UW Dylan Thomas Prize goes digital

Posted on 8 June 2010

Prize founder, Peter Stead with Sian Newman and Omar Gurnah

The Guardian Hay Festival was the apt setting for the launch of a new e-book category for this year’s University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize.

On the 2nd of June it was announced that Sony UK will be sponsoring the sub-category, dubbed ‘The Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers’.

The main University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize is the largest literary award for young writers worldwide. It was established in 2006 in recognition of the international work of the eponymous avant-garde Welsh poet, whose first book of poetry was published when he was just 21.

The new category will recognise the work of unpublished British novelists aged under 30 whose work will be electronically submitted using e-book friendly formats.

Kicking off the proceedings was Peter Florence, Director of the Hay Festival and Chair of the Dylan Thomas Prize Judging Panel, who spoke of the prize’s importance to the literary world and described its founder as a ‘national treasure and asset to raw and undiscovered writers’.

Peter Stead, Dylan Thomas Prize founder, chairman and judge expressed his delight at Sony’s interest in promoting new writing:

‘We are greatly honoured that we have been asked to play a part in organising the Sony Reader Award. Our commitment has always been to new writing, and this new prize forms a landmark for aspiring authors and marks an exciting departure for the Dylan Thomas Prize.’

Omar Gurnah, Reader Marketing Manager for Sony, stressed that it has never been Sony’s intention to replace books – quite the contrary. Sony’s market research, he maintained, shows that 70% of Sony e-book users still read as many traditional, paper books as they have always done so that, by using the eReader as well, they are now actually reading more than they did previously. He described the new prize as ‘a sort of X-factor for young authors – but without the cheesy bits!’


Notes to Editors

E-Book entries will need to be submitted in PDF, Word or EPUB format via the Reader website at www.sony.co.uk/reader between July 1st and August 31st, and the shortlisted writers will be notified in September. The winner of the award will be announced at the Dylan Thomas Prize Award Ceremony on 1st December 2010.

The Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers has the following entry requirements:
• Entrants must be under 30 years old
• Entrants must be resident in the UK
• Entrants can submit only novels (no poetry, or plays, etc.)
• Entrants must be previously unpublished
• The minimum word count for entries is 80,000

For further information on the award and entry requirements, please visit www.sony.co.uk/reader

About the Dylan Thomas Prize:
Launched in 2006, the annual Dylan Thomas Prize is an international literary award aimed at encouraging raw creative talent worldwide and is open to all published fiction writers in the English language under the age of 30. The coveted £30,000 award is one of the biggest in the literary world. The 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize is sponsored by the University of Wales. For more information please visit www.dylanthomasprize.com.

For more information on The University of Wales please visit: www.wales.ac.uk
For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales: t.barrett@wales.ac.uk


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