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Students pen prize-winning DylanED reviews

Two A Level students from NPTC Group of Colleges claimed prizes at the recent 2024 DylanEd book review competition, which is organised by Swansea University, as part of the wider International Dylan Thomas Prize celebrations.

Ellie Evans and Gracie George were tasked with writing a 200-word review of one of the Dylan Thomas Prize-shortlisted books for 2024. They chose the poet Mary Jean Chan’s anthology ‘Bright Fear’ and were competing against pupils and students from schools and colleges across Swansea Bay, producing eloquent, thoughtful, touching reviews. The students received their prize at the Dylan Thomas Prize Award Ceremony at the Taliesin Theatre.

The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow.

Dylan Thomas, the quintessential adolescent writer, was ideally suited to serve as an inspiration to young writers everywhere. The freshness and immediacy of his writing were qualities that he never lost.

Dylan Thomas was once quoted as saying: “My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out” and DylanED is all about introducing young people to the world of literature and encouraging them to develop their own creative writing skills. The university works with local authorities, sponsors, schools, colleges, and broadcasters to ensure that young writers and students throughout Wales see the International Dylan Thomas Prize as something of which they are a part. The Prize brings young writers from all around the world to Wales and the UK. It encourages them to give classes, readings, workshops and to work with young people. Organised alongside Swansea University’s own programme of engagement with local schools, DylanED is a major source of inspiration for the talented young of the region. The DylanED Programme was established to ensure the development of this aspect of the Prize and to work alongside the talented writers of Swansea and Wales.

Their Lecturer Rhodri Lewis, who encouraged them to enter the competition, was thrilled with the result. He said: “I was incredibly impressed with the price-winning reviews that provided an insightful, articulate and meaningful commentary on Chan’s work”.

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