Literary Awards for Welsh Writers


Here’s a roundup of some of the awards available to writers in Wales If you would like to include any others, please let us know:

Wales Book of the Year Award Run by Literature Wales with funding the Arts Council of Wales, Wales Book of the Year is awarded to the best of works published by a Welsh writer or writer living in Wales during the preceding year, be it poetry, prose or creative non-fiction. Each genre has its own winner, with English and Welsh being awarded separately, before a book from each category is chosen as the overall winner. Also, the English language poetry winner is titled the Roland Mathias Poetry Award.

The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition This award is specifically for short stories and is sponsored by the Rhys Davies Trust and administered by Literature Wales. They have also recently introduced a separate category for writers under the age of 21. The award is open to Welsh born writers or writers currently living in Wales and aims to promote the short story form in Wales. It is set up in memory of Rhys Davies, a distinguished practitioner in the short story genre.

The John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry Set up through regional heats before a grand final before an audience, this award aims to find the best performer of their own work in Wales. The award is biennial and is in tribute to John Tripp, a legendary performer of his work. The artistic merit of the writing is assessed as well as its delivery by a panel of judges for a prize of £500.

The Dylan Thomas Prize Open to writers from around the globe who are under 30, the prize is set up in the name of Wales’ most famous writer. Works must have been published or performed within the previous two years and can sit within the genres of  the novel, short story, poetry, screenplays, radio or theatre plays. With a prize of £30,000 it is one of the richest literary awards and gives a chance for those nominated to receive global recognition. Along with the prize money, the winner will also be given a limited edition bronze cast of Dylan Thomas, at an awards ceremony in Dylan Thomas’ birthplace of Swansea in November.

The Tir na n-Og Awards Named after the ‘Land of the Young’ in Irish mythology and running since 1976, this award is presented annually by the Welsh Books Council to the best children’s literature published during the preceding year. There are three categories, one English language and two Welsh and the prize money is £1,000.  They aim to raise the standard and young people’s and children’s books and to encourage reading.

People, Place & Planet: WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment New Welsh Review, in association with WWF Cymru and the CADCentre, have set up this award to celebrate non-fiction writing. Brand new work between 8,000 and 30,000 is eligible for submission but must be on the theme on nature and the environment. Prizes include £1,000 and a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre in Gwynedd.

The Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award Open to Welsh writers between the ages of 18 and 30, competitors can enter one to three poems or a piece of fiction, up to a maximum of 3000 words, on any subject. Named after the writer and teacher, Terry Hetherington’s partner, Aida Birch, set up the award in his memory after he died in 2007.


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