The 2011 Tir na n-Og Awards
Best English-language Category
The 2011 English Award has been won by ROB LEWIS for his picture book, Three Little Sheep. Written and illustrated by Rob, this delightful book has been described as a ‘gem’ and ‘an outstanding example of its type’.
A full-time children’s author and illustrator, Rob Lewis has written and illustrated almost 40 books, several of which have been translated into Welsh. Although born in London, he spent his early years in Dolgellau before the family settled in Bath. Rob moved back to Wales in 1990. He studied Graphic Design at the University of the West of England, Bristol between 1982 and 1985, and his first book, Hello Mr Scarecrow, was published in 1986. Rob has over 25 years’ experience of visiting schools and libraries throughout Britain and was recently involved with Tyne2Seine, an Anglo-French literacy project developed by Tyneside Libraries. He is about to start on a major project for the Wales Millennium Centre involving seven schools across Wales.
Three Little Sheep is published by Pont Books, Gomer Press and opens with the sheep, who are happily roaming the meadow, being frightened when a singing wolf pops out of a hole in the ground. The sheep flee and the wolf pursues them with dogged determination. But all is not what it seems, and this wolf is far from the stereotypical fairy tale wolf! Rob Lewis presents the tale in an easy rhythmical style and rhyme, maintaining the tension until the very end.
Rob Lewis said, ‘Having won the Tir na n-Og award in 2003, I was absolutely delighted and honoured to have won this major award for the second time. Three Little Sheep was a joy to write and illustrate and I hope that readers of all ages will be entertained by this tale of a well-intentioned wolf and three unsuspecting sheep!’
The award is sponsored by CILIP Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and was presented to the author at a ceremony held at the CILIP Wales annual conference at Llandrindod Wells, Powys, on 12 May.
Elwyn Jones, Director of 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 quality and range of books for children. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate the author and the publisher on their achievement.’
The short-listed titles were
Mutiny on the School Ship Bounty – Jon Blake (Pont)
The Rugby Zombies – Dan Anthony (Pont)
Three Little Sheep – Rob Lewis (Pont)
Wales– a Very Peculiar History (The Cherished Library) – Rupert Matthews (Book House)
Best Welsh-language Primary Category
Hywel Griffiths has made a notable achievement by winning the primary-category award with his first novel for children, Dirgelwch y Bont . This is a historical fantasy, which follows the adventures of three friends as they travel back in time to the exciting days of Owain Glyndŵr. The book was published by Gwasg Gomer as part of its Cyfres Strach series.
Lleucu Roberts, a very experienced author and a previous winner of the Tir na n-Og Award, has won the secondary-sector category this year for her novel Stwff Guto S. Tomos . This is the witty diary of a 14-year-old boy who lives with an unconventional family. The book was published by y Lolfa as part of its Cyfres yr Onnen series.
Hywel Griffiths was born in Carmarthen and brought up on a farm near Llangynog. He started writing prose and poetry when he was a pupil at Ysgol Bro Myrddin. He studied at Aberystwyth University, where he now works as a lecturer in geography. He won the Urdd Eisteddfod chair in Anglesey in 2004 and in Carmarthenshire in 2007, and the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol crown in Cardiff in 2008. His first individual collection of poetry, Banerog, reached the Wales Book of the Year shortlist in 2010.
Hywel Griffiths said, ‘It is highly encouraging to be awarded the Tir na n-Og Award for my first novel. I very much hope that the children of Wales will have as much fun reading the novel as I did writing it.’
Lleucu Roberts comes originally from Llanfihangel Genau’r Glyn in Ceredigion and she was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig and the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. She has been living in Rhostryfan, Gwynedd for fifteen years and is a full-time author. She has scripted several series for S4C. Stwff Guto S. Tomos is her fifth novel.
Lleucu Roberts said, ‘Having won the Tir na n-Og Award in 2009 for Annwyl Smotyn Bach, it is an honour and a pleasure to win this prestigious award for the second time.’
The awards, worth £1,000 each, have been sponsored by CILIP Wales (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) for the past few years, but this year Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion is an additional sponsor. The prizes were presented to the authors at a special ceremony on the Urdd Eisteddfod stage in Swansea on 2 June.
Elwyn Jones, Director of the Welsh Books Council, said, ‘It is very good to be able to congratulate a new author and an experienced author on winning the 2011 Welsh-language Tir na n-Og Awards. The standard of the shortlisted books was extremely high this year, reflecting the variety of books being published. It is a great pleasure to congratulate the authors and the publishers on their success.’
The Short-listed titles were
Bwystfilod a Bwganod (Cyfres yr Onnen) – Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa)
Diolch, Sgrwff (Cyfres Swigod) – Gwen Redvers Jones (Gomer)
Dirgelwch y Bont (Cyfres Strach) – Hywel Griffiths (Gomer)
Mr Abracadabra Jones – Mari Stevens (Y Lolfa)
Stwff Guto S. Tomos (Cyfres yr Onnen) – Lleucu Roberts (Y Lolfa)
Y Cwestiwn Mawr (Cyfres yr Onnen) – Meinir Pierce Jones (Y Lolfa)
Y Ddwy Lisa: Cysgod yr Hebog (Cyfres y Dderwen) – Gareth F. Williams (Y Lolfa)
Elwyn Jones, Director of the Books Council, said, ‘The short-listed titles reflect the high standard of books published for children and young people in Wales and also the variety of titles available. It is encouraging to see new young authors, as well as familiar faces, reaching the short list this year.’