The Shortlist for the 2024 Book of the Year Award has been announced!

Published Sun 12 May 2024 - By Literature Wales
The Shortlist for the 2024 Book of the Year Award has been announced!
After several months reading 2023’s literary output, two independent judging panels have selected their shortlists for the 2024 Wales Book of the Year Award.

Each year, the Wales Book of the Year Award celebrates talented Welsh writers who excel in diverse literary forms in both Welsh and English. There are four categories in both languages – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Children and Young People, with one of the category winners going on to win the Overall Award and claiming the title, Wales Book of the Year.

Today, Sunday 12 May, on BBC Radio Cymru’s Ffion Dafis programme, the Welsh Shortlist was revealed on air in the company of the judging panel, and Artistic Director of Literature Wales, Leusa Llewelyn.

The English Shortlist was announced on Lynn Bowles’ BBC Radio Wales programme today, in a conversation between Claire Furlong, Executive Director of Literature Wales and Dylan Moore, one of the judges for the English language awards.

Leusa Llewelyn, Artistic Director of Literature Wales, said: “What a feast the shortlists selected by this year’s judges present. Twenty-four books by experienced and new writers, each presenting a different aspect on Welsh literature. It is impossible to summarize so many books, and so many authors – I would encourage you to read them all, each and every one! Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers for your achievement and for entertaining us. We look forward to seeing you all at the Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony at the Galeri, Caernarfon in July.”

The English Shortlist

The English Shortlist is sponsored by Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, and Literature Wales is pleased to announce that the following books are those in the running for the Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy Wales Book of the Year Award:

Poetry Award
I Think We’re Alone Now, Abigail Parry (Bloodaxe Books)
Cowboy, Kandace Siobhan Walker (Cheerio Publishing)
In Orbit, Glyn Edwards (Seren)

Creative Non-Fiction Award
Sarn Helen, Tom Bullough (Granta Publications)
Birdsplaining: A Natural History, Jasmine Donahaye (New Welsh Rarebyte)
Spring Rain, Marc Hamer (Harvill Secker)

The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award
Stray Dogs, Richard John Parfitt (Third Man Books)
The Unbroken Beauty of Rosalind Bone, Alex McCarthy (Doubleday)
Neon Roses, Rachel Dawson (John Murray)


The Bute Energy Children and Young People Award
Where the River Takes Us, Lesley Parr (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Brilliant Black British History, Atinuke (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Skrimsli, Nicola Davies (Firefly Press)


A panel of judges is appointed each year to read, debate and select their favourite titles. This year’s English-language panel are author, journalist, and chair of PEN Cymru Dylan Moore; author, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and experienced mentor Patrice Lawrence; novelist, playwright, and former Dylan Thomas Award winner Rachel Trezise; and poet, novelist, and former chair of the T.S. Eliot Prize Pascale Petit.

On behalf of the judging panel, Dylan Moore said: “From Valleys villages to the mean streets of Canada and fantastical worlds, these books demonstrate the breadth of writing in, of, from and about Wales today. Their authors spin worlds out of words, challenging orthodoxies and inspiring imagination, hope and courage.”


The Welsh-language Shortlist

 Poetry Award
Mae Bywyd Yma, Guto Dafydd (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
Mymryn Rhyddid, Gruffudd Owen (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)
Y Traeth o Dan y Stryd, Hywel Griffiths (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)

Creative Non-Fiction
Cranogwen, Jane Aaron (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)
Y Delyn Aur, Malachy Owain Edwards (Gwasg y Bwthyn)
Trothwy, Iwan Rhys (Y Lolfa)

Fiction Award
Anfadwaith, Llŷr Titus (Y Lolfa)
Sut i Ddofi Corryn, Mari George (Sebra)
Raffl, Aled Jones Williams (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)

The Bute Energy Children and Young People Award
Jac a’r Angel, Daf James (Y Lolfa)
Y Nendyrau, Seran Dolma (Gwasg y Bwthyn)
Astronot yn yr Atig, Megan Angharad Hunter (Y Lolfa)


This year’s Welsh-language panel includes producer, director, and writer, Nici Beech; actor, director and writer, Hanna Jarman; poet and WJEC senior Literature examiner Tudur Dylan Jones; and author and senior lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, Rhiannon Marks.


Dates for the diary…

To find out more about the shortlisted books and authors, visit the Wales Book of the Year page.

Literature Wales is looking forward to hosting an event to celebrate the Wales Book of the Year shortlist at this year’s Hay Festival on Monday, 27 May. Leusa Llewelyn, Artistic Director of Literature Wales, will be accompanied by 4 of the shortlisted writers. Book your ticket on the Hay Festival Website.

What next?

The Wales Book of the Year awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 4 at Galeri Caernarfon. 12 prizes and a total of £14,000 will be shared amongst the writers – £1,000 each for the category winners and an additional £3,000 for the main prize winners in both languages. In addition, the award-winning authors will receive iconic Book of the Year trophies specially designed by the talented artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

Tickets to the ceremony will be on sale from the 12 May onwards from the Galeri.

The People’s Choice Award is sponsored by Nation Cymru and Barn y Bobl Prize is sponsored by Golwg360. Head over to your local bookshop or library now to grab a copy of the shortlisted books before voting for your favourite book on their websites.

The Wales Book of the Year Award is sponsored by a host of generous and supportive sponsors, including the Main Sponsor of the English Prize, Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy.  Head over to our website for a snapshot as well as browsing through all the information about the judges, finalists, ceremony, and former winners.

Follow us on Instagram @llyfr_y_flwyddyn_wboty to be the first to hear announcements and updates on the Wales Book of the Year project.