  The Search for Mister Lloyd,  published by Candy Jar Books, on the character of Mostyn Price and his quest to find his racing pigeon, Mister Lloyd, who has failed to return home from his race. A director of TV programmes and dramas such as Coronation Street, Holby City and Hollyoaks, Griff is delighted to win the award.

He said: "It's a huge honour to win the competition which marks its fortieth anniversary this year. The journey from writing a story to seeing it in print is a long one, so it’s a real joy to receive this award." He added: "This is my first novel, and it's been a lot of work producing the book. It's a quirky story about pigeons, but I had faith in the novel and what I was trying to convey. I wrote it now and again, between spells of television work. Without any idea as to whether anyone would like the story, I carried on as it was important to me. My mother, Beryl Stafford Williams, is a novelist and was previously an English teacher; her father, Stafford Thomas, was a poet; and my father, J. Gwynn Williams, is an historian and a past president of the National Library. It seems books and stories are in my blood!"

According to Bethan M. Hughes, Chair of the 2016 Tir na n-Og judging panel: "Full of rich language and creative images, this is a pacy modern quest story full of emotional peaks and troughs. Told from different narrative viewpoints, it intrigues and engages the reader from the outset with its chatty direct style which cleverly parodies old public information films and modern online chat. It explores family relationships, especially the role of the father figure, and the support and loyalty of friendships. Set in both Bangor and London, it weaves Welsh phrases and names effortlessly into the narrative. This is a novel which makes you laugh at times and which tugs at your heartstrings the next, full of memorable scenes and dilemmas."

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, added: "It is a pleasure to congratulate the winner of the English-language Tir na n-Og Award, which gives the work of authors of books for children and young adults the prestige and status it deserves. This year, we honour a new and talented author – Griff Rowland. The award clearly reflects the vibrancy of children's books through the medium of English, and we extend our congratulations to the authors and publishers for their work."

The Tir na n-Og English-language Award is sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

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