The Mary Vaughan Jones Award

The Mary Vaughan Jones Award is presented once every three years to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to children’s books in Wales over a considerable period of time.


Jac Jones, one of the most important illustrators of children books during the last fifty years, is to receive the Mary Vaughan Jones 2012 Award.

Tlws Mary Vaughan Jones 2012

This prestigious children’s book award is presented by the Welsh Books Council in memory of Mary Vaughan Jones, the well-known children’s author, who died in 1983. The award is presented every three years to acknowledge an outstanding contribution to the field of children’s literature in Wales.

‘Winning the Mary Vaughan Jones Award is a great honour,’ said Jac Jones. ‘What makes it extra special for me is that I was responsible for creating the visual image of Jac y Jwc, one of Mary Vaughan Jones’s endearing characters and one that has become a firm favourite with generations of children.’

Jac Jones was born in Gwalchmai, Anglesey, on Saint David’s Day 1943. He lived in Bristol for a few years before returning to Anglesey when he was seven. Aged seventeen, he went to work at a graphics unit in Llangefni before becoming a freelance graphic designer in 1974.

Over the years, he has illustrated more than two hundred and fifty children’s books. Since 1976 he has worked with numerous authors, illustrating their work and enriching their volumes in his own unique style. Amongst the characters that he has created are Mudiad Meithrin’s Mabon and Mabli, and Twmff y Gath in the children’s magazine WCW a’i Ffrindiau. He has also created graphics for dozens of television programmes. As well as illustrating books by other authors, Jac Jones is a children’s author in his own right, having published a number of books in both English and Welsh.

He has already won the Tir na n-Og award three times for illustrating the following titles: Ben y Garddwr a Storϊau Eraill in 1989, Lleuad yn Olau in 1990, and Stori Branwen in 1998. Although each book that Jac works on is important to him, contributing to some high-profile titles has been a very special experience. Amongst these titles he lists Chwedlau Grimm, adapted by Dyddgu Owen, and Drama’r Nadolig by Gwyn Thomas. A section of the artwork that he created for Lleuad yn Olau has been included in Premi de Catalonia, a directory of children’s illustrators of the world.

‘Jac Jones has made an enormous contribution to the development of children’s books in Wales,’ said Delyth Humphreys, Head of the Children’s Books and Reading Development Department at the Welsh Books Council. ‘The improvement in the design and presentation of original books in both English and Welsh over the years is testimony to this influence. As we congratulate him on winning the Mary Vaughan Jones Award – the highest accolade in the field of children’s books in Wales – we would also like to thank him for his invaluable contribution.’

The 2012 Mary Vaughan Jones Award will be presented to Jac Jones in a special ceremony at Oriel Môn, Llangefni, Friday, 1 June 2012.


2009 Angharad Tomos
2006 Mair Wynn Hughes
2003 Elfyn Pritchard
2000 J Selwyn Lloyd
1997 Roger Boore
1994 W J Jones
1991 T Llew Jones
1988 Emily Huws
1985 Ifor Owen

Mary Vaughan Jones (1918-1983)

This award was established as a tribute to Mary Vaughan Jones, one of the main benefactors of children’s literature in Wales.

Mary Vaughan Jones was a gifted infants’ teacher, and her contribution to Welsh education as a teacher and lecturer was considerable. Her main contribution, however, was to children’s literature – for over a period of thirty years. Although she was crippled with arthritis and mainly confined to her home, she continued to write for the younger age-group right up until her death. She published over 40 books and was a regular contributor to the Urdd magazines.


A silver trophy depicting characters from Mary Vaughan Jones’s books, and made by Canolfan Aur Tregaron (The Tregaron Gold Centre).


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