Experienced and new author scoop prestigious award

2 Jun 2016

In a ceremony held today (02.06.16) in the main pavilion of the Urdd Eisteddfod at Flint, it was announced that Siân Lewis and illustrator Valériane Leblond are the winners of the 2016 Tir na n-Og Welsh-language Junior Category Award, with Llŷr Titus winning the Secondary Category Award.

Experienced and new author scoop prestigious award

In a ceremony held today (02.06.16) in the main pavilion of the Urdd Eisteddfod at Flint, it was announced that Siân Lewis and illustrator Valériane Leblond are the winners of the 2016 Tir na n-Og Welsh-language Junior Category Award, with Llŷr Titus winning the Secondary Category Award.

The winners of the junior category, Siân Lewis and Valériane Leblond, are awarded the prize for  Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi,  published by Rily. This is an attractive hardback book that immediately draws your attention.

Eirian James, Chair of the Welsh-language Tir na n-Og judging panel, said: "The stories of the Mabinogi are re-told using rich, polished language and are easy to read. They are suitable to be read aloud by a parent to a small child, and also by the child himself when he is a bit older."

Siân, a popular author who won the award in 2007, said: "It is delightful to receive an award for a book which I immensely enjoyed writing in the company of the artist Valériane Leblond, with the help of Gordon Jones, the editor, Elgan Griffiths, the illustrator, and Lynda Tunnicliffe from Rily Publications. Many thanks to you all. I have a row of book shelves along my living-room wall. Where better to place the award, nestling between the books!"

The winner of the secondary category is Llŷr Titus from Bryn-mawr, Llŷn. His novel  Gwalia  tells the story of Elan's journey as she travels on a spaceship from planet to planet. Published by Gomer Press, it is an adventure novel for teenagers, and forms part of the popular Strach series.

Eirian James added: "The book attracted us from the outset, with its striking cover, characteristic of this type of story, which is very popular and in tune with the interests of the young people of today. The panel felt that there was nothing like it in Welsh and that the story was fresh, current and well written, and managed to keep the reader gripped from one chapter to the next. We also liked the small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, which added to the story, and it was great to read about another world in Welsh."

Llŷr is a first-year PhD student at Bangor University researching the influence of Celticity on twenty-first-century Wales, concentrating in particular on historiography and ideology. He said: "When I was asked to write a novel for this particular age group, I thought what would I have enjoyed reading when I was of the same age. I must admit that I read far more English than Welsh when I was younger as English novels discussed things that were more interesting to me. There aren't enough of these in Welsh, so I thought I might try to improve the situation."

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

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said: "It is a pleasure once more to congratulate the winners of the Tir na n-Og Welsh-language Awards, which give the work of authors of books for children and young adults the prestige and status it deserves. This year, we honour an experienced and well-known author, Siân Lewis, and the exceptional illustrator Valériane Leblond, alongside a talented young author, Llŷr Titus. The awards clearly reflect the vibrancy of children's books through the medium of Welsh and we are extremely grateful to the authors, illustrators and publishers for all of their work."

The Welsh Books Council wishes to thank television company Tinopolis for their generous support in preparing the video clips for both Welsh and English language awards ceremonies.

The Tir na n-Og awards are sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), together with Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion.

Experienced and new author scoop prestigious awardExperienced and new author scoop prestigious award

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