Urdd Eisteddfod 2015: Dylan Edwards wins the crown with Aberystwyth inspired tale
Latest News | May 29, 2015
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The prize is awarded for a piece of prose of no more than 4,000 words
Chair winner Dylan Edwards, who hails from Llandre near the West Wales, and creator Martyn Rees
A piece of prose inspired by a night out in Aberystwyth and echoing Dylan Thomas’ writing style has won the crown competition at the 2015 Urdd Eisteddfod.
Its author Dylan Edwards, who hails from Llandre near the West Wales town, described the honour as “fantastic.”
The 19-year-old said: “I had no expectation of winning.
“I entered really because the story has been in my head for a while, a portrayal of life for a young person in Aberystwyth today.
'It's a personal piece'
“Having left the town to attend University I found even more perspective as I suppose it’s a story about leaving.
“It is a personal piece, fictional, but with elements of truth.”
Dylan was the competition’s “most skilled writer” according to adjudicators Sioned Williams and Manon Steffan Ross, and his work “gripped from the very first sentence.”
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The crown is awarded to the best piece or pieces of prose over 4,000 words, and this year the theme of the competition was “Betrayal”.
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Manon Steffan Ross said: “There is both a Dylan Thomas-esque and Llwyd Owen-esque feel to Dylan Edward’s work, due to his use of innovative composite adjectives, a self-conscious literary style and contemporary, drunken and surreal surroundings.
“As is often found in the work of Dylan Thomas and Llwyd Owen, what we have here is a treatment of longing and loss within a lively, multi-layered story, and the writing throughout was mesmerising.
'It's an ambitious confident work'
“Dylan Edwards also has a talent for realistic dialogue and for getting under the skin of characters.
“It’s an ambitious, confident work and is fully deserving of this year’s Urdd Eisteddfod crown.”
Dylan, a former pupil at Ysgol Penweddig, is currently studying a Liberal Arts degree in King’s College, London.
He added: “The comparison with Dylan Thomas is clearly flattering, though I think it is a comparison based very much on style rather than talent.
“I suppose there are similarities in terms of a sense of place and dreamy elements.
“And I’m sure Dylan Thomas’ centenary celebrations have had some sort of subconscious influence on my work.
Iestyn Tyne, Aelwyd Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Llŷn Area, Snowdonia came second in the competition with Gareth Evans-Jones, Eilian Area, Anglesey, third.
'It was a real privilege to be asked to make the crown'
Design and technology teacher Martyn Rees, from Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, designed this year’s crown, made from a single band of brass, which has been etched with different images representing Caerphilly borough – from Cwmcarn forest to comedian Tommy Cooper’s fez hat, Joe Calzaghe’s boxing glove and the Llancaiach Fawr gardens.
Martyn Rees, who is originally from the Gwendraeth Valley, said: “It was a real privilege to be asked to make the crown – an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I wasn’t going to turn down.
“I started working on the design last June, trialling different ideas and building several prototypes.
“I’ve been working in my spare time and between lessons – it’s been a challenge and I’ve pushed myself outside my comfort zone.
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience.”
'That's what I wanted to write about'
Elsewhere on the Eisteddfod Maes Sioned James, from Swansea, was presented with the Geraint George scholarship prize.
The award recognises an individual between 18 and 25 who is an exceptional communicator and able to aid people in Wales and beyond, to appreciate the natural world.
The 23-year-old’s scholarship entry was inspired by her strong environmental beliefs and in the sector’s devolved powers in Wales.
She said: “In the past Wales has taken advantage of raw materials such as slate, coal and copper but now we need to harness environmental power in a different way so that Wales can flourish.
“The Welsh Government is certainly taking advantage of these opportunities and are seeing the country’s potential.
“This is what I wanted to write about.”