Success for Lily Mŷrennyn


A former University of Wales Trinity Saint David student has won a competition to illustrate a children’s storybook.  The competition was organised jointly between the Welsh Books Council and Urdd Gobaith Cymru to find new talent for the field of illustrating children’s books.

Lily Mŷrennyn

The winner was Lily Mŷrennyn from the Rhondda, a former student who graduated with a degree in Illustration from Swansea College of Art, in a competition involving the creation of original artwork to accompany a short story for children by Manon Steffan Ros entitled 'Y Soddgarŵ'. As part of the award the story is being published by Atebol this week.

According to Lily: “It has been so exciting to be selected to work on this project, particularly during such an uncertain time for new graduates. I feel very fortunate to have an opportunity to start my creative career with a book in print."

The competition adjudicator, Derek Bainton said: “This is an artist who shows understanding, confidence and mastery of the art of creating narrative through illustration. The artwork is particularly elegant, combining a number of clever skills such as traditional and digital techniques. The colour palette has a personal and warm tone, which ties the presentation together beautifully in a cohesive, professional and original way."  

The staff at Swansea College of Art are thrilled with the news, and very proud of what Lily has achieved. Gwenllian Beynon said:  "For me, creating a link through the Urdd with the Welsh Books Council in a competition to produce illustration material for children's Welsh books, provides a special opportunity for students, and for illustrators who have recently graduated.  It is pleasing to see that Lily has not only won an award for her work with the Urdd, but has also had the opportunity to illustrate a children's book with Manon Steffan Ros.  Lily studied part of her degree through the medium of Welsh, and this illustrated story book is a feather in her cap."

Illustration lecturer Jonathan Williams said: "The recognition that Lily has received from this prestigious prize is no more than she deserves. She has been a consistently excellent student whose creative practice is approached with passion and sensitivity. The images she creates are contemporary yet evocative with an underlying nostalgia that reflects her Welsh roots. I am sure this is just the beginning of her creative illustration journey."

Helen Jones, the Welsh Books Council’s Head of Children’s Books and Reading Promotion said:  “Warm congratulations to Lily Mŷrennyn and a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in this special competition. Illustrations can make an immeasurable contribution to the art of storytelling and broaden the appeal of books, particularly children's books. It is vital that we nurture and promote new quality and talent in this field in Wales.”

Siân Eirian, Director of the Urdd National Eisteddfod, said: "It has been a pleasure to work with the Welsh Books Council on this competition and to include it in our Syllabus, originally for the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2020. The main purpose of the Urdd Eisteddfod is to provide new arts opportunities for young people, and so we are delighted to announce the name of the winner, Lily Mŷrennyn, and celebrate the publication of the book ‘Y Soddgarŵ’ during this year's Eisteddfod T."

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476