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Literature Wales announces two Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Category Winners

Published Wed 20 Jul 2022 - By Literature Wales
Literature Wales has announced that the collection Y Pump (Y Lolfa) is the winner of the Welsh-language Children and Young People category this year, and Paid â Bod Ofn by Non Parry (Y Lolfa) takes the Welsh-language Creative Non-Fiction category. 

The news was announced on BBC Radio Cymru in a special edition of the magazine programme Stiwdio on Wednesday 20 July. 

Y Pump is a series of five novels, each co-written by two authors. They are honest, powerful and canfif novels from some of our foremost young writers. Y Pump embraces the complexities of five friends in Year 11 of Ysgol Gyfun Llwyd – Tim, Tami, Aniq, Robyn and Cat.

The five novels follow this group of friends as they discover the power their otherness has when they come together as a community. The books were originally presented individually, but the Judges believed that as the volumes were so interconnected, and the characters appeared throughout, it was impossible to distinguish between them. Therefore, the judges have decided to award the novels as a whole work, and so the ten authors, Elgan Rhys and Tomos Jones (Tim), Mared Roberts and Ceri-Anne Gatehouse (Tami), Marged Elen Wiliam and Mahum Umer (Aniq), Iestyn Tyne and Leo Drayton (Robyn), Megan Angharad Hunter and Maisie Awen (Cat), all share the award and recognition.

In her raw autobiography, Paid â Bod Ofn, singer Non Parry lifts the curtain on the glamour of life in the public eye and discusses mental health. As a member of the pop group Eden, Non became a familiar face at just 22 years old. Overnight, she and her best friends Emma and Rachael made their dream a reality. However, behind the refrain “Paid â bod ofn, (don’t be afraid), there was a very different Non. In 2018, the time came to admit the truth: she was afraid of many things.

Here is her story – the insecure child suffering with OCD and anxiety who went on to perform in front of thousands, the perfect imperfect wife, and mother who has learned to live with the challenges of her husband Iwan John’s illness and the effects on the whole family of waiting years for a transplant for Iwan.  

Non Parry is a member of the hugely popular pop group, Eden. She also writes scripts and is currently studying for an MA in Psychotherapeutic Practice. She has a popular podcast on BBC Radio Cymru, Digon which openly and honestly discusses mental health. 

Each category winner receives a financial award of £1,000 and a bespoke trophy designed by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones. The winners are also eligible for the Golwg360 Barn y Bobl Award and the title Wales Book of the Year 2022, which will be announced on Radio Cymru between 6.30 pm – 7.00 pm on Thursday 21 July.

The Wales Book of the Year Awards are judged by an independent panel appointed annually. Judging the Welsh-language books this year are broadcaster Mirain Iwerydd, presenter of BBC Radio Cymru 2’s Sunday Breakfast Show; presenter and columnist Melanie Owen; the academic, editor and author of the academic journal, Llên Cymru, Siwan Rosser; and the director, poet and writer Gwion Hallam *. Gwion Hallam, however, was not part of the discussions about the fiction category or the main prize due to a conflict of interest. 

Announcing the main winner of the Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Award 2022 

Last night, Literature Wales announced the winners of the Welsh Fiction @BangorUniversity and Poetry categories, Mori by Ffion Dafis (Y Lolfa), and merch y llyn by Grug Muse (Cyhoeddiadau’r Stamp). On Thursday 21 July 2022, the judges will announce which of the four category winners will go on to win the main prize and take the title of Wales Book of the Year 2022. The announcement will take place during a special edition of Stiwdio on BBC Radio Cymru. As well as announcing the overall winner, we will also hear which book is the favourite amongst the public, winning the Golwg360 Barn y Bobl award. 

The winners of the English-language categories will all be announced on Friday 29 July on The Arts Show BBC Radio Wales. This year’s English-language judging panel includes poet and writer  Krystal Lowe, journalist and broadcaster Andy Welch, author and presenter  Matt Brown, and poet and recipient of a 2020 Rising Stars AwardTaylor Edmonds.

Leusa Llewelyn, Literature Wales’ Joint Interim CEO said:

“What a pleasure it is to congratulate not one, but ten authors for winning the Children and Young People category this year and each of the novels thoroughly deserve their place as individual volumes. If the authors’ friendship is half as strong as the friendship between the characters of Y Pump, they will be delighted to share this accolade together. Huge congratulations to Non who also opens her heart and does so in the best dialect possible in her book Paid â Bod Ofn, and bravely leads the way in opening up the conversations about mental health.” 

For more information about Wales Book of The Year, head to the project page: https://www.literaturewales.org/our-projects/wales-book-year/