Tir na n-Og Award

welsh-cakes-and-custardThe Tir na n-Og Awards (abbreviated TnaO) are a set of annual children’s literary awards in Wales from 1976. They are presented by the Welsh Books Council to the best books published during the preceding calendar year in each of three awards categories, one English-language and two Welsh-language. Their purpose is “[to raise] the standard of children’s and young people’s books and to encourage the buying and reading of good books.” There is no restriction to fiction or prose. Each prize is £1,000.

The awards are named for Tír na nÓg, the “Land of the Young”, an otherworldly realm in Irish mythology.

The English-language award honours one book with an “authentic Welsh background” whose original language is English. It is sponsored by the British Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Cymru Wales division (CILIP/Wales), and presented at that association’s annual conference in May.

The Welsh-language Primary Sector and Secondary Sector awards honour one book written for primary school children and one for secondary school children. They are presented at the annual Urdd National Eisteddfod, recently at the beginning of June or end of May. Since 2011, the Welsh-language awards are co-sponsored by the Cardigan-based publisher Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion.

Shortlists comprising three or four books in each awards category have been published by WBC at least from 2011.

Recent Awards

The 2013/2014 cycle was completed 29 May 2013 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Pembrokeshire with the presentation of the two Welsh-language awards.

  • Primary sector: Gareth F. Williams, Cwmwl dros y Cwm, a historical novel set in Senghenydd in South Wales at the time of the disastrous colliery explosion in 1913, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
  • Secondary sector: Haf Llewelyn, Diffodd y Sêr, a historical novel about the family of Welsh poet Hedd Wyn (Ellis Humphrey Evans), who died at Passchendaele, published by Y Lolfa

The English-language award was presented 15 May 2014 at Cardiff Central Library to Wendy White for Welsh Cakes and Custard, family-based stories about two young children in contemporary Wales, published by Gomer Press.

The 2012/2013 cycle was completed 30 May 2013 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod with the presentation of the two Welsh-language awards.

  • Primary Sector: Iolo Williams and Bethan Wyn Jones, Cynefin yr Ardd, a book about garden wildlife, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
  • Secondary Sector: Alun Wyn Bevan, Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry, a celebration of the Olympic Games with emphasis on the Welsh connection, published by Gomer Press

The English-language award was presented 16 May 2013 at Cardiff Central Library to Cwmbran-born Daniel Morden for Tree of Leaf and Flame, a collection of stories retelling the Mabinogion, illustrated by Brett Breckon and published by Pont Books. He won the same award in 2007 for Dark Tales from the Woods.

Recent Winners

There was a single Welsh-language award from 1976 to 1986, followed by dual Fiction and Nonfiction awards from 1987 to 2005, dual Primary and Secondary awards from 2006. There has been one English-language award throughout.

All three awards have been conferred every year from 1994. Previously seven English awards and one Welsh award were withheld.

2014

  • English-language: Welsh Cakes and Custard, Wendy White, illustrated by Helen Flook
  • Welsh, Primary: Cwmwl dros y Cwm, Gareth F. Williams (his 5th TnO Award)
  • Welsh, Secondary: Diffodd y Sêr, Haf Llewelyn

2013

  • English-language: Tree of Leaf and Flame, Daniel Morden
  • Welsh, Primary: Cynefin yr Ardd, Iolo Williams and Bethan Wyn Jones
  • Welsh, Secondary: Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry, Alun Wyn Bevan

 2012

  •  English-language: Full Moon, Jenny Sullivan
  • Welsh, Primary: Prism, Manon Steffan Ros
  • Welsh, Secondary: Yr Alarch Du, Rhiannon Wyn

 2011

  •  English-language: Three Little Sheep, Rob Lewis
  • Welsh, Primary: Dirgelwch y Bont, Hywel Griffiths
  • Welsh, Secondary: Stwff Guto S. Tomos, Lleucu Roberts

(source: Book cover of Wendy White’s ‘Welsh Cakes & Custard’ http://bit.ly/1qFnm7T; text http://bit.ly/1vZuHFZ)