Eisteddfod 2018: Prose Medal for Manon

Manon Steffan Ros has won the Prose Medal at the 2018 National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay.

The Ogwen Valley writer and singer beat competition from thirteen entrants with a volume of creative prose on the theme of ‘Ynni’ (Energy).

The judges said the winning piece, Llyfr Glas Nebo – written under the pseudonym of Aleloia – was a ”pearl of a book” from a ”natural and confident writer”, which described a part of North Wales through the eyes of a young boy and his mother in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion.

Delivering her adjudication, last year’s winner, Sonia Edwards said: ”We were caught in Aleloia’s transparent and fragile web from beginning to end. And this is the work of a real writer. The picture painted…is spectacular. Not because of the scientific information, not because of the language. But rather because of the tenderness and naked reality and loss and suffering, written in a language which belongs to us all. And because this person is a natural writer.”

On the theme of this year’s competition, she said that ‘Energy’ ”does not lend itself well to creativity” but added that in the winner’s words: ”Achieving a task like this calls for commitment, stamina and perseverance.”

Born in Rhiwlas, on the outskirts of Bangor, Manon Steffan Ros won the Drama Medal at the Brifwyl twice in a row – at Y Faenol in 2005 and Swansea in 2006 – inspiring her to start writing in earnest.

She has published 20 books and has won the Tir Na n-Og prize for children’s literature three times. Last month, she launched a new football novel for 9-13 year olds, Fi a Joe Allen, at Gwyl Arall in Caernarfon.

Now living in Tywyn, Manon is also a playwright, scriptwriter and tutor – and as one half of folk duo Blodau Gwylltion, she released her first album, Llifo Fel Oed, earlier this year.

ARCHIVE AUDIO: MônFM’s Gareth Joy caught up with Manon Steffan Ros – and fellow writer, Fflur Dafydd – at Gwyl Arall in Caernarfon last month

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