Literature Wales has announced the judging panel for Wales Book of the Year 2021, along with a broadcasting partnership with BBC Cymru Wales for both the shortlist and winner announcements.
The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres. Run by Literature Wales, the national company whose mission is to inspire communities, develop writers, and celebrate Wales’ literary culture, the award offers an invaluable platform to both emerging and established writers. There are twelve awards in total, with a collective prize fund of £14,000 for the successful writers, as well as the iconic Wales Book of the Year trophy, designed by artist and blacksmith Angharad Pearce Jones.
Literature Wales works in Welsh, English and bilingually across Wales; the award therefore celebrates writing in both Welsh and English. There are four categories in each language: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, and Children and Young People.
The judges of this year’s English-language books are poet, writer, and dancer, Tishani Doshi; teacher, reviewer and influencer, Scott Evans; Paralympian, Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords, motivational speaker, and broadcaster, Tanni Grey-Thompson; and academic, writer, activist and former winner of Wales Book of the Year (2003), Charlotte Williams.
On the Welsh-language panel are poet and writer, Guto Dafydd; writer, presenter and former Bardd Plant Cymru, Anni Llŷn; writer, academic and lecturer, Tomos Owen; and comedian and writer, Esyllt Sears.
Following the success of the 2020 awards, Literature Wales and BBC Cymru Wales will work in partnership once again this year to announce the shortlists and the Wales Book of the Year 2021 winners in a series of announcements on the BBC Radio Wales Arts Show and Stiwdio, which will include conversations with judges and writers.
“We’re delighted to be collaborating with BBC Cymru Wales once again for this year’s announcements,” said Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales. “This broadcasting partnership brings the excitement and the prestige of Wales Book of the Year into homes all across Wales and beyond.” The shortlists will be announced at the end of June, and the category winners, People’s Choice winners and overall winners will be announced during the summer.
“Wales Book of the Year is such an important way of recognising and nurturing the country’s very best writing talent – especially in these extraordinary times when, for so many of us, books and writers have played a vital role,” said Nicola Heywood Thomas, Presenter of Radio Wales Arts Show.
To find out more about this year’s judges and for further information about Wales Book of the Year 2021 visit the Literature Wales website and follow Literature Wales on social media (Twitter: @LitWales/@LlenCymru; Facebook: LlenCymruLitWales; Instagram: llencymru_litwales).