Small Books – Big Outcomes!
As many as one in six adults struggle to read, and one of the main aims of Quick Reads is to encourage those reticent readers to pick up a book and give it a go. These short but compelling books are the perfect way to start a love affair with reading.
The 2017 Quick Reads titles in Wales, published by Accent Press and Y Lolfa, are to be officially launched by Kirsty Williams, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, at the Senedd building on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 at 13:00 hours.
There will be four new titles published this year as part of the initiative, two in Welsh and two in English. They cover a wide range of subjects, from the view between the posts of Wales’s well-loved goalkeeper Owain Fôn Williams; the dangerous and sinister world of on-line stalking; an adventure in the mountains of the Middle East, to one military sniffer dog’s incredible journey from Afghanistan to his new home.
The Quick Reads campaign aims to break down barriers and get Wales reading by producing short, gripping books available from libraries, bookshops and online for just £1. The 2017 titles will be available from the beginning of February: Stargazers – Phil Carradice; Gun Shy – Angie McDonnell & Alison Stokes; Rhwng y Pyst – Owain Fôn Williams & Lynn Davies; and Y Stelciwr – Manon Steffan Ros.
Angharad Sinclair, from the Welsh Books Council, said:
‘We are delighted with our range of titles this year and look forward to working with our partners over the coming months to get the new books out to our target audiences. Quick Reads are especially written so that they are accessible to everyone. They are perfect for those who want to increase their reading confidence, but are equally suited to those that just want a quick bit of escapism from their busy daily routines! By taking a bite-sized approach to reading we aim to overcome any confidence issues and show that reading can be a fun and inspiring activity for all.’
Stargazers by Phil Carradice (Published by Accent Press) A refreshing and different perspective on a classic tale that brings the ancient world alive. In a Middle-eastern state, Yaniv plans to follow in his father’s soldiering footsteps – he seeks travel, adventure and respect. So the offer to escort some stargazers on a mysterious journey seems like a great opportunity. But his first mission isn’t as straightforward as it is expected to be. Along the way Yaniv meets treachery, violence, danger and royalty, as well as a very attractive young girl. What are the stargazers really searching for? And who can he really trust?
Phil Carradice is a novelist, poet and historian. He has written over 40 books, including Snapshots of Welsh History – Without the Boring Bits. He also broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4 and presents a BBC Wales radio programme. He regularly appears on television programmes such as The One Show. He works as a lecturer in Cardiff University and lives in south Wales. Phil wrote the Quick Read Do Not Go Gentle, about the life and death of poet Dylan Thomas.
Gun Shy by Angie McDonnell and Alison Stokes (Published by Accent Press) A fascinating account of the life and work of a military sniffer dog, who became too scared of explosions to continue working in a war zone, and the Army Reserve medic that saved him once he became ‘Gun Shy’. This is the tale of a special friendship that started by dodging bullets on the enemy lines in Afghanistan and found a happy ending chasing balls across the beaches of south Wales.
Angie McDonnell is a paramedic and a medic with the Army Reserves 256 Field Hospital in London. Formerly from Barry, south Wales, she now lives in London. Alison Stokes is a writer and journalist from the Rhondda. A former features editor at the South Wales Echo, Cardiff, she is the co-author of several inspirational memoirs, including the international best-seller Old Before My Time with Hayley Okines which was the subject of a Channel 5 Extraordinary People documentary; Running Free with Kate Allatt, and Quick Reads Worlds Beyond Words and Be Your Own Boss.
Y Stelciwr (The Stalker) by Manon Steffan Ros (Published by Y Lolfa) This is a contemporary novel that tells the story of Boiiawn27 – a manipulative stalker who targets a vulnerable neighbour. It builds suspense and tension throughout and keeps the reader gripped until the unexpected ending. Suitable for older teens and adults, this novel deals with issues such as stalking and the dangers of modern technology. Manon Steffan Ros is a Welsh novelist, playwright, games author and scriptwriter.
Rhwng y Pyst (Between the Goalposts) by Owain Fôn Williams and Lynn Davies (Published by Y Lolfa) A personal and engaging account of Owain’s journey from Penygroes, Gwynedd, to become a professional footballer playing for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, in the Scottish Premiership. It also gives an intriguing behind the scenes glimpse into the Welsh squad’s amazing achievement in the Euro 2016 campaign. The book also touches on Owain’s other skill and passion as an artist whose oil paintings have been exhibited in various places. Owain Fôn Williams is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the Scottish Premiership club Inverness Caledonian Thistle. (http://owainfonwilliams.com) Lynn Davies is a Welsh author who has written several books including Hard Men of Welsh Rugby; Great Welsh Number 10s and Wales Defeated England. He has also co-authored several of the Stori Sydyn books over recent years.
About Accent Press Accent Press is an award-winning independent publishing company that has won numerous business awards and become a major name for dynamic publishing. It publishes a range of fiction, non-fiction and charity books. Accent Press was named Specialist Publisher of the Year, and shortlisted for Independent Publisher of the Year at the IPG Awards. Managing Director Hazel Cushion has also been invited to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace at a reception for Women in Business. (www.accentpress.co.uk)
About Y Lolfa Cyf Y Lolfa is an independent printing and publishing company with a 50-year track record of producing attractive, popular and groundbreaking books in Wales. All books are designed, printed and bound at their offices and printing works at Tal-y-bont, Ceredigion. (http://www.ylolfa.com/)
About Welsh Books Council and Quick Reads in Wales
The Quick Reads in Wales is an initiative coordinated by the Welsh Books Council and supported by the Welsh Government. Since 2006, in Wales, three hundred and fifty-two thousand, five hundred and fifty-seven books have been distributed – over eighty-seven thousand of them in the Welsh language. 93 books have been published in Wales as part of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn project – 44 of which were in the Welsh language.
This post is also available in: Welsh