Wales Book of the Year 2023: Announcing the Judges 

Published Thu 2 Mar 2023 - By Literature Wales
Wales Book of the Year 2023: Announcing the Judges 
Literature Wales is delighted to celebrate World Book Day 2023 by announcing the panel of judges for Wales Book of the Year 2023.  

This year’s English-language judging panel includes BAFTA winning actress and writer Emily Burnett; author and teacher Emma Smith-Barton; poet and editor Kristian Evans; and former Wales Book of the Year category winner, writer Mike Parker. 

The Welsh-language judges are award-winning poet, author, and editor Ceri Wyn Jones; winner of Wales Book of the Year 2021 Megan Angharad Hunter; former comedy commissioner, author and producer Sioned Wiliam; and Mudiad Meithrin trustee and diversity and inclusion promoter Savanna Jones.   

A few words from the judges

‘As a passionate advocate of creative non-fiction as a literary genre, it has been so exciting to sift through such a range of offerings in this hitherto slightly Cinderella category.  The power of these books is undeniable, as is their universality, depth and creative breadth.  Here is the full gamut of the human condition, taking us from firmly Welsh soil to every corner of the world, and even beyond.  Judging the prize has made me read things that I would probably never have picked up otherwise, and it has been a joy.  Welsh creative non-fiction is in the rudest of good health.’

Mike Parker

‘It’s been a privilege to judge the fiction selection for Wales Book of The Year 2023. Creating a shortlist of books has been challenging, nourishing and inspiring. The level of talent and diversity of storytelling has been incredible and delving into the rich worlds these authors have created has been a pleasure. We should be proud of the literature coming out of Wales. Many of these stories will stay with me for a very long time. Congratulations to everyone who submitted and I look forward to the rest of the world being introduced to Wales’ books of the Year.’

Emily Burnett

‘Poetry and poets and workers in words have always been central to Welsh culture, and I consider the Wales Book of the Year Award to be an aspect of that ancient tradition of recognising and celebrating the very best of the new work. It’s a highlight of the cultural year.’  

 – Kristian Evans


To find out more about the panel of judges, head to the Wales Book of the Year Project Page.


The Awards

The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across a variety of genres and in both English and Welsh. The judges select four category winners in each language: Poetry,  Fiction,  Creative Non-fiction, and Children & Young People. An overall winner for each language will also be titled Wales Book of the Year 2023. 

There are twelve awards in total to celebrate and cherish Wales’ successful writers, heritage and rich literary culture. The prize offers an invaluable platform for both emerging and established authors.  

Every year, the highlight of the summer months is announcing the short-lists, followed by the category winners and main winners. Keep an eye on Literature Wales’ website and social media over the next few months to be amongst the first to find out about the plans for this year’s awards, including key dates for your diary. In the meantime, check out previous years’ winners. 

Literature Wales is grateful for the support of the award’s sponsors and partners: Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government, The Rhys Davies Trust, Books Council of Wales, Wales Arts Review, Golwg360, and BBC Cymru Wales.