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Prestigious Dylan Thomas prize to be launched at Wales Office

Secretary of State to launch Dylan Thomas International prize

The Dylan Thomas International prize, sponsored by Swansea University, will be launched this evening (29th April) at an event hosted by the Secretary of State for Wales the Rt. Hon. David Jones MP.

This is the seventh edition of the International Dylan Thomas prize, which is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers, aimed at encouraging creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence across all genres.

The prize opened for entries on St David’s Day, 1st March 2014. In recognition of Dylan Thomas’s 39 years of literary productivity and creativity, the prize is open to young writers of 39 and under. The closing date for entries is 30th May 2014.

The Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones will welcome dignitaries and guests to Gwydyr House in Whitehall to mark the official UK launch of the prize. Three members of the judging panel will also be in attendance including singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, Alison Pearson of The Telegraph and Nicholas Wroe of The Guardian along with the founder and president of the prize; Peter Stead.

Secretary of State for Wales David Jones MP said.

“Although he achieved significant international acclaim, Dylan Thomas was, first and foremost, a Welshman. I am proud to be here in the Wales Office, honouring his memory in such a way, and bringing recognition to young literary talent from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe.

“The prize has been designed to reflect the range of Dylan’s creative output including poetry, prose, drama and short stories. We at the Wales Office are proud supporters of this exciting concept. We encourage all young writers and their publishers to come forward and take part in this competition which will offer a worldwide platform for their work, and provide a fitting legacy for Dylan’s life and work in his centenary year.”

Peter Stead, founder and President of the International Dylan Thomas prize, said:

“Tonight, in Dylan’s centenary year, we are launching what is the seventh International Dylan Thomas prize. Previous winners have come from Australia, the USA, Northern Ireland and Wales: shortlisted writers have come from every continent. The prize commemorates a writer who was acclaimed in his home town before very quickly achieving fame in London and internationally. English language fiction, poetry and drama by writers under 39 may be submitted for the £30,000 prize which is intended to launch careers by identifying the most exciting new writing from around the world.”

Professor Iwan Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said:

“I am delighted that Swansea University is sponsoring the International Dylan Thomas prize. It is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers in the world. The prize also carries out extensive work with educational institutions and we are proud to be associated with a project which helps promote creative writing to children and young people. We are very grateful to the Secretary of State for Wales for supporting the prize and hosting this launch event.

“In the centenary year of Dylan Thomas’s birth, it is very fitting that the University in his home town should be supporting a prize in his name,” he said.

The Chair of the judging panel is Peter Florence, founder of the Hay Festival and the other members include India-based poet, journalist and dancer Tishani Doshi, singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, Alison Pearson of The Telegraph, Nicholas Wroe of The Guardian, writer and broadcaster Carolyn Hitt and poet and translator Prof Kurt Heinzelman

Further information:

For more information on the Dylan Thomas prize.

2014 is the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. In addition to sponsoring the International Dylan Thomas prize, other highlights of Swansea University’s activity to mark the centenary include:

  • Dylan Unchained – an international academic conference on Dylan Thomas at Swansea University in September 2014
  • New Study of Thomas’s work – Professor John Goodby has just launched a major study of Dylan Thomas, re-evaluating his work for the 21st century
  • New edition of Dylan Thomas’s poetry- publication of a new and authorised complete edition, edited by Professor John Goodby, an international authority on the poet
  • Taking literature to the wider world - our poets, novelists, dramatists and critics will take their work to the wider world through literary festivals, including Hay, during 2014.
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