WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020: The Winners

WBOTY20

Novelist Niall Griffiths is the People’s Choice Winner

In a live broadcast on BBC Radio Wales’ Arts Show, Literature Wales revealed that the acclaimed writer, Niall Griffith, was overall winner of the 2020 Wales Book of the Year Award with his novel, Broken Ghost from Jonathan Cape.

BROKEN GHOSTAn exciting celebratory programme took place on Friday 31st July, during which the presenter Nicola Heywood Thomas was joined by judge Ken Wilson-Max; CEO of Literature Wales Lleucu Siencyn; and representatives from the literary scene along with all the winners.

Niall’s ninth novel had already been awarded The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award before going on to be declared the People’s Choice Winner. He received a total prize of £4,000 and a specially commissioned trophy, designed and created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

Literature Wales describe the book as featuring “a Welsh community drawn together and blown apart by a strange vision in the mountains”. It is, they say: “Disturbing and unforgettable, darkly funny and deeply moving, written in a charged language that is vernacular, lyrical and hieratic all at once”.  Moreover, it “gives voices to the marginalised, the dispossessed, the forgotten.”

Tiffany Murray, on behalf of the judging panel, said: “Wales Book of the Year needs to celebrate our literature more than ever this year. Our stories must continue, and support for Welsh writers must continue. What a celebration this has been for the judging panel. It was a particularly strong year and the scope and quality of contemporary Welsh writing is astounding. Our four categories filled these months with the pleasure of reading, they challenged and inspired. Our winners have all met pasts, presents and possible futures head-on, and in this process, they have altered the currency of where we are now.”

The category winners were:

THE RHYS DAVIES TRUST FICTION AWARD

Broken Ghost by Niall Griffith (Jonathan Cape)

THE CREATIVE NON-FICTION AWARD

On the Red Hill by Mike Parker (William Heinemann)

THE POETRY AWARD

Footnotes to Water by Zoë Skoulding (Seren)

THE CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE AWARD

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson (Usborne)

THE WALES ARTS REVIEW PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Broken Ghost by Niall Griffith (Jonathan Cape)

THE WELSH-LANGUAGE POETRY AWARD

Hwn ydy’r llais, tybad? by Caryl Bryn (Cyhoeddiadau’r Stamp)

THE WELSH-LANGUAGE CREATIVE NON-FICTION AWARD

Byd Gwynn, Cofiant T Gwynn Jones by Alan Llwyd (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)

THE WELSH-LANGUAGE CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE AWARD

Chwedlau’r Copa Coch: Yr Horwth by Elidir Jones (Atebol Cyf)

THE WELSH-LANGUAGE GOLWG360 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Babel by Ifan Morgan Jones (Y Lolfa)

On the Welsh-language judging panel this year were the journalist and former Editor of BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Cymru Fyw, Betsan Powys; cartoonist, author and presenter Siôn Tomos Owen; Award-winning poet and Head of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University, Emyr Lewis; and singer and composer Casi Wyn.

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Categories:Literary Awards

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7 replies

  1. Have you read Broken Ghost yet Paula? Just wondering whether it’s as good as this double win would suggest

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant outcome, congratulations to the winners! I guessed The Girl Who Speaks Bear would make it. Looks like Broken Ghost by Niall Griffith is going on my TBR 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gretchen. I too was pleased to see The Girl Who Speaks Bear take the Children & Young People Award, which was presented for the very first time this year. Broken Ghost sounds rather good, so like you, it is joining the squillion other titles on my TBR. 😱

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That Niall Griffith’s book sounds fascinating. I hope I keep my note handy for next year’s Welsh reading project! *makes asterisk in margin*

    Liked by 1 person

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