Aberystwyth University: Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies students sweep the board at the Intercollegiate Eisteddfod

Students from the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University achieved remarkable success at the Intercollegiate Eisteddfod held in Bangor on 5 March 2022, winning both key literary prizes.

Twm Ebbsworth, a Creative Writing postgraduate student from Llanwnnen near Lampeter, was presented with the prestigious Crown for his prose composition of no more than 5000 words in response to ‘Sea’. A regular Eisteddfod-winner, Twm has previously been awarded the Chair and the Crown at Ceredigion Young Farmers’ Clubs and Intercollegiate Eisteddfodau. Fellow Welsh and Celtic Studies undergraduate, Lowri Bebb, was awarded third place in the competition for the Crown.

The coveted Eisteddfod Chair was won by third year Welsh and International Politics student Tomos Lynch from Bangor, who is studying a Creative Writing module in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. The Chair competition saw entrants composing a poem, in free verse or in the strict metres, of no more than 100 lines in response to ‘Mountain’. Crown-winner Twm Ebbsworth was runner-up in the competition for the Chair.

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University said: “How wonderful it is to be able to celebrate the success of our students in this year’s Intercollegiate Eisteddfod. It is remarkable how many of Wales’s authors and poets studied here at Aber, and we continue to nurture our students’ talents through our provision in creative writing. I am sure that this won’t be the last time we congratulate these three stars – our warmest congratulations to Twm, Tomos, and Lowri!”

The success of Aberystwyth University students in this year’s Intercollegiate Eisteddfod was not limited to the field of literature. Trystan Gwyn, a third year Geography and Earth Sciences undergraduate was the winner of the Science medal. Emily Ellis, a second year History and Welsh History undergraduate, was awarded the Arts Medal.

Mared Edwards, Welsh Culture Officer and President of UMCA (Aberystwyth’s Welsh Students’ Union) said: “We are delighted at the success of Aberystwyth University students in this year’s Intercollegiate Eisteddfod. After an intense day of competitions both on and off the stage, it is rewarding to see so many talented Aber students amongst the list of worthy winners.”

Held annually at one of the Welsh universities, the Intercollegiate Eisteddfod is considered a social and cultural highlight for Welsh students or Welsh learners studying in Wales, and for Welsh student societies across the border.

Over the years, it has provided a platform for students to display their talents, competing on behalf of their university in a number of stage, homework, and sporting competitions.

The Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University is renowned for the study of Welsh language, literature and culture, as well as Celtic studies. Along with Welsh, the department offers unique opportunities for its students to learn Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic, from beginners to confident and fluent speakers. Aberystwyth University was named Best in the UK for Student Experience and Teaching Quality for the subject of Celtic Studies in The Times/The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

The Department recently launched a new BA degree scheme – Creative Writing and the Publishing Industry. Under the guidance of prize-winning authors Mererid Hopwood and Eurig Salisbury, the course allows students to develop their creative abilities, find their own writerly voices, and understand the nuances of the publishing industry.

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