Eloise was born in Cardiff, spent her childhood in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf and now lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. She was educated at Coed yr Esgob Primary School and Y Pant Comprehensive School, before going on to study Drama at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Acting at Guildford School of Acting, and Creative Writing at Swansea University. She worked as a touring actor and creative practitioner for over a decade before becoming a children’s writer.
Her novel, Gaslight (Firefly Press, 2017) – which was written with the support of a Literature Wales New Writer’s Bursary – won Wales Arts Review Young People’s Book of the Year 2017, the YBB Book Awards 2018, and was shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards 2018. Her latest novel for young people, Seaglass (Firefly Press, 2018), was also shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards in 2019, and the North East Book Awards 2019.
A regular speaker at festivals and events, Eloise uses her drama skills to engage young people in children’s literature and now finds herself onstage more than she ever did as a professional actor. She is also a popular and dynamic workshop leader. In her spare time, she collects sea glass and ghost stories, sings loudly, walks on the beach with her dog Watson Jones, wild swims whenever possible and celebrates nature and wildlife in every way she can.
“I’ve always loved stories. The joy of losing yourself in a good story is simply magical. Stories connect us, give us empathy and understanding, exercise our brains and imaginations, let us travel the world and experience the greatest wonders.
Children’s literature is thriving and there couldn’t be a more exciting time to be involved in its growth in Wales. I feel passionately that there is a connection between children’s books and the hope I feel every time I walk into a classroom. I truly believe that young readers will make our futures bright and I’m honoured to be a part of that.”
– Eloise Williams
In an open letter addressed to the children of Wales at the start of her tenure, Eloise emphasised how excited and honoured she was to be their Laureate; how she will do her very best to help them find the right stories for them; will push for them to see themselves well represented in literature; and most importantly, that their voices matter. You can read her letter in full here:
Dear children of Wales,
I’m very proud to be your laureate.
I’ve heard some of your stories and they are vibrant, exciting, unique, spellbinding and brilliant. I want to hear more.
I want you to feel empowered by words, so that you can be the authors and storytellers of today and tomorrow.
I want you to feel passionate about reading for pleasure. I want you to discuss books, write your own stories, visit libraries, browse bookshops, go to literature festivals, give opinions, ask questions. I want you to use your voices and your words.
I promise that I will do everything I can to listen to you and to represent you well.
I will do my very best to help you find the right stories for you.
I will push for you to see yourselves well represented in literature and for you to have access to a wide choice of books.
Your voices matter. You matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
Children’s Laureate Wales (2019-2021)