Tom Bullough and Mari George are the 2024 Wales Book of the Year Winners 2024

Published Thu 4 Jul 2024 - By Llenyddiaeth Cymru
Tom Bullough and Mari George are the 2024 Wales Book of the Year Winners 2024

On Thursday 4 July the Wales Book of the Year 2024 Awards Ceremony was held at Galeri Caernarfon, and as the polling stations welcomed their last voters of the day, it was announced that the overall winners of this prestigious award are Sarn Helen by Tom Bullough (Granta Publications) Sut i Ddofi Corryn by Mari George (Sebra).

Wales Book of the Year is an annual national award run by ourselves, Literature Wales, to celebrate and platform talented Welsh writers who excel in their fields in both English and Welsh.

The evening was led by the comedian and radio presenter Tudur Owen, and was live streamed to the nation and beyond on the AM website.

There were a total of 12 awards to hand out this year, 4 category awards in both languages; Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction and Children & Young People, with one of the category winners in each language going on to win the Overall Awards; Wales Book of the Year 2024 and Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2024. The public had their say and voted for their favourite books, which were awarded the People’s Choice Award by Nation.Cymru and Barn y Bobl Award by Golwg360.

The English-language Wales Book of the Year category winners are:

Creative Non-Fiction Award and Overall Wales Book of the Year 2024
Sarn Helen, Tom Bullough (Granta Publications)

Poetry Award
Cowboy, Kandace Siobhan Walker (Cheerio Publishing)

The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award
The Unbroken Beauty of Rosalind Bone, Alex McCarthy (Doubleday)

The Bute Energy Children and Young People Award
Skrimsli, Nicola Davies (Firefly Press)

The People’s Choice Award
In Orbit, Glyn Edwards (Seren)

Each category winner takes home a prize of £1,000. One category winner in each language goes on to win the Overall Award, earning a further £3,000 and claiming the title, Wales Book of the Year 2024.

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 Prize winner, Rachel Trezise; and poet, novelist, and former chair of the T.S. Eliot Prize, Pascale Petit.

Sarn Helen by Tom Bullough (Granta Publications)

Tom Bullough’s highly acclaimed Sarn Helen documents the author’s walk along the old Roman road that runs from Neath in the south to Caerhun on the north Wales coast. It is an immersive and evocative non-fictional journey through Wales and a revelatory meditation on the nation’s past, present and future. Weaved into the narrative are conversations with climate and ecology experts who explain in stark detail the possible and immediate effects of the climate emergency on Wales and the world. Tom’s words paint Wales’ beautiful landscape, wildlife and nature as an idyllic backdrop to the contrasting bleak warning about the impending destruction to the environment. Sarn Helen also won the 2023 Waterstones Welsh Book of the Year.

Sarn Helen is illustrated by the award-winning and internationally acclaimed artist, Jackie Morris, whose depictions of many red-list species are peppered throughout the book.

Read more about Sarn Helen and its author on our blog!
Speaking at the Award Ceremony, judge Dylan Moore said of Sarn Helen that:

“Despite the fierce competition from fabulous and fantastical fiction and dazzling verse, this book stood out. It is the one that will stay with us longest. The depth of its explorations and stark facts, and the momentous import of its message, carries it beyond the prize and into the realm of a true modern classic.

We thank Tom for his passionate advocacy for the planet we all call home, which is written throughout the text as beautifully and deeply as his love for Wales. He magically portrays this country as a microcosm of planet Earth, through precise place and across historical time. In this unique book, the climate emergency is faced full-on, and Tom lays out in the starkest terms, the gravity of the situation faced by all of us.”

The Welsh-language Winners:

Overall Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year 2024 & Fiction Award
Sut i Ddofi Corryn, Mari George (Sebra)


Poetry Award
Mymryn Rhyddid, Gruffudd Owen (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)


Creative Non-Fiction
Cranogwen, Jane Aaron (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)


The Bute Energy Children and Young People Award
Jac a’r Angel, Daf James (Y Lolfa)


Golwg360 Barn y Bobl (people’s choice) Award
Trothwy, Iwan Rhys (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.

Literature Wales is very grateful for the support of all sponsors, partners of the award and ceremony: Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Bute Energy, The Rhys Davies Trust, The Books Council of Wales, BBC Cymru Wales, Golwg360, Nation.Cymru, Brecon Carreg, Penderyn Distillery, Cwrw Llŷn and our funders: Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government.
We would also like to thank Cwmni Da and AM, for live streaming the ceremony.