2014 Award

Wales Book of the Year Award 2014

The 2014 Wales Book of the Year Award will be presented to the best Welsh and English-language works first published in 2013 in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry. The winner of the Poetry category will receive the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry.

2014 Award Ceremony

The 2014 Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony will take place at the spectacular Galeri Caernarfon on Thursday 10 July. Tickets can be purchased from Galeri Caernarfon: 01286 685222 / www.galericaernarfon.com

The Award is administered by Literature Wales. For further information about the award, contact Literature Wales: 029 2047 2266 / post@literaturewales.org

The 2014 Wales Book of the
Year Award Short List

Roland Mathias Poetry Award Short List

Barkin!, Mike Jenkins (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)

In Barkin! Mike Jenkins captures both the craziness and tragedy of his home town. These are poems and stories, using Merthyr’s vibrant vernacular, about people who try to defy the oppression of a system which has made it one of the poorest places in the land.





The Shape of a Forest, Jemma L. King (Parthian Books)

The Shape of a Forest is a powerful survey of life and of human experience that spans centuries and continents. Where there is light in the poetry, darkness is its close and haunting companion, and where there is life, death is biting its heels in raw and sensual imagery.

Pink Mist, Owen Sheers (Faber and Faber)

Pink Mist is a verse-drama about three young soldiers from Bristol who are deployed to Afghanistan. Within a short space of time, school friends Arthur, Hads and Taff return to the women in their lives (a mother, a wife, a girlfriend), all of whom must now share the psychological and physical aftershocks of their service.






Fiction Short List


Clever Girl, Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape)

Clever Girl follows the story of Stella, from her childhood as the daughter of a single mother in a Bristol bedsit in the 1960s into the mysterious shallows of her middle age. This novel is an intelligent observation of how men and women think, and how they react to the inevitable drama of ordinary lives.





The Drive, Tyler Keevil (Myriad Editions)

A single call from his Czech girlfriend catapults Trevor into a serious crisis. Desperate to get his mojo back, he blazes down Highway 99 in a rented Dodge Neon. The Drive is a fast-paced road novel that follows Trevor’s perilous, surreal and frantic adventure.





The Rice Paper Diaries, Francesca Rhydderch (Seren)

Told from the intimate perspectives of Elsa, her husband Tommy, their daughter Mari, and Chinese amah Lin, The Rice Paper Diaries dramatically brings to life the events of wartime Hong Kong, and lays bare the tragedies as well as the joys of coming home.


Creative Non-Fiction Short List


Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life, Meic Stephens (Parthian Books)

This is the first full biography of Rhys Davies, who was among the most dedicated, prolific and accomplished of Welsh prose writers. Rhys Davies – A Writer’s Life describes the early years of the Blaenclydach grocer’s son, his abhorrence of ‘chapel culture’, his bohemian years in Fitzrovia, his unremitting work ethic, and much more.

R. S. Thomas: Serial Obsessive, M. Wynn Thomas (University of Wales Press)

This study places the work of a major religious poet of the late twentieth century in a number of striking new perspectives that allow him to be viewed for the first time as an ‘alternative’ war poet, a conscience-stricken pacifist, a jealously opportunistic student of art, and an experimental biographer of the modern soul.





And Neither Have I Wings to Fly, Thelma Wheatley (Inanna Publications)

The shocking true story of the institutionalisation and abuse of children and adults with intellectual and physical handicaps in Canada’s oldest provincial institution in Orillia, Ontario. Readers will experience what it is like to be locked up in an institution through the first-hand experiences of heroine Daisy Lumsden and members of her family.


Further information on the Welsh-language Short List will be provided shortly.

Eligible Books

Eligible English-language books



Creative Non-Fiction

Eligible Welsh-language books



Ffeithiol Greadigol


  1. Brian Harrison
    March 8, 2013, 7:38 pm

    Are self-published e-books considered? If so, how?

  2. Brian Harrison
    March 8, 2013, 7:36 pm

    How does one enter a book?

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