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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Welsh writer scoops Dylan prize
Rachel Trezise
Trezise's short stories 'touched everyone on the judging panel'
The first Dylan Thomas prize for young writers, the world's largest literary award, has been won by a Welsh author.

Rachel Trezise, 28, from Rhondda, beat five other entrants from three continents with her book of short stories, Fresh Apples.

Judges said the work looking at life in south Wales' former coal-mining valleys "displayed maturity beyond her years".

The 60,000 prize was presented by the poet's daughter, Aeronwy Thomas, on the 92nd anniversary of his birth.

The award, a biennial event for writers under 30 in English, was named in honour of the Welsh literary great whose works include Under Milk Wood and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

Judging panel chair, screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose television adaptations include Bleak House and Pride and Prejudice, said the final choice had been "fiercely fought over".

I was enormously impressed with the quality of all the shortlist writers but we've got a wonderful winner
Judging panel chair, Andrew Davies

He said: "What I was looking for particularly was a real individual young voice, somebody whose work said "this is the new generation - watch out," somebody who's not quite like anything else we'd quite seen before.


"I was enormously impressed with the quality of all the shortlist writers but we've got a wonderful winner, I think."

Professor Peter Stead, the prize's founding chairman, had earlier revealed the six-strong judging panel had still to agree the winner only hours before the announcement.

The six writers shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

He said Trezise's book of short stories had "touched everyone on the judging panel".

He added: "Each of the six authors can, I'm sure, look forward to a long and successful literary career, in particular Rachel who can take great pride from this award."

Trezise said: "I am extremely proud to be the inaugural winner of this prestigious prize which I know will inspire generations to come of younger writers.

"This prize is vital in giving new opportunity and encouragement to fresh new talent."

The shortlist featured UK writers Nick Laird, James Scudamore and Lucy Caldwell as well as American Liza Ward and Zimbabwean Ian Holding.

The winner was announced at a ceremony at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, and was one of the opening events of this year's Dylan Thomas festival in the city.

Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea on 27 October, 1914, and died in New York on 9 November, 1953.

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