Wales at Waters’ Edge nominated for Welsh Book of the Year Award…but only under the author’s name.

It was announced this afternoon that my recent book with Jon Gower – “Wales at Waters’ Edge” – has been shortlisted for the 2013 Welsh Book of the Year Award. But only under Jon Gower’s name.

The idea for the book came several years ago when I heard that the All-Wales Coastal Path would be completed in 2012. It seemed like a very good idea to hang a book project upon. During autumn 2009 I approached a very talented  writer friend to see if she would be interested in collaborating on a joint project on the Welsh coastline. We had a preliminary meeting with the publisher, Gomer Press, in November 2009 , and the book grew from there. A Welsh-language author was brought on board for the Welsh edition, and following the promise of funding being made available to me from the Countryside Council for Wales,  I began work on the book in spring 2010.

It was a rocky road during late 2010/ early 2011 when, in the last of a series of  “hiccups”,  the author eventually dropped out for personal reasons. But Jon Gower stepped in at short notice in spring 2011 and despite having a huge workload finished his excellent text  on time. While Jon and I have progressed in very different directions since our younger days, we both have a background in wildlife conservation which really helped us to work together. The English-language version was published in May 2012.

Just a bit of background there, then. But back to the award. If it really is for the  “Welsh Book of the Year” then surely both of two joint contributors should be credited for their work? Or is it really only an award for “Author of the Year”? Perhaps the idea remains among the literati that a photographer is only fit to illustrate the words and ideas of his obviously more creative writing partner. Photography is often seen as a poor relation among the art forms, and one learns to live with it. But how will the awards judges be able to evaluate the text alone in what is, I would argue, an image-led publication, without being influenced by the photographs?

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2 thoughts on “Wales at Waters’ Edge nominated for Welsh Book of the Year Award…but only under the author’s name.

  1. One of my PR clients won an award for best photography with one of my pics. They mentioned it in passing to me about 6 months after the event.. They even got a little glass trophy with their name on it, but no mention of mine!

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