The Wales Book of the Year shortlists have recently been announced, following months of deliberating by the 6 judges. The aim of the awards is to promote the richness and diversity of contemporary Welsh literature.
There are 2 shortlists; one for English-language and one for Welsh-language titles.
Within each language there are 3 categories: poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Each category in each language has 3 nominees, so in total there are 18 nominated books from the 90 entries received.
English-Language Shortlist 2016
Roland Mathias Poetry Award
Love Songs of Carbon, Philip Gross (Bloodaxe Books)
Boy Running, Paul Henry (Seren)
Pattern beyond Chance, Stephen Payne (HappenStance Press)
Rhys Davies Fiction Award
The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer (Faber & Faber)
We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, Thomas Morris (Faber & Faber)
I Saw a Man, Owen Sheers (Faber & Faber)
Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award
Losing Israel, Jasmine Donahaye (Seren)
Woman Who Brings the Rain, Eluned Gramich (New Welsh Rarebyte)
Wales Unchained, Daniel G. Williams (University of Wales Press)
Welsh-Language Shortlist 2016
Aberystwyth University Welsh-language Poetry Award
Nes Draw, Mererid Hopwood (Gomer)
Hel llus yn y glaw, Gruffudd Owen (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)
Eiliadau Tragwyddol, Cen Williams (Gwasg y Bwthyn)
Welsh-language Fiction Award
Norte, Jon Gower (Gomer)
Y Bwthyn, Caryl Lewis (Y Lolfa)
Rifiera Reu, Dewi Prysor (Y Lolfa)
Open University in Wales Welsh-language Creative Non-Fiction Award
Pam Na Fu Cymru, Simon Brooks (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)
Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyndŵr, Gruffydd Aled Williams (Y Lolfa)
Is-deitla’n Unig, Emyr Glyn Williams (Gwasg Gomer)
Several of the nominees are no strangers to the awards and will be hoping to repeat former glory. Owen Sheers won the main award in 2014 for his book of poetry, ‘Pink Mist’. He also won back in 2005. Jon Gower was shortlisted in 2013, but had won the main award in 2012. Similarly, Philip Gross was on the shortlist in 2012, having won in 2010.
The awards ceremony takes place on 21 July in Merthyr Tydfil, with cash prizes for the winners of between £1000 and £3000. Tickets are available from Literature Wales (http://www.literaturewales.org/book-of-the-year/) and cost just £5, making this prestigious event very accessible to the general public.