Call Out for the Gwobr Esyllt Prize 2021

2021 Gwobr Esyllt Prize – Call for Applications

Value: £2,000

Timetable: July 2021 – July 2023

The Gwobr Esyllt Prize was established in 2016 to celebrate the contribution made to storytelling in Wales by Esyllt Harker.

Esyllt was one of Wales’s leading storytellers and played a unique and vital role in storytelling in Wales, working in Welsh and English. She died in 2014.

The Gwobr Esyllt Prize supports a woman storyteller from Wales to develop her craft. The prize includes the opportunity to develop a new work to be performed for the Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in 2023.

There are many ways to define storytelling. In the case of the Gwobr Esyllt Prize, we see storytelling as the spoken word craft of sharing, with listeners, traditional oral material, or new material drawing on the oral tradition.  This is done in the storyteller’s own words, told in the moment, rather than by heart or scripted. 

This opportunity is made possible through fundraising and donations, led by the Chwedl network of Welsh women storytellers and other supporters of the prize. If you would like to donate, please go to

The prizewinner will be announced at the Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival in Dinefwr on Sunday 4th July 2021. For more information about the festival, taking place from 2nd – 4th July, see

Essential criteria

Candidates should:

* Demonstrate a genuine commitment to storytelling

* Be living and working significantly in Wales and/or born in Wales

Desirable criteria

The judges will also consider a number of additional criteria. Applicants do not need to meet all of these criteria and the judges will consider the balance of these criteria within and across applications.

In your application, please demonstrate how you meet three or more of the criteria.

You should:

* Demonstrate a genuine commitment to working in the Welsh language and/ or bilingually


* Use song or music as well as the spoken word

And/ or

* Demonstrate how you will use the prize to raise awareness of the art of storytelling

And/ or

* Demonstrate how the prize will support your own professional development as a storyteller

And/ or

* Present a project that responds to issues and concerns in contemporary Wales

And/ or

* Show engagement with the evolving tradition of women’s storytelling in Wales

And/ or

* Be under the age of 35

The Purpose of the Prize

The Chwedl Panel will support the prize holder to develop an appropriate final budget. The prize can be used in a number of ways to support the development of the commission and the other criteria noted above.

This could include the following, but is not limited to these items: 

* Fees for relevant courses

* Director fees

* Studio hire

* Fees for accompanists

* Equipment for use on stage

* Travel to support activity relevant to the prize

* Mentor support

* A suitable daily fee to pay for time doing ‘ambassadorial work’ to promote storytelling in Wales

To apply

You should present a clear and developed proposal to demonstrate how you would use the prize, showing which criteria listed above you meet.

Your application should include:

* Your CV

* A project outline

* A draft budget

* A short film clip (c. 5 minutes) of you storytelling for an audience e.g. at a local storytelling club or with friends. (NB This is so the judges can get a flavour of your storytelling – we do not expect high production quality: a mobile phone recording is fine.)

You are also welcome to include any additional information that may support your application. For example:

* Reviews

* Audience feedback

* References

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to share dates of forthcoming opportunities where the judges can see them storytelling.

Judging criteria

Applications will be judged by a panel of three leading storytellers and musicians based in Wales, who share Esyllt’s aims and dreams for storytelling.

Judges will consider the applications based on the following points:

* How well does the application meet the essential and desirable criteria?

* Does the applicant have a track record in storytelling that demonstrates she will be able to make full use of the opportunities offered by the bursary?

* Do the budget and project plan show a well-considered and achievable project?

Deadline: 5pm, Friday 1st May 2021

To apply, or for more information, email: