A few days ago I drove to beautiful Aberystwyth to attend the presentation of the 2018 Tir na n-Og children’s literature Award. This is an award which celebrates English-language books with an authentic Welsh background. And guess what? I won it!!!
I am so very, very chuffed. On the night, up in the National Library of Wales, I was also excited and a bit nervous and then sort of so overwhelmed that I couldn’t eat any of the fancy snacks that had been laid on because my stomach was all full of butterflies. I did manage a glass of wine though. It would have been rude not to! And I won’t ever forget that night halfway up the hill in Aberystwyth because I also met some wonderful people and made some lovely, lovely new friends. So I want to use this blog post to wave hello to Eloise Williams and Wendy White and Sharon Tregenza and Valeriane Leblond. We were all on the shortlist together. This one:
Santa's Greatest Gift by Tudur Dylan Jones and illustrated by Valeriane Leblond
King of the Sky by Nicola Davies
St. David's Day is Cancelled by Wendy White
The Jewelled Jaguar by Sharon Tregenza
Gaslight by Eloise Williams
Valeriane, Wendy, Sharon, Eloise and I sat together on a stage in front a lot of people and answered questions and... although that sounded like a scary prospect, it was a real laugh. I’ve looked online and found this picture which I’ve borrowed from Simon Fisher aka Daddy Bookworm to show you what we looked like:
Hello Simon and family, I’m waving to you all too and thank you so much for all the support that you have given me and other writers. You can check out their website here. And I also want to wave to Paul Jeorrett who asked us questions and made us laugh and somehow inspired me to tell a few hundred people about the eating habits of Irma, my beloved pet bunny. And I want to wave to Helen Jones and Eirlys at the Welsh Books Council who are LUSH and who are doing stirling work promoting reading and books for children in Wales in both the Welsh and English languages. I was very impressed to learn that Eirlys was in the BBC drama of ‘The Owl Service’ which scared the sh*t out of me when I was about 12. Now I’ll have to watch it all over again to see if I can spot her.
And I want to wave to my friend Gwen who let me stay in her house. Gwen has a cat called Bara Brith (Welsh teacake) who just happened to turn up inside the pages of ‘The Nearest Faraway Place.’ Here she is:
Just to be clear, that's Bara Brith - not Gwen.
And also, I want to wave to everyone in real life or on any social media who said ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Well done’ or ‘Llongyfarchiadau’ or anything else sweet and friendly to me.
Thank you so much.
Diolch yn fawr.
And Emma Matthewson, I kicked the bar for you ;)
Wales, I love you, don’t I? I'll end this post with some pictures.
|Down the other end is a bar that needs kicking. It's an Aber thing. It's a lucky thing.|
|Aberystwyth Castle. Seen better days.|
|Special bench. Love conquers All. Griff and Hari sat here.|
|Special sticker :)|
|For my fancy cabinet|