Tir na n-Og Award

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The Tir na n-Og Awards (abbreviated TnaO) are a set of annual children's literary awards in Wales from 1976. They are presented by the Welsh Books Council to the best books published during the preceding calendar year in each of three awards categories, one English-language and two Welsh-language. Their purpose is "[to raise] the standard of children's and young people's books and to encourage the buying and reading of good books." There is no restriction to fiction or prose. Each prize is £1,000.[1]

The awards are named for Tír na nÓg, the "Land of the Young", an otherworldly realm in Irish mythology.

The English-language award honours one book with an "authentic Welsh background" whose original language is English. It is sponsored by the British Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Cymru Wales division (CILIP/Wales), and presented at that association's annual conference in May.[1]

The Welsh-language Primary Sector and Secondary Sector awards honour one book written for primary school children and one for secondary school children.[1] They are presented at the annual Urdd National Eisteddfod, recently during the first week of June.[1][2] Since 2011, the Welsh-language awards are co-sponsored by the Cardigan-based publisher Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion.[2]

Shortlists comprising three or four books in each awards category have been published by WBC at least for 2011 and 2012.[1][2]

Latest rendition[edit]

The 2012/2013 cycle was completed 30 May 2013 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Pembrokeshire with the presentation of the two Welsh-language awards.[1]

Primary Sector: Iolo Williams and Bethan Wyn Jones, Cynefin yr Ardd, a book about garden wildlife, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
Secondary Sector: Alun Wyn Bevan, Y Gêmau Olympaidd a Champau’r Cymry, a celebration of the Olympic Games with emphasis on the Welsh connection, published by Gomer Press.

The English-language award was presented 16 May 2013 at Cardiff Central Library to Cwmbran-born Daniel Morden for Tree of Leaf and Flame, a collection of stories retelling the Mabinogion, illustrated by Brett Breckon and published by Pont Books. He won the same award in 2007 for Dark Tales from the Woods.[1]


There was a single Welsh-language award from 1976 to 1986, followed by dual Fiction and Nonfiction awards from 1987 to 2005, Primary and Secondary awards from 2006. There has been one English-language award throughout.[3]

All three awards have been conferred every year since 1993. Seven English awards and one Welsh award were withheld to that time.

Before 2006 the dual Welsh-language awards recognised fiction and nonfiction books.

Before 1987 there were only two awards, one for English- and one for Welsh-language books.

Winners of multiple awards[edit]

Pont Books, the children's imprint of Gomer Press (Gwasg Gomer), has published the last eight books to win the English award, 2006 to 2013. Gwasg Gomer has also published five winners of Welsh awards during that time. Y Lolfa, Tal-y-bont has published six of the last nine books to win the Welsh-language awards, 2009 to 2012.[1][3]

Several authors have won two awards, including all three winners in 2012 and both winners of the first awards in 1976, Susan Cooper and T. Llew Jones.[1][3]

For the inaugural English Award-winning novel, The Grey King (1975), Cooper also won the Newbery Medal recognising the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". She won the third English Award for its sequel, Silver on the Tree, the concluding Dark is Rising novel. For that series, in April 2012 she won the annual American Library Association lifetime award for "lasting contribution to young adult literature", the Margaret A. Edwards Award.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Tir na n-Og Awards". Welsh Books Council (WBC). Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  2. ^ a b c "The 2011 Tir na n-Og Awards". WBC. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  3. ^ a b c d "Tir na n-Og awards Past Winners". WBC. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  4. ^ "Susan Cooper wins 2012 Edwards Award for The Dark Is Rising Sequence". ALA Press Release. Retrieved 2012-04-19.