Swansea University has been named as the title sponsor for the international Dylan Thomas Prize. The announcement was made by the inaugural and most recent winners of the Prize at a reception event at the Hay Festival.

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Dylan Thomas Prize, John Spurr etc at HayRachel Trezise from the Rhondda who won the inaugural prize in 2006 and Maggie Shipstead from California who was the 2012 winner, announced Swansea University’s sponsorship of the annual £30,000 literary award for young writers whilst also unveiling the 2013 judging panel which includes the founder of the Hay Festival, Peter Florence, novelist and Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson, author, singer and BBC 6 music presenter Cerys Matthews, journalist and author Carolyn Hitt, commentator and artist Kim Howells, Guardian Review journalist Nicholas Wroe, poet and English professor at the University of Texas Kurt Heinzelman and Chairman of the Dylan Thomas Prize, Peter Stead.

Swansea University’s sponsorship of the Dylan Thomas Prize comes on the tenth anniversary of the launch of the University’s creative writing programme which is now recognised as one of the UK’s best. It’s hoped the synergy with the Prize, which is open to any published work written in English by an author under the age of 30 from anywhere in the world, will further raise Swansea University’s creative writing profile and attract international young literary talent.

Speaking at the event, which was attended by former first minister Rhodri Morgan and Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews AM, John Spurr, ‌Head of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University said: “The Dylan Thomas Prize and Swansea University are natural partners, both rooted in a strong local tradition but with global ambitions.  Thanks to our association with the Prize, we look forward to seeing more of the world’s finest young writers in Swansea, working with our creative writers and our students: this is all about celebrating and inspiring excellence in young people.”

The Dylan Thomas Prize was established in 2006 as one of the world’s highest paying literary awards for young writers from around the world to celebrate the legacy of Dylan Thomas, who wrote most of his best work in his 20’s. Since then, the Prize has become an unfailingly reliable guide to the best new literary talent by unearthing and recognising young writers from across the globe.

Chairman of the Dylan Thomas Prize, Peter Stead, said: “We could not be any more thrilled about the sponsorship by Swansea University. Like the Prize, Swansea University has a terrific record of uncovering and fostering new talent with its pre-eminent creative writing programme. Like them, we also take great pride in promoting Wales on the international stage and bringing our shortlist of some of the world’s best young writers here each year. Knowing that our sponsors share our desire to uncover the literary stars of tomorrow and bring the best to Wales is very exciting, we look forward to a long and fruitful association.”

The deadline for entries for the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize is 28 June 2013. For more information please visit www.swansea.ac.uk/dylan-thomas-prize

(Photograph L-R:  Professor Peter Stead, Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, Maggie Shipstead, Professor John Spurr, Rachel Trezise and Leighton Andrews AM)