Literature Wales announces the judges for Wales Book of the Year 2021

Published Mon 1 Mar 2021 - By Literature Wales

Literature Wales announces the judges for Wales Book of the Year 2021, along with a broadcasting partnership with BBC Cymru Wales

As a part of this year’s St David’s Day celebrations, Literature Wales is pleased to announce the judging panel for Wales Book of the Year 2021, along with a broadcasting partnership with BBC Cymru Wales for both the shortlists and winners’ announcement.

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. Full biographies for each of this year’s judges can be found here.

The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres, in both English and Welsh. There are four categories in each language – PoetryFictionCreative Non-fiction, and Children & Young People. 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.

The shortlists will be announced at the end of June, and each category winner and People’s Choice winner, as well as Overall Winners will be announced during the summer, on BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.

Following the success of the 2020 awards, Literature Wales and BBC Cymru Wales have confirmed that they will work in partnership once again this year to announce the shortlists and the 2021 Wales Book of the Year winners in a series of announcements on both The Arts Show and Stiwdio radio programmes, which will include conversations with judges and writers.

Nicola Heywood Thomas, Presenter of BBC Radio Wales Arts Show said: “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. It’s great that BBC Cymru Wales is working with Literature Wales to support this year’s award and, once again, the Radio Wales Arts Show will be the platform for announcing the winners. Although it will be a virtual ceremony I look forward to an exciting evening and to enjoying some great new reads.”

The Wales Book of the Year Awards play an essential part in Literature Wales’ programme of activity and contributes to its strategic aim of celebrating and representing Wales’ writers, its heritage and rich literary culture. The prize offers an invaluable platform to both emerging and established writers. Previous shortlists and winners can be found here.

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with BBC Cymru Wales once again for this year’s announcements, whilst we are still unable to host our usual glittering award ceremony. This broadcasting partnership brings the excitement and the prestige of Wales Book of the Year into homes all across Wales and beyond.”

Literature Wales is grateful for the support of the award’s sponsors and partners: BBC Cymru Wales, The Rhys Davies Trust, Golwg360, Wales Arts Review and the Book Council of Wales. For further information about each sponsor and partner, click here.

For further information about Wales Book of the Year 2021, click here.