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 at the beginning of June or end of May.[1][2][3][4] Since 2011, the Welsh-language awards are co-sponsored by the Cardigan-based publisher Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion.[2][3][4][5]

Shortlists comprising three or four books in each awards category have been published by WBC at least from 2011.[2][3][4][5]

Recent awards[edit]


The 2015/2016 cycle was completed by announcements of the English-language winner on 26 May 2016 and the two Welsh-language winners at the Urdd National Eisteddfod on 2 June. Three shortlists of three or four books had been announced in March.[6]

Primary sector: Sian Lewis and Valériane Leblond, Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi, a retelling of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, published by Rily Publications.
Secondary sector: Llyr Titus, Gwalia, a space travel adventure, published by Gomer Press.

The English-language award was awarded to Griff Rowland for The Search For Mister Lloyd, about a Welsh boy's search for his missing racing pigeon, published by Candy Jar Books.[7]


The 2014/2015 cycle was completed by announcements of the English-language winner on 14 May 2015 and the two Welsh-language winners at the Urdd National Eisteddfod on 28 May. Three shortlists of three or four books had been announced 26 March.[8]

Primary sector: Caryl Lewis, Straeon Gorau'r Byd, a collection of stories from all over the world, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.[9]
Secondary sector: Gareth F. Williams, Y Gêm, a novel about football and friendship centred on events of the First World War, notably the Christmas truce, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.[9]

The English-language award was presented on 14 May 2015 at Swansea Central Library to Giancarlo Gemin for Cowgirl, a story of two very different girls in contemporary south Wales, published by Nosy Crow.[10]


The 2013/2014 cycle was completed 29 May 2014 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Pembrokeshire with the presentation of the two Welsh-language awards.[11]

Primary sector: Gareth F. Williams, Cwmwl dros y Cwm, a historical novel set in Senghenydd in South Wales at the time of the disastrous colliery explosion in 1913, published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
Secondary sector: Haf Llewelyn, Diffodd y Sêr, a historical novel about the family of Welsh poet Hedd Wyn (Ellis Humphrey Evans), who died at Passchendaele, published by Y Lolfa

The English-language award was presented 15 May 2014 at Cardiff Central Library to Wendy White for Welsh Cakes and Custard, family-based stories about two young children in contemporary Wales, published by Gomer Press.[5]


The 2012/2013 cycle was completed 30 May 2013 at the Urdd National Eisteddfod with the presentation of the two Welsh-language awards.[4]

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.[4]


There was a single Welsh-language award from 1976 to 1986, followed by dual Fiction and Nonfiction awards from 1987 to 2005, dual Primary and Secondary awards from 2006. There has been one English-language award throughout.[12]

All three awards have been conferred every year from 1994. Previously seven English awards and one Welsh award were withheld.[12]

  • English-language: The Nearest Faraway Place, Hayley Long
  • Welsh, Primary: Dosbarth Miss Prydderch a'r Carped Hud, Mererid Hopwood (her 2nd TnO Award)
  • Welsh, Secondary: Mae'r Lleuad ynGoch, Myrddin ap Dafydd (his 2nd TnO Award)
  • English-language: The Search for Mister Lloyd, Griff Rowland
  • Welsh, Primary: Pedair Cainc Y Mabinogi, Siân Lewis (her 2nd TnO Award), illustrated by Valeriane Leblond
  • Welsh, Secondary: Gwalia, Llŷr Titus

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.

  • Awards withheld

Winners of multiple awards[edit]

Pont Books, the children's imprint of Gomer Press (Gwasg Gomer), has published the last nine books to win the English award, 2006 to 2014.[12][5] Gwasg Gomer has also published five winners of Welsh awards during that time. Y Lolfa, Tal-y-bont published six of the eight books to win the Welsh-language awards, 2009 to 2012.[12]

Several authors have won two awards, including all three winners in 2012[3] and both winners of the first awards in 1976, Susan Cooper and T. Llew Jones.[12]

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 in 1978 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.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Tir na n-Og Awards". Welsh Books Council (WBC). Archived 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  2. ^ a b c d "The 2011 Tir na n-Og Awards". WBC. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Tir na n-Og Awards 2012". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Tir na n-Og Awards 2013". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Tir na n-Og Awards 2014". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  6. ^ 2016 Tir na n-Og shortlist, Gomer Press
  7. ^ Tir na-g 2016, Welsh Books Council
  8. ^ "2015 Tir na n-Og Award Shortlist Announced". Welsh Books Council. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  9. ^ a b "Author Scoops Prestigious Award for the Sixth Time". Welsh Books News (books.wales.com/news). 28 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  10. ^ "Tir Na n-Og 2015: First-time author scoops Tir Na n-Og Award". WBC. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  11. ^ "Historical Novels Triumph At The 2014 Tir Na N-Og Awards". AberdareOnline. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Tir na n-Og awards Past Winners" Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. WBC. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  13. ^ "Tir na n-Og Awards 2010". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  14. ^ "Tir na n-Og Awards 2009" Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  15. ^ "Tir na n-Og Awards 2008". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  16. ^ "Tir na n-Og Awards 2007". WBC. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  17. ^ "Susan Cooper wins 2012 Edwards Award for The Dark Is Rising Sequence". ALA Press Release. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-19.

External links[edit]