Alys Conran, a lecturer at Bangor University, has won the Wales Book of the Year award 2017, for her debut novel called ‘Pigeon’

In an incredible clean sweep, Pigeon, which was published simultaneously in English and Welsh (Pijin), was first awarded the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award before moving on to win the main English-language award securing an overall prize of £4,000 as well as a specially commissioned trophy designed and created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

The prize was presented to Alys by the Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Phil George. The readers of Wales agreed wholeheartedly with the judges’ choice this year, as the novel also won the public vote for the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Award.

Pigeon is the tragic, occasionally hilarious and ultimately intense story of a childhood friendship and how it’s torn apart, a story of guilt, silence and the loss of innocence, and a story about the kind of love which may survive it all.

Originally from North Wales, Alys spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona before returning to the area to live and write, she speaks fluent Spanish and Catalan as well as Welsh and English. She has developed projects to increase access to creative writing and reading in North Wales and is now lecturer in creative writing at Bangor University.