Wales Book of the Year / Longlist announced

From the tales of the Mabinogi to an account of a rural Welsh childhood in the 1920s and the diary of a modern-day police officer on the beat, the longlist for the Wales Book of the Year features an eclectic mix of subject matter and genres.

Download the longlist below (PDF).

The awards, worth £10,000 to the winners, are presented to the best books of the year in the English and Welsh language.

The English language judges are poet and lecturer at the University of Wales, Ian Gregson (chair); fiction writer, James Hawes and broadcaster Sara Edwards.  

The list includes debut novels from Mike Thomas and Terri Wiltshire; Alun Trevor’s memoir of a Welsh childhood; travel writing by Horatio Clare; short stories from Emyr Humphreys and poetry from Jasmine Donahaye, Philip Gross and Richard Marggraf Turley.  Peter Lord is nominated for his scholarly account of the history of Welsh painting and Nikolai Tolstoy for his analysis of the origins of the Mabinogi.

Ian Gregson, Chair of the English-language judges said:
‘This year’s list is especially exciting because almost all the best books this year were by lesser-known or younger writers, notably the two novelists and the three poets.  It’s also conspicuously varied in terms of genre: as well as poetry and novels, it includes nature-writing, life-writing, short stories, and two books of intriguing and challenging critical exegesis.’

Peter Finch, Academi Chief Executive commented: 
‘The Wales Book of the Year Award means something.  It marks longlisted authors as winners and gives readers a pretty reliable indication of which books they should tackle next.   This year’s list includes a number of new names – a sure indicator of the vibrancy of Welsh culture – and stretches itself right across the forms.  Poetry battles with short fiction, criticism is ranged against the novel.  Who will win?  Watch this space.’

On Sunday 6 June, the shortlist of three books in each language will be announced at the Guardian Hay Festival.  The winners will be announced on Wednesday 30 June at a gala dinner at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff where the winners in each language will receive a cheque for £10,000 and four runners-up will each receive £1,000.

The Wales Book of the Year is administered by Academi, and funded by the Arts Council of Wales through its income from the Welsh Assembly Government.

For more details, contact [email protected]