News

First-time author scoops Tir na n-Og Award

May 15, 2015

Cardiff-raised author, Giancarlo Gemin, has won the annual Tir na n-Og Award with his début book,  Cowgirl.

The Tir na n-Og Award  – organised by the Welsh Books Council, and sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales  – celebrates the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background. In a prestigious event held at Swansea Central Library on 14 May, the award was presented to Giancarlo Gemin for his book  Cowgirl  (published by Nosy Crow).

Cowgirl  is the funny yet moving story of Gemma. Growing up on the embattled Mawr Estate in south Wales, all Gemma sees are burglaries, sadness and boredom. With a dad in prison and a mum who has given up hope, she’s holding out for better times ahead. With the abrupt arrival of Cowgirl, the big angry weirdo girl from school, everything in Gemma’s life starts to look different.

The panel of judges agreed that  Cowgirl  skilfully showed aspects of contemporary life in Wales, and is brimming with personality.

Bev Bannon, Chair of the Tir na n-Og English-language Panel, stated of the winner:  “Cowgirl  is a great read and Giancarlo has done a superb job in developing that feel-good factor in the novel.”

Giancarlo Gemin, who is currently developing his second novel based on the Italian-run cafes of south Wales, stated,  “I’m delighted to win the Tir na n-Og Award  – it’s great to win this important prize for my ?rst book, as it certainly encourages me to keep writing. I was very moved and proud to receive such an acknowledgement from my native country.  Cowgirl  was the first book I decided to set in Wales, and in writing it felt immediately at home.”

The Tir na n-Og English Award  – which recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young people  – is sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

The award-winning titles for the Primary and Secondary Welsh-language categories will be revealed at a ceremony held during the 2015 Caerphilly Urdd Eisteddfod.

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said:  “A number of exciting books were considered for this year’s Tir na n-Og Award, reflecting the quality and range of titles available for children. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate Giancarlo Gemin and Nosy Crow on on their achievement.”

YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/00SWtSXnGTo


Do you have a great rugby story you’d like to share?

May 11, 2015

Libraries, archives and museums have joined forces with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to hold a competition for young people to celebrate rugby in Wales as part of the forthcoming Rugby World Cup celebrations.

Launching the competition today (Monday 27th April) at the Millennium Stadium, alongside WRU chief executive Roger Lewis and chairman Gareth Davies, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates commented:

“I’m excited to be launching this fantastic competition which brings together all the elements of my portfolio – culture, sport and tourism! By encouraging young people to record their experiences of rugby in Wales, whether they are playing, watching or hearing their friends and families talk about it – we are aiming to create a collection of stories that showcase rugby in Wales from the grass roots level right up to national team performances.

“This competition gives young people an opportunity to develop their literacy and digital skills in an engaging and fun way. Story telling is a great way for children to let their imagination grow and learn more about themselves and the world around them and I look forward to seeing the entries.”

WRU Chairman Gareth Davies said:

“I’m very much looking forward to reading the entries for this exciting competition. We know that rugby plays a special role in the national psyche in Wales and this competition will hopefully both tap into its popularity amongst the school children and help us reach out to those who are yet to get the bug.”

The competition comprises three categories and the overall theme is rugby in Wales:

  • Poetry for 7-9 year olds

The poems must be no longer than 250 words

  • Short Story for 10-12 year olds

Short stories must be no longer than 500 words

  • Digital Storytelling for 13-16 year olds

Films must be no longer than 3 minutes and may include photographs, video, animation, sound, music, text, and narrative voice.

 

The entries will be judged by a specially selected panel of judges comprising rugby personalities, authors, librarians and media experts and finalists will be announced early in September.

 

The competition finalists will have their stories displayed at a new Kick-offs and Keep-sakes exhibition in the National Museum Cardiff from 8th September and they will also be invited to attend the launch of the exhibition on 16th September 2015 to pick up their prizes.

Janice Lane, Director of Learning, Exhibitions and Digital Media at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:

“This is a great way for young people to share their passion for the game. Rugby and literature are both important parts of Welsh tradition and culture.

“We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition which will combine the two ahead of such a prestigious competition.”

The exhibition will feature a range of fascinating artefacts, memorabilia and historically significant items which relate to the Rugby World Cup from the WRU’s archives including a hand-carved whale’s tooth from Tonga and a unique totem pole from Canada.

The WRU will host eight Rugby World Cup matches – including two Wales games – at the Millennium Stadium and the exhibition opens just four days before the first match in Cardiff (Wales versus Uruguay on 20th September).

WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis adds:

“This exhibition promises to be a fascinating insight into not just Welsh involvement in World Cups over the years, but also the unique history of the tournament in general.”

Libraries, museums and archives across Wales will be putting on activities to help young people generate ideas for their stories or poems, develop skills to help with creating digital stories and showcasing their rugby and sporting heritage collections. Year 3 children from Adamsdown Primary School attended the launch today ahead of their visit to Cardiff Story Museum where they will be exploring the history of rugby in the city and the Rugby World Cup.

The competition is open until 20th July 2015 and for more information including full terms and conditions please visit: www.rugbystories.wales and join in the conversation on #rugbystories


Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism celebrates World Book Night in Wrexham Library

April 24, 2015

World Book Night is an annual celebration of books and reading which takes place across the world on Thursday 23rd April and many libraries across Wales and the UK will be taking part.

As part of Wrexham’s first Carnival of Words, Wrexham Library is hosting an evening of World Book Night celebrations, inviting people to come along to receive a book, have the chance to chat to local authors, hear from the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates and to listen to winning stories from a young peoples’ creative writing competition. Refreshments will be provided from 6.30pm.

Ann Hughes, Library Services Manager, commented: “World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.

“Whether you’re a regular reader or rarely turn the pages of a novel, comic, newspaper or magazine, you can come along to our carnival event, be part of something special and help World Book Night spread a love of reading across Wrexham and indeed across Wales.”

 

The Deputy Minister said “Reading is a great way to escape into other worlds, whether that’s sci-fi, historical or thrillers, there’s something at your local library to suit everyone’s taste Encouraging a love of reading is important in improving literacy and other life skills.

 

“I’m delighted to have been chosen as one of the volunteers gifting books for World Book Night and hope that these books and the event will inspire people to read their way to a new adventure. Libraries are a great treasure trove of material for you to explore – why not go along to your library tomorrow and start your reading adventure.”

 

PHOTO: DM at event

 

 

 

 


Wrexham Library celebrates World Book Night

April 22, 2015

World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books which takes place across the world on Thursday 23rd April. Libraries across the UK will be taking part

As part of the Carnival of Words, Wrexham Library is hosting an evening of celebrations to promote World Book Night inviting people to come along to receive a book, have the chance to chat to local authors, hear from the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates AM and to listen to the winning stories from the young peoples’ creative writing competition. Refreshments will be provided from 6.30pm

Ann Hughes, Library Services Manager, commented: “World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.

“Whether you’ve signed up to be a giver, you’re the lucky recipient of a book, or you come along to our special events, you can be part of something really special and help World Book Night spread a love of reading across Wrexham and indeed across Wales.”

 


It’s Spring Online Week!

April 20, 2015

Spring Online is an award-winning campaign that makes it possible for thousands of people, often older people, to try out using computers, tablets and the internet, many for the first time.

This year, between 20 – 26 April 2015, hundreds of free taster events will be held by volunteers and organisations across the UK to help and inspire local people achieve a lasting use of the internet.

Libraries across Wales are taking part in the campaign and a number of great events are happening including:

 

Cwmbran Library

Tablet Tuition Session – Friday 24th April, 11am – 12pm

 

Wrexham Library

IT Taster Sessions – 30th April and 7th May

 

Newport Libraries

Will be holding 3 events for residents of housing complexes (closed events) between the 20th – 23rd April.

 

Abercynon Library

WEA Complete Beginners Course – Friday 24th April, 12.30pm – 2.30pm

 

For more information about events happening across Wales for Spring Online visit the dedicated website: http://digitalunite.com/spring-online-2015