Wales Book of the Year

The Wales Book of the Year shortlists have recently been announced, following months of deliberating by the 6 judges. The aim of the awards is to promote the richness and diversity of contemporary Welsh literature.

There are 2 shortlists; one for English-language and one for Welsh-language titles.

Within each language there are 3 categories: poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Each category in each language has 3 nominees, so in total there are 18 nominated books from the 90 entries received.

English-Language Shortlist 2016

Roland Mathias Poetry Award

Love Songs of CarbonPhilip Gross (Bloodaxe Books)
Boy RunningPaul Henry (Seren)
Pattern beyond ChanceStephen Payne (HappenStance Press)

Rhys Davies Fiction Award

The Girl in the Red CoatKate Hamer (Faber & Faber)
We Don’t Know What We’re DoingThomas Morris (Faber & Faber)
I Saw a ManOwen Sheers (Faber & Faber)

Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award

Losing IsraelJasmine Donahaye (Seren)
Woman Who Brings the RainEluned Gramich (New Welsh Rarebyte)
Wales Unchained, Daniel G. Williams (University of Wales Press)


Welsh-Language Shortlist 2016

Aberystwyth University Welsh-language Poetry Award

Nes DrawMererid Hopwood (Gomer)
Hel llus yn y glaw, Gruffudd Owen (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)
Eiliadau TragwyddolCen Williams (Gwasg y Bwthyn)

Welsh-language Fiction Award

NorteJon Gower (Gomer)
Y BwthynCaryl Lewis (Y Lolfa)
Rifiera ReuDewi Prysor (Y Lolfa)

Open University in Wales Welsh-language Creative Non-Fiction Award

Pam Na Fu CymruSimon Brooks (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)
Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyndŵr, Gruffydd Aled Williams (Y Lolfa)
Is-deitla’n UnigEmyr Glyn Williams (Gwasg Gomer)

Several of the nominees are no strangers to the awards and will be hoping to repeat former glory. Owen Sheers won the main award in 2014 for his book of poetry, ‘Pink Mist’. He also won back in 2005. Jon Gower was shortlisted in 2013, but had won the main award in 2012. Similarly, Philip Gross was on the shortlist in 2012, having won in 2010.

The awards ceremony takes place on 21 July in Merthyr Tydfil, with cash prizes for the winners of between £1000 and £3000. Tickets are available from Literature Wales ( and cost just £5, making this prestigious event very accessible to the general public.

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