Aberystwyth student joins children’s book awards panel
A student from Aberystwyth University has been chosen to be a member of the high profile Tir na n-Og judging panel for 2016.
Jenna Hughes won a competition to secure her place as a student judge on the panel for the book awards which recognise authors who have written children’s books set in Wales.
There are three awards for Welsh and English writers and Jenna will help choose the best English language children’s book.
Joanna Jeffery is a Teaching Fellow at Aberystwyth University’s School of Education and encouraged students to take part in the competition which involved writing a book review.
“For the last two years, the School of Education has provided a student judge for the Tir na n-Og Prize and we are delighted that it will continue with Jenna’s selection,” said Joanna.
“In her winning entry, the adjudicator felt that she demonstrated her understanding of the links between the three key elements needed to get children reading: a child who wants to read; an adult who wants to encourage them; and something worth reading.
“Jenna is the first Childhood Studies student to be appointed to this role and I am sure she will revel in the experience and it will hold her in good stead for her future career.”
Jenna Hughes says she can’t wait to make a start on the reading: “I was so glad when I heard that I had been selected. As a childhood studies student I naturally have a great interest in what children are looking for in a book, what appeals to them and how to sustain that interest. The opportunity to read these wonderful books by such creative authors is like a dream come true – I suspect the challenge will be choosing a winner and agreeing with the other members of the panel!”
Elwyn Jones is Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council which organises the annual Tir na n-Og awards.
“We are delighted once again to have a student judge on our panel and especially one who is studying in such a relevant field. Children’s writing is exceptionally strong in Wales in both languages and it is important that recognition is given to this important literary craft – for the publishers and the authors,” he said.
The books will all need to be read by the end of the year, with the judging panel meeting to make their final decision at the end of January followed by an announcement of the winners in June 2017.
Photo: Left to right: Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, Jenna Hughes and Joanna Jeffery from Aberystwyth University, and Eirlys Wyn Parry from the Welsh Books Council’s Department of Children’s Books, with a selection of the books eligible for a Tir na n’Og award.