Francesca Rhydderch’s debut novel The Rice Paper Diaries, has been awarded the prestigious Wales Book of the Year English Language Fiction Prize.
Owen Sheers scooped the overall prize of Wales Book of the Year as well as the Roland Mathais prize for poetry for his collection Pink Mist.
The awards are presented annually to the best Welsh and English language works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This year’s winners were announced at ceremony at Galei Arts Centre in Caernarfon, with each category winner awarded £2000, along with a stainless steel trophy to celebrate their success. Designed by Angharad Pearce Jones, the trophy took the form of an open book.
Rhydderch’s novel dramatically brings to life the events of wartime Hong Kong. Literature Wales Chief Executive Lleucu Siencyn highlighted the international theme that had run through the judging panel’s favoured works, saying “The 2014 winners have guided readers to near and distant lands” and offered her congratulations.
Nadia Kamil, speaking on behalf of the English Language judging panel said, “We were looking for books that excited us and ones that made us want to continue reading. Francesca Rhydderch impressed us with emotional depth which carries the reader deep into the interior of the main characters.”
All of us at Seren extend our congratulations to Francesca for her well-earned success.