Wales Book of the Year & a touch of Imposter Syndrome
The Award is presented annually to the best works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction, in both English and Welsh.
Having followed the awards for a few years, and being aware of some of the phenomenal talent to have been recognised previously, I am absolutely blown away to have been shortlisted.
Like most of us, (particularly most of us in creative fields,) I battle with ‘imposter syndrome’ – constantly doubting myself and my creative abilities, constantly comparing my work to that of my peers, always worried it’s not good enough, or doesn’t hit the right note – so this recognition means the world to me.
I’ve not written much new poetry recently, as finishing Salacia felt almost like a purge of years’ worth of memory, trauma, darkness, love and loss. For the first few months after it was released, I felt I had nothing more to give, and was left wondering for a while whether it had all been worth it – would anyone actually enjoy reading my poems? Would my words touch anyone or help anyone to feel less alone? Was my poetry as ‘good’ as the poetry I enjoyed? I’ve been focussing instead on short stories, but this little boost has reminded me of my poetic roots, and given me some sort of reassurance that yes, poetry matters, my words matter and I should keep going.
I’ve also had a lot of support recently, from friends, poets and mentors alike, (I’ll be going to Hay Festival in a fortnight as part of the Writers at Work Scheme!) and have been overwhelmed by the kindness of those around me.
The full Short List of both Welsh and English titles can be seen on the Literature Wales/Llenyddiaeth Cymru website – there’s some beautiful works listed.
As well as the winners, there’ll be a People’s Choice award given to the public’s favourite title from the Short List. You can visit the Wales Arts Review website to vote for your favourite English-language title, and Golwg360 for the Welsh. The awards illustrate the significance of the stories of Wales to a global readership, so taking part by buying a book by one of the shortlisted writers or placing a vote really does have an impact, an important one.