Wales Book of the Year

The Wales Book of the Year is a Welsh literary award given annually to the best Welsh and English language works in the fields of fiction and literary criticism by Welsh or Welsh interest authors. Established in 1992, the awards are currently administered by Literature Wales, and supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and the Welsh Books Council.

Wales Book of the Year
Awarded forBest Welsh and English language works by Welsh or Welsh interest authors
LocationCardiff, Wales
Presented byLiterature Wales
First awarded1992

Competition formatEdit

The longlist of ten works in each language is published in April and the shortlist of three works in each language at the Hay Festival in May. The winners are announced in June or July. Since 2006, the winners have each received £10,000. From 2007, four runners-up (two in each language) also each receive £1000. In 2009, Media Wales sponsored a voted "People's Choice" award for the English-language works.[1]

The format was again changed in 2012, expanding the entries to three categories, fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry; with English and Welsh language winners in each field.[2] In 2019, a sub-category for books for children and young people was added, to be awarded from the 2020 award onwards.[3] An overall winner in each language is still chosen.

Regarding eligibility, the competition specifically excludes self-published authors.[4] The Welsh national book award therefore differs from Ireland's national book award, since the latter does not preclude self-published titles from being nominated.[5]


English languageEdit

Year Author Title Genre Publisher Reference
2021 Catrin Kean Salt Fiction Gomer
2020 Niall Griffiths Broken Ghost Fiction Jonathan Cape
2019 Ailbhe Darcy Insistence Poetry Bloodaxe Books
2018 Robert Minhinnick Diary of the Last Man Poetry Carcanet
2017 Alys Conran Pigeon Fiction Parthian
2016 Thomas Morris We Don't Know What We're Doing Fiction Faber and Faber
2015 Patrick McGuinness Other People's Countries Non-fiction Jonathan Cape
2014 Owen Sheers Pink Mist Poetry Faber and Faber
2013 Rhian Edwards Clueless Dogs Poetry Seren
2012 Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days Fiction Seren
2011 John Harrison Cloud Road Non-fiction Parthian
2010 Philip Gross I Spy Pinhole Eye Poetry Cinnamon
2009 Deborah Kay Davies Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful Fiction Parthian
2008 Dannie Abse The Presence Non-fiction Hutchinson
2007 Lloyd Jones Mr Cassini Fiction Seren
2006 Robert Minhinnick To Babel and Back Fiction Seren
2005 Owen Sheers The Dust Diaries Non-fiction Faber and Faber
2004 Niall Griffiths Stump Fiction Jonathan Cape
2003 Charlotte Williams Sugar and Slate Non-fiction Planet
2002 Stevie Davies The Element of Water Fiction The Women's Press
2001 Stephen Knight Mr Schnitzel Fiction Viking
2000 Sheenagh Pugh Stonelight Poetry Seren
1999 Emyr Humphreys The Gift of a Daughter Fiction Seren
1998 Mike Jenkins Wanting to Belong Fiction Seren
1997 Siân James Not Singing Exactly Fiction Honno
1996 Nigel Jenkins Gwalia in Khasia Non-fiction Gomer
1995 Duncan Bush Masks Poetry Seren
1994 Paul Ferris Caitlin: The Life of Caitlin Thomas Non-fiction Hutchinson
1993 Robert Minhinnick Watching the Fire Eater Non-fiction Seren
1992 Emyr Humphreys Bonds of Attachment Fiction Macdonald/Sphere

Creative Non-fiction

Roland Mathias Poetry Award

Welsh languageEdit


Creative non-fiction

  • 2016: Gruffydd Aled Williams Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyndŵr (Y Lolfa)[11]
  • 2014: Alan Llwyd Bob: Cofiant R. Williams Parry 1884 – 1956 (Gomer)
  • 2012: Allan James John Morris-Jones[18]

Roland Mathias Poetry Award


  1. ^ Academi: Wales Book of the Year Longlists Announced (accessed 23 April 2009)
  2. ^ "Shortlist for Wales Book of the Year 2012 unveiled". BBC News. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Wales Book of the Year Award 2020". Literature Wales. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Eligibility Criteria". Literature Wales. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  5. ^ "General Eligibility Guidelines". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Catrin Kean's Salt wins the 2021 Wales Book of the Year Award". Literature Wales. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Niall Griffiths' Broken Ghost wins the 2020 Wales Book of the Year Award". Literature Wales. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Katie Mansfield (20 June 2019). "Poet triumphs at Wales Book of the Year Awards". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Wales Book of the year Winners 2018 - Literature Wales". Literature Wales. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Wales Book of the Year winner revealed". BBC News. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Wales Book of the Year 2016: A hat-trick for Thomas Morris' debut collection". Literature Wales. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Patrick McGuinness wins second Welsh Book of the Year award". BBC News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Wales Book of the Year: Rhian Edwards' Clueless Dogs wins hat-trick". BBC News. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  14. ^ a b "The Last Hundred Days is Wales Book of the Year in English language". BBC News. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  15. ^ Academi: Wales Book of the Year: Past Winners and Judges (Welsh language)
  16. ^ "Wales Book of the Year".
  17. ^ "Wales Book of the Year 2020". Literature Wales. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  18. ^ a b Price, Karen (12 July 2012). "Patrick McGuinness named winner of Wales Book of the Year Award 2012". Retrieved 13 July 2012.

External linksEdit