Urdd Eisteddfod: Erin wins Crown in absence

Urdd Gobaith Cymru

A writer from the Llyn Peninsula with a rare medical condition has won the Crown at the Urdd National Eisteddfod.

Sioned Erin Hughes from Boduan, near Pwllheli, took the top prize with a piece of prose on the theme of ‘terrorism’. But the Bangor University student was too unwell to attend Friday’s ceremony in Llanelwedd because she has myasthenia gravis, which affects the nerves and muscles.

Organisers said Erin watched the ceremony at home with her family and another would take place once her condition improves. The Crown was accepted on her behalf by her lecturer, Professor Gerwyn Williams.

Her short story, Black and White, was written under the pseudonym of ‘Melyn’. Lead adjudicator Catrin Beard said: ”Finding that exceptional piece is always a thrill, but receiving a piece that is brilliant, excellent, original, mature and of such a high standard is a rare thing, to be treasured. It’s a pleasure to say that this is what happened this year.”

Ms Hughes, who has completed her second year at Bangor – studying Welsh and sociology – previously attended Ysgol Pont-y-Gôf in Botwnnog, Ysgol Botwnnog and Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.

In a statement, she said she was indebted to her teachers and lecturers for their encouragement – and named Aled Jones Williams, Sonia Edwards and Lleucu Roberts as some of her biggest influencers. Her partner, Steffan, attended the ceremony in person.

Pavilion MC, Elin Havard, told the audience: ”This has been a different ceremony to usual, but the honour remains the same. When Erin’s health has improved, the Urdd will be organising another ceremony to honour her.”

The Urdd Eisteddfod reaches its climax on Saturday with the final Pavilion competitions and the closing night gig featuring Candelas, Yr Eira, Y Cledrau and Serol Serol.

Next year, the festival returns to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, where this year’s National Eisteddfod will also take place.

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