Wales Book of the Year Award 2023: Celebrating Wales’ most talented authors in person once more

Published Wed 10 May 2023 - By Literature Wales
Literature Wales is delighted to announce that we will welcome the literature community to The Tramshed in Cardiff on Thursday 13 July to celebrate Wales’ writers at a live Wales Book of the Year 2023 awards ceremony. 

Following four years of digital announcements shared on the radio, we are pleased to return to praise Wales’ most talented writers on stage, whilst continuing our successful partnership with BBC Cymru Wales.

The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres and in both English and Welsh. There are four categories in each language – PoetryFictionCreative Non-fiction and Children & Young People, with one of the four category winners announced as the Overall Winner, claiming the title Wales Book of the Year. There are twelve awards in total with a collective prize fund of £14,000. In addition, each winner will also receive an iconic Book of the Year trophy, designed by artist and blacksmith Angharad Pearce Jones.

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. 

The names of this year’s judges were announced in March. 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.  


The Short List

The judges are in the process of discussing the books and selecting their favourites, and we are looking forward to sharing their short list with you on Sunday 21 May 2023. The Welsh-language short list will be revealed on Ffion Dafis’s new arts programme on BBC Radio Cymru between 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm. From 4.00 pm we will hear which books have been selected by the English-language panel on Lynn Bowles’ programme on BBC Radio Wales.

The digital announcements format that Literature Wales developed due to Covid-19 received very positive feedback, and the celebrations continued to take place on social media platforms. It is, therefore, a pleasure to work again with BBC Cymru Wales to share the short lists this year. Following consultation with writers and publishers, we are returning to host a live ceremony for the winners’ announcement to ensure that Wales’ most talented writers and literary community have an opportunity to network and celebrate their work in front of an audience. We are looking forward to celebrating their talents on social media too as usual, in addition to continuing with the discussions on the books and the awards on the radio following the ceremony. 

At the ceremony on Thursday evening 13 July at the Tramshed in Cardiff, the judges will share their adjudication and announce one winner in each category. We will also hear which books are the public’s favourites and have won the Wales Arts Review and Golwg360’s People’s Choice Awards, before hearing which book has won the main award this year, receiving the Wales Book of the Year 2023 title. The National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, will be performing on the night, and there will of course be an opportunity to chat and greet the writers. There will be a limited number of tickets available, and we will share the details in due course. 

To find out more about the award, the judging panel, and previous winners, visit the Wales Book of the Year page.