The Messenger Bird wins a 2013 Holyer an Gof award

The Messenger Bird has won the 2013 Holyer and Gof award for children's and young adult literature in Cornwall. The Messenger Bird has also been chosen as the recipient of the inaugural Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup for children's and YA literature.

These awards are promoted annually by Gorsedh Kernow for publications relating to Cornwall or the Cornish Language.

The awards are so named in memory of Redruth publisher and Cornish Bard Leonard Truran whose bardic name was Holyer an Gof - follower of The Smith.

More info at

The Messenger Bird wins a  2013 Holyer an Gof award

Ann Trevenen Jenkin accepted the publishers' award certificate for children's and young adult literature on behalf of Rosemary Chay from UQP.

Past Grand Bard, Vanessa Beeman accepted the Ann Trevenen Jenkin cup for authorship in children's and young adult literature on my behalf.

The Messenger Bird wins a  2013 Holyer an Gof award

RAEL Harvey's review when introducing the nomination

This, The Messenger Bird, was entered in the Young Adults Class for Holyer an Gof 2013.  This Class is aimed at children of Secondary age.  It is a powerful story linking Cornwall with the Cornish diaspora in the copper belt of Australia.  A young girl is traumatised by the death of her older brother and finds consolation through a revived interest in music.  There is mystery, time shifts and mysticism written into the story making clear links between Australia and Cornwall.  A gripping story for adults and young people, well written with good characterisation. The author, Rosanne Hawke, is a bard of the Cornish Gorsedh whose family went out from Redruth to become miners in Australia.


Rael Harvey read my acceptance speech

A hearty 'gooday' and dyth da to you all in Cornwall from Kapunda, the oldest mining town in Australia. 

What an honour it is to be given this award for The Messenger Bird, and to be the recipient of the inaugural Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup for Children's and Young adult literature blows my mind. I'm so sorry I can't be in Cornwall at this special time to share with you all. I miss those of you I have met before in Cornwall or have come to our Kernewek Lowender, especially Ann Trevenen Jenkin, past Grand Bard Vanessa Beenan, and the present Grand Bard, Maureen Filler who I met in May at the Kernewek Lowender in South Australia.

         The Messenger Bird took many years to write and is the book of my heart considering it is set around rural Kapunda and in our own house which my husband was 'restoring' as I wrote. The story is inspired by my own Cornish-descendant father and his family as well as my husband's family history; and also by the effects of the Cornish Diaspora, not only on our past ancestors but on young people today. This is a theme that runs through much of our Cornish-Australian literature, even in fantasy novels. In a fantasy series written by a Cornish-Australian descendant I found a people who were descendants of a Diaspora even though there are no overt Cornish themes in the book.

            It is humbling and wonderful to see The Messenger Bird honoured by people who understand and appreciate its Cornishness! Thank you to the readers who chose The Messenger Bird for this great honour. And I want to thank Gorsedh Kernow for all the great work you do. Without you, of course, there'd be no 'awards night'. I thank all those involved for running the awards to support the promotion of Cornish identity in the world. I thank Queensland University Press for also believing in the book and loving it. Thank you all so much; I so wish I was with you. Oll an gwella.


Rosanne Hawke, Myrgh Trevelyan



Media release

An entry of 81 titles over 6 Classes was received  for this year's Holyer an Gof Awards, which came into being 17 years ago with the aim of raising the standard of publishing in Cornwall.  Although the Awards are primarily for Publishers, this year two new Awards have been added for Authorship;   the Kowethas Cup for Authorship in the Cornish Language, won by John Parker of Gulval, and the Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup for Authorship of books for Children and Young Adults which went to Australian writer Rosanne Hawke.  


Pol Hodge and Bert Biscoe entertained throughout the Evening with Readings from the Nominated publications and Bert gave a rousing appreciation of Roy (NR) Phillips of St. Ives whose “Rainbows in the Spray” won the Cornish Literary Guild Salver, which was presented to Roy by Caroline White of Tabb House Publishing (Padstow).


Les Merton of well-known Redruth company, Palores Publishing, was nominated in 2 Classes and won 2 more:  the Poetry Class with his publication “Welcome Beltane” by Briar Wood and the Booklet Class with “The River Fal and its Tributaries” by Mike Rule


The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies were twice successful with their publication 

“Wade-Bridge: notes on the history of the 15th century bridge” by Andrew Langdon, which not only won the History, Language & Creative Arts Class, but also the Holyer an Gof Trophy.


The Annual Presentation Evening was once again hosted by Waterstones Bookshop, Truro who presented their own “Waterstones Award” to Michael Tangye for his book “Portreath”. 


For a full list of the Awards, go to the website