Chair and Prose winners at the National Eisteddfod 2019

Cathy Green on the left and Wendy Evans on the right.

Cathy Green on the left and Wendy Evans on the right.

20 October 2019

Two local women achieved the top prizes for Welsh learners in the National Eisteddfod this year. Wendy Evans, who lives in Cardigan, won the Chair for the best poem, and Cathy Green from Newport, Pembrokeshire won the top Prose Award. 

Wendy amazed the adjudicator, Rhys Iorwerth, by her mastery of Welsh in composing a sonnet presenting the story of a lonely girl who finds a life-giving connection with a friendly stranger. Cathy charmed and gripped Manon Steffan Ros, who was adjudicating the prose, with her autobiographical piece about teaching English to refugees while also learning Welsh herself, and the warmth which develops through teaching and learning. 

Both winners have been attending Welsh classes for adults at Cardigan Castle, and through this have achieved fluency in both speaking and writing Welsh, and can now take a full part in Welsh-language life locally. But like all who've attended classes, they've found that the process is as satisfying as the achievement. They've thoroughly enjoyed the classes and made many friends, finding that it's very different from learning a language in school, and much more fun. Having local Welsh-speakers coming into the classes very regularly to chat informally has also been a huge help in building up confidence to speak Welsh outside of the class.