A course for the main literary competition winners at the Urdd Eisteddfod this year will be relaunched as Cwrs Olwen, in memory of Olwen Dafydd, a member of staff at the Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre who died in December 2014. Olwen worked at Tŷ Newydd for 11 years, organising courses and events.
The course will be held at Tŷ Newydd, Llanystumdwy, in partnership with the Urdd and with a generous donation from Olwen Dafydd’s family. The winners and runners up of the Eisteddfod Chair, Crown and Drama Medal will be awarded a free place on the course. The aim of the course is to encourage the young writers to continue with their writing under the tutelage of a professional author or poet, and getting to know their co-writers at the national writing centre.
The course, previously known as Cwrs yr Urdd, has been running for over 15 years, and has played a prominent part in bringing generations of young writers together.
Aneirin Karadog, who attended Cwrs yr Urdd three times in the early 2000s said: “Being invited to a writing course at Tŷ Newydd as part of the prize was priceless for many reasons. It helped me greatly in learning and fine tuning my craft as a poet, it was a great opportunity to spend time with the literary greats who shared their time and pearls of wisdom with us on tutoring the courses, and it was wonderful to get to know the young community of writers – some of whom I’m still good friends with today. Doing all of this in the magical surroundings of Tŷ Newydd was a bonus. Knowing Olwen, who organised Cwrs yr Urdd and who contributed so much to the literary world, was an honour.”
Leusa Llewelyn, Acting Head of Tŷ Newydd said: “Olwen often acknowledged that Cwrs yr Urdd was one of her calendar highlights. She delighted in having a houseful of talented, young Welsh authors to take under her wing, referring to them fondly as her “cywion”. She made sure that the writers received Tŷ Newydd’s continuous support after the courses, often inviting them back to take part in courses and events. Relaunching the course as Cwrs Olwen is a wonderful tribute to her memory.”
An announcement about Cwrs Olwen was made onstage during the main ceremonies at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Flintshire in May 2016, and invitations to the young writers are on their way.
For more information on Cwrs Olwen or Tŷ Newydd, contact Literature Wales: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01766 522 811