WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020: Shortlist Announced

Hosted by Literature Wales


The shortlist for Wales Book of the Year 2020 – which is Wales’ national book prize celebrating our outstanding literary talent from across various genres in both English and Welsh – was revealed on BBC Radio Wales’ Gareth Lewis programme on 1st July.

The winners will be announced on the BBC Radio Wales Arts Show on Friday 31st July from 18:00 hrs BST. The Welsh-language winners will be announced in a series of programmes on BBC Radio Cymru from 30th July – 1st August as part of the Gŵyl AmGen festival of culture, in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

The 12 books nominated for this year’s English-language awards are:


Fur Coats in Tahiti, Jeremy Over (Carcanet)

Erato, Deryn Rees-Jones (Seren)

Footnotes to Water, Zoë Skoulding (Seren)



Dignity, Alys Conran (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Broken Ghost, Niall Griffiths (Jonathan Cape)

Stillicide, Cynan Jones (Granta)



Brando’s Bride, Sarah Broughton (Parthian)

Where There’s a Will, Emily Chappell (Profile Books)

On the Red Hill, Mike Parker (William Heinemann)



The Girl Who Speaks Bear, Sophie Anderson (Usborne)

Butterflies for Grandpa Joe, Nicola Davies (Barrington Stoke)

Max Kowalski didn’t mean it, Nicola Davies (Puffin) 


The awards ceremony for the competition includes a people’s choice winner in both languages. 



Dewithon Logo Daffs


Categories: Literary Awards

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16 replies

  1. Great to see Stillicide there! I liked it a lot.

  2. I’m so glad to learn of this award and will definitely keep it in mind in the future. I just checked out the fiction nominees and all three look great — just what I need (insert smiley face here!) — more entries on my TBR mountain!

    • I would love to know what you think of these books, Janakay. 😊

      • Since life is short and the TBR list is ever expanding, I thought that, of the three, I’d go for Dignity. Alas, it’s very hard to get a copy right now in the U.S. I even tried Amazon U.K. (gasp! I know, that’s horrible but . . .) which would not sell it to me. Right now, I think I’ve found a bookseller with a copy, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks again for the post; it’s always fun to find another literary source for great new books.

      • I really hope you were able to get your hands on a copy, Janakay!

  3. Such a wonderful selection! I have heard good things about The Girl Who Speaks Bear but the rest are a delightful mystery to me.

  4. Will be interesting to see where it is placed…

  5. A great list, what a lovely range of books is showcased!

  6. I love the cover for Fur Coats in Tahiti (although IMO fur coats should stay on animals) but it’s maybe a little too experimental in form to work for me. At first I thought all those links were links to your reviews//posts about these books…do you tend to look at this list as a reading list that you tackle later, or is it just a point of interest for you to follow along and see what’s getting noticed?

    • Yes, it’s a fabulous cover but I’m with you, Marcie. Fur coats belong on their furry owners and not on hairless humans! 🦝🐰🦊

      I always follow the Wales Book of the Year awards to keep up with what’s happening with contemporary Welsh literature. Sadly, I don’t usually get around to reading everything but I often follow-up on the winner – plus anything else that I find particularly appealing.

  7. Which of the fiction books should I prioritise?


  1. Winding Up the Week #129 – Book Jotter

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