University of Wales Literary Awards


The University of Wales Y Werin Legacy Fund has awarded its annual prizes.

cawcs_university_of_wales building

Dr Daniel Huws received the Hywel Dda Award for his lifelong contribution to the study of Welsh manuscripts. The Sir Ellis-Griffith Memorial Prize was awarded to Dr Simon Brooks for his book Hanes Cymry: Lleiafrifoedd Ethnig a’r Gwareiddiad Cymraeg (University of Wales Press, 2021).

Ar 20 Mehefin bydd Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru a Chanolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru yn cyhoeddi’r astudiaeth fwyaf trylwyr ac ysgolheigaidd o lawysgrifau Cymraeg a Chymreig sydd erioed wedi’i gyhoeddi.

Dr Daniel Huws came to the National Library of Wales in 1961 as an archivist. His interest in medieval manuscripts was stirred in 1967, and his many publications have transformed our understanding of our literary heritage. By the time of his retirement in 1992 he had long been recognized as the leading authority in his field, and in 1996 he began working on his magnum opus, A Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes c.800–c.1800. The work was published by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and the National Library of Wales in 2022 and launched at the ‘Welsh Manuscripts’ conference held in June in the company of Prif Weinidog Cymru, the Right Honourable Mark Drakeford MS.

Dr Sara Elin Roberts, one of the adjudicators of the Panel, said: ‘We are grateful to Dr Daniel Huws for all his work on the law manuscripts over the years, for his regular contributions to the Cyfraith Hywel Seminar, his work on Peniarth 28, his chapters in Lawyers and Laymen, The Welsh King and his Court and Tair Colofn Cyfraith, his monograph Medieval Welsh Manuscripts, and indeed the Repertory.’

The prize is provided from the fund raised by public subscription to commemorate the millenary celebrations of Hywel Dda in 1928.

Simon Brooks for the Sir Ellis-Griffith Memorial Prize

This year’s Sir Ellis-Griffith Memorial Prize goes to Dr Simon Brooks for Hanes Cymry: Lleiafrifoedd Ethnig a’r Gwareiddiad Cymraeg (University of Wales Press, 2021). Simon Brooks was born and brought up in London to Welsh parents. He came to Wales to study at the University of Wales, and after graduating and completing a PhD in Welsh was appointed editor of the periodical Barn. Among his many scholarly publications is Pam na fu Cymru (University of Wales Press, 2015), a study of Welsh nationalism. He is now working on a travel book focusing on the Welsh-speaking community in England. He is also an influential voice in language policy and authored the ‘Second homes: Developing new policies in Wales’ report which forms the basis of much of the Welsh Government’s policies in this area. He is currently Chair of the Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities on behalf of the Welsh Government.  

Dr Brooks said, ‘I am delighted to receive this award. Writing academic books in Welsh can be a lonely experience at times, and this was particularly true during the pandemic when it was difficult to read the audience’s response because of the restrictions. That’s why receiving recognition from the Welsh-speaking community is so valuable, and indeed a tonic. I’m extremely grateful to the University of Wales for the honour.’

The Award is presented annually in the name of the University of Wales from the Ellis-Griffith Fund and goes to the best Welsh-language publication focusing on Welsh authors, artists or artisans or their work. The Prize is provided from a Fund raised in memory of the late Right Honourable Sir Ellis Jones Ellis-Griffith MA KC PC (1860–1926), former Member of Parliament for the County of Anglesey. 

On behalf of the Trustees of Y Werin Legacy Fund, Margaret Evans said:

“We are pleased that this year’s prizes have been awarded to such highly respected scholars and on behalf of the Trustees I would like to congratulate them on their success. This is a further celebration of the continued importance of the Trust in supporting and rewarding academic achievement over the generations.”

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, said:

“We are once more grateful to the Trustees for their support and to the adjudicators for their detailed deliberations. We wish to warmly congratulate both Dr Daniel Huws and Dr Simon Brooks on winning these esteemed prizes and on their significant contributions to Welsh scholarship here in Wales and internationally.”

The 2021 Vernam Hull Memorial Prize/Award was withheld. 

Note to Editor

Contact: Dr Angharad Elias (Admin Officer)

1. The Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) was established by the University of Wales in 1985 as a dedicated research centre conducting team-based projects on the languages, literatures, culture and history of Wales and the other Celtic countries. It is located in Aberystwyth, adjacent to the National Library of Wales, which is an internationally-renowned copyright library with excellent research facilities.

2. CAWCS offers unique opportunities for postgraduate students to work alongside specialists in a dynamic and supportive environment. We welcome enquiries about MPhil/PhD topics in any of our research areas. For more information about research opportunities, or for an informal chat about possible topics, contact our Head of Graduate Studies, Dr Elizabeth Edwards:

3. CAWCS is the home of the Dictionary of the Welsh Language, which celebrated its centenary in 2021: 

Further Information

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