Winners of Welsh Publisher and Bookseller of the Year announced

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Rily Publishing and Book-ish in Crickhowell

Rily Publications and Book-ish of Crickhowell have been named Welsh Publisher of the Year and Independent Welsh Bookseller of the Year at this year’s British Book Awards announced today.

Rily, a family-run publisher, set up in 2001 by Richard and Lynda Tunnicliffe, competed for what is effectively the Welsh crown of publisher of the year.

Announcing the news this morning, Bookseller organizers said: “Congratulations to @RilyBooks, #BritishBookAwards Winner of Small Press of the Year for Wales!”

Initially specializing in Welsh-language editions of popular children’s books, Rily has now expanded to a fascinating and diverse list in both Welsh and English.

Responding to the news, Rily tweeted: “Fabulous news for Rily Books this morning. Thank you very much to our brilliant team, to all our colleagues and to the publishing industry”.

Rily secured its first-ever position on the shortlist of independent publishers alongside Cardiff-based Firefly Press and Ceredigion-based Parthian Books.

The British Book Awards – or Nibbies – overseen by The Bookseller, are literary accolades given to the best in the book world, with a multitude of award categories, from publishers to bookshops across the UK.

Philip Jones, Editor of The Bookseller and Chairman of the British Book Awards Jury, said: “The Small Press Prize has become one of the largest at the British Book Awards with over 60 submissions showcasing the versatility and extent of publishing across the UK and Ireland.

“Here are state-of-the-art publishers, making every sale count, building relationships with clients, nurturing writers, and writing through what are often the first steps in their careers.”

Independent Bookstore Finalist

Book-ish is an independent bookshop with an extensive program of events as well as hosting the annual Crickhowell Literature Festival alongside the Dragon Inn and will now be part of the UK Shortlist.

The busy High Street shop and cafe won Independent Bookstore of the Year 2020 and owner Emma Corvish-Walters was delighted to be shortlisted again.

Commenting on the news, Emma said: “Being a country finalist means a lot, to me, to my amazing team and to our community both locally and online. It’s true recognition in our industry for what we we do and how we do it. I’m so proud to be part of such a creative, collaborative and innovative industry.

“The past year has been something of a rollercoaster with restrictions, vendor issues and uncertainty, but it has driven a tremendous amount of innovation and creativity across the board. We have wonderful booksellers in Wales and everything they have achieved has been inspiring.

“The support from the community has been amazing and the support closer to home, from family, friends and our team has kept me going. There’s never a ‘right’ time to make big decisions and big moves, and as a company you have to master the art of juggling it all, but also asking for help when needed… I really hope we NEVER have Christmas shopping period like this again!

“What next? I’m hoping for a period of calm, I want to enjoy what we’ve built, spend more time selling books and communicating with our customers in the shop and at events… I’m all for it. unable to resist a good idea, so who knows what will happen next, there is always an opportunity around the corner.

Deeply rooted in its community, the shop regularly hosts author events and book signings, a community book club, quiz nights, game nights and a writers night which is a social and supportive space where writers from all stages can meet to share their work.

Book-ish had the support of their community to help them buy the bookstore building after the future was thrown into doubt due to an unexpected sale by the owner.

There’s a strong environmental theme to their stock and you can catch Ben Rawlence talking about his book The Treeline on March 30 in their events schedule.


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