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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 18:51 GMT
Entries invited for 60,000 prize
Dylan Thomas
Published writers in English from around the world can compete
Young writers from around the world have been urged to enter a 60,000 literary award, set up to celebrate Wales' most famous poet.

The Swansea Dylan Thomas Prize is open to writers in English under 30 from anywhere in the world.

The award is open to writers of novels, poetry, plays and travel books.

The invitation to enter the contest was officially made at a ceremony in London by five-times BAFTA winning screenwriter Andrew Davies.

Cardiff-born Mr Davies, who is best-known for sometimes sexy adaptations of literary classics such as Pride and Prejudice (containing the infamous wet-shirted Mr Darcy scene, played by Colin Firth), Vanity Fair, Doctor Zhivago and Bleak House, is chairing the panel of judges for the prize.

Andrew Davies
Dylan Thomas was a huge inspiration and influence on me when I began to write
Andrew Davies

He said: "This award honours a truly great writer who died while still a young man and will be a great encouragement to talented young writers everywhere.

"Dylan Thomas was a huge inspiration and influence on me when I began to write and I'm proud to be associated with this award."

A reception in the Wales Office, London, was hosted by Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, who is the prize's parliamentary ambassador.

The award, funded by public and private money, was devised by Welsh historian, Professor Peter Stead, following a visit to the Italian town of Viareggio.

It had devised an international literary prize and invited the six shortlisted authors to come and read their works in the town.

The prize has now become one of the biggest in Italy.

Prizewinner

Professor Stead said: "The prize is aimed at encouraging young writers around the world and we hope it will be an inspiration for the young writers, not only of today, but of tomorrow.

"We very much look forward to receiving entries from every corner of the English speaking world and, in the process, celebrate the memory of one of Wales' most distinguished literary talents."

Entries of published or performed works, which must be supported by the publisher or producer, are being accepted until 1 March, and the prizewinner will be announced on 27 October 2006.

The award will be presented in November in Swansea during the city's two-week Dylan Thomas Festival.

It was formally launched at a dual-venue ceremony in Swansea's Dylan Thomas Centre and New York's Algonquin Hotel in October 2004.

The 60,000 award is to be given every two years, alternating with Wales' Artes Mundi visual arts prize.


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