For books published on or between January 1st and December 31st 2017

These annual awards are promoted by Gorsedh Kernow for publications about Cornwall, set in Cornwall or in Cornish (Kernewek). The original Holyer an Gof Cup itself is perpetual, and given in memory of the Cornish publisher, Leonard Truran, carrying forward his bardic name. From 2018 this will be awarded to the book considered the best publication in Classes 1 - 4 (fiction, with a second cup, donated this year by the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, awarded to the best publications in Classes 5 and 6.).

Entries for the above awards are invited from Monday October 2nd. 2017..  The closing date is Wednesday 28th February 2018 .Please ensure that you are using a current entry form.

A complete list of entries will be published on this website soon after the closing date.

Entries can only be accepted from publishers and will not be accepted directly from authors unless the publication is self-published.   The submission of an author’s work by the publisher will be taken as agreement by the author that s/he is willing for the work to be submitted and considered for an award. Authors are encouraged however to draw the Scheme to the attention of their publisher!

There are six primary classes this year, four of them with two to four sub-classes.* Please note that Class 1 has an additional sub-class this year - Books translated into Cornish. You should enter the most appropriate sub-class(es) but if in doubt please contact us and we will try and provide some advice - contact details are given at the bottom of this page. You may enter a publication into more than one sub-class e.g. a short illustrated book on shipping could go into 5.1 or 6.0. This is a change from the 2017 scheme.

Nominations and winners will be determined for each of the sub-classes and an overall winner will be identified for each of the six primary classes, provided that it is possible to identify a book/books of sufficient quality. The publisher/s of the winners of the two Holyer and Gof Cups s will be asked to nominate a Cornish charity of their choice to each receive a £50 donation. We thank our sponsors for assisting with the funds necessary to enable these donations to be made.

Classes for entries

  Class 1: Dylansow yn Kernewek  (Publications in the Cornish language)
  1.0     Lyvrow yn Kernewek rag dyskas ( Books in Cornish for teaching )
  1.1     Lyvrow yn Kernewek rag fleghes ( Books in Cornish for children )
  1.2     Lyvrow yn Kernewek rag tevesigyon ha tevesigesow ( Books in Cornish for adults ) 
  1.3     Lyvrow treylyes yn Kernewek ( Books translated into Cornish )
  Class 2: Books for children 
  2.0     Books for children of primary age
  2.1     Books for young adults
  Class 3: Adult fiction
  3.0     Adult fiction
  Class 4: Poetry and Drama
  4.0       Poetry
  4.1       Drama
  Class: 5: Non-fiction
  5.0       History, language and creative arts
  5.1       Marine, industrial heritage and the environment
  5.2       Non-fiction books in which illustrations predominate
  Class 6: Booklets
  6.0      Booklets - publications of 80 pages or fewer

Where a number of entries are on very similar topics we reserve the right to create a special class for one year to ensure that there is fair comparison between the publications. If such a class is created the publishers will be contacted. In the past such classes have been justified for, for example, music or cookery..

The classes for judging may be amended at a meeting of Readers immediately after the closing date for the receipt of books, and will be determined by the balance of books received. Holyer an Gof may change the class for which a book has been entered if it is particularly inappropriate.  The relevant publisher will always be informed of this decision.  There is no separate class for works in dialect; they should be entered in the relevant class according to genre.

The evaluation of each publication is carried out by a number of Readers.   Many are Bards of Gorsedh Kernow, and all are chosen for their expertise and experience..  A list of Readers is available on this website.

Anonymous evaluations are submitted to a meeting of all readers, who nominate a selection of publications for possible awards in each class. The nominations will be published on this website soon after the evaluation meeting in June and the winner of each class will be announced at the Awards Evening, together with the overall Holyer an Gof Award Winner/s and the winners of the other awards (see below)..

The Awards Evening for all submitting publishers and for the authors of nominated books will be held at Waterstones, Truro in July 2018, with an invited guest list.  Each nominee and winner will receive a Gorsedh Kernow certificate. The two Holyer an Gof Cups (Fiction and Non-fiction)  will be made to publications which, in the judgement of the readers, are works of outstanding quality.

In addition there are four other awards presented during the evening at Waterstones.:

The Literary Guild Salver Award

Awarded for outstanding authorship in any class.

The Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek Cup

For the best original work or translation into Cornish (Kernewek)..

The Gorsedh Kernow - Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup

Awarded for books in the class for children and young adults.

The Waterstones Award

Given to an author selected by the manager and staff of Waterstones Bookshop, Truro


  1. The awards will be made for material first published anywhere during the year 2017 either in Cornish (Kernewek), set in Cornwall or with a Cornish theme.. Books published originally overseas which have not been entered previously, but are published in the United Kingdom for the first time during 2017, are also admissible.  Second and subsequent editions will only be considered where the publisher can demonstrate substantial changes, or where an earlier edition was published before the inception of Holyer an Gof Awards in 1996.
  2. The entries should be carefully edited, quality publications.
  3. The publications should add to the knowledge, enjoyment and appreciation of Cornish life, literature or culture in Cornwall and/or throughout the world.
  4. Each publication may be entered into one class only.   
  5. The criteria for evaluation of publications are contained in the Guidelines for Readers, which are available on this website.

Details of Entry

Please send or deliver your publications(s) with an entry form(s), which are downloadable here, to:

FAO Kim Cooper, The Cornish Studies Library, Alma Place, Redruth TR15 2AT.
Opening times:  Weekdays except Wednesday 10.00 am to 5.00pm,  Saturday 10.00am to 1.00pm
Tel:  01209 216760.       Email:  cornishstudies.library@cornwall.gov.uk

Please ensure that the envelope/package is clearly marked.

Books will not usually be returned, unless you state on your entry form that you will arrange for their collection from Redruth,  Otherwise, they will be donated to Cornish libraries or sold to help defray the cost to Gorsedh Kernow of the Holyer an Gof Awards and the donation to charity.

Please note that by submitting a book or books you are agreeing to be put on a mailing list. This list will only be used to communicate information about the Holyer an Gof Awards Scheme and not passed on to others.

In case of queries please e-mail: enquiries@holyerangofawards.org.uk