Nominations announced for 2020 Holyer an Gof Awards

Despite the disruption to the Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards caused by the Covid-19 restrictions, reviewers have been busy submitting nearly 200 reviews and, together with the Scheme’s organisers, they have been able to draw up a list of nominated publications.  Usually readers, publishers and authors would be looking forward to the gala presentation evening held in the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro but this won’t of course be possible this year. The winners of each class and of the four Holyer cups will therefore be announced by co-organiser Professor Gareth Parry from 6.40 pm on Tiffany Truscott’s programme on BBC Radio Cornwall on Wednesday July 29th. and also via press release and on the website ( Winning publishers and authors will be notified.

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of many of the books entered this year and delighted by the range and variety,” said Holyer an Gof co-organiser Professor Gareth Parry, Mab Meliner Gwlan.

The annual Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards were instigated in 1996 for books published in 1995 and are so named in memory of Redruth publisher and Cornish Bard Leonard Truran, whose Bardic name was Holyer an Gof – Follower of The Smith.   The scheme was established by and is organised by Bards of Gorsedh Kernow to promote books about Cornwall, set in Cornwall or in Cornish (Kernewek) and to encourage publishing of this kind of book in Cornwall.  The panel of reader-reviewers comprises members of Gorsedh Kernow’s College of Bards and others with particular expertise.

The nominations for the Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards for 2020 are:

Class 1: Dyllansow yn Kernewek (Publications in the Cornish language

1a: Lyvrow yn Kernewek rag dyskas (Books in Cornish for teaching)

Passio Christi (Student edition) edited by Roger Courtenay and published by Kesva an Taves Kernewek

Verbow Kernewek (SWF edition) edited by Tony Hak and published by Kesva an Taves Kernewek

1c: Lyvrow yn Kernewk rag tevesigyon ha tevesigesow (Books in Cornish for adults)

Virgil’s Fountain (Fenten Feryl) written by Tim Saunders and published by Francis Boutle Publishers

Class 2: Books for children

2a: Books for children of primary age

The Mermaid’s Christmas Adventure written and illustrated by Michael Foreman and published by Mabecron Books

There’s Something Nasty in My Pasty written and illustrated by Alasdair Hoswell and published by Hoswell Publishing

2b: Books for young adults

The Soul of Lyskerrys written and published by Robert Beck

Class 3: Fiction for adults

Hidden Depths written by Carla Vermaat and published by Carmichael Publishers

The Mermaid’s Call written by Katherine Stansfield and published by Allison & Busby

The Promise written by Ruth Saberton and published by Millington

Turning Serpentine written by Alan M. Kent and published by Halsgrove

Class 4: Poetry and Drama

There were no nominations in this class for 2020

Class 5: Non-fiction

5a: Social, Cultural and Political History

Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy 1760 – 1870 written by Melissa Hardie and published by Edward Everett Root Publishers’ Co Ltd

Cornwall: Connectivity and Identity in the Fourteenth Century written by S.J.Drake and published by Boydell and Brewer Ltd.

Growing up in West Cornwall edited by Sally Corbet and published by Penwith Local History Group

On the Brink written by Charles Fox and published by Zuleika

The Cornish in the Caribbean written by Sue Appleby and published by Troubador (Matador)

The Folklore of Cornwall written by Ronald M. James and published by University of Exeter Press

5b: Science, Environment and Industrial/Marine

Five Million Tides written by Christian Boulton and published by The HIstory Press

Levant Mine: An Anthology edited by Peter Joseph and Graham Thorne and published by Trevithick Society

Sea of Storms written by Richard Larn, illustrated by Oliver Hurst and published by Mabecron Books

The Ancient Woods of the Helford River written by Oliver Rackham and published by Little Toller Books

A Complete Guide to the Engine Houses of Mid-Cornwall written by Damian Nance, Kenneth Brown and Tony Clarke and published by Lightmoor Press

5c: Leisure and Lifestyle

Fifty Views of St. Michael’s Mount and Waves by Mike Newman published by Trevale Press.  N.B.  These two books of photographs were nominated jointly.

5d.  Memoir

Golden Embers written and published by Lilian James

Homesick written by Catrina Davies and published by riverrun, Quercus

The Bras and the Bees written by F.A. Notley and published by Scryfa

Class 6: Booklets

Calstock Bell Restoration Project written and published by Sue McClaughty

Swimming Mount’s Bay written by Penny Rumble and Sand Rothwell and published by Penny Rumble

They Shall Land written by Craig Weatherhill and published by Penwith Press

Top 10 walks: North and South Cornwall Coast (two books nominated as one publication) by Dennis Kelsall and published by Northern Eye Books

Details of nominations for 2020 can also be found at

Details of all the entries for 2020 can be found on the Holyer website:

<<End of press release>>

Further notes for Editors

Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please visit our website

You can also follow Gorsedh Kernow on Facebook and Twitter.