AFTER an 18-mounth wait, it was revealed on Wednesday, 20 October, that Miriam Elin Sautin from Llanbedrog, Pen Llŷn is the winner of the 2020-21 Urdd Eisteddfod Drama Medal Competition.

Throughout this week, the Urdd Eisteddfod is awarding composition and creation work that was submitted in 2020, before having to postpone the national youth festival due to Covid-19.

A former Ysgol Botwnnog pupil and Coleg Meirion Dwyfor Pwllheli student, Miriam graduated in French and Spanish at Durham University, before spending two years teaching English language and literature at Limoges and Lyon Universities in France, where she also taught creative writing. She now lives in Cardiff and works for Literature Wales.

Miriam receives a special medal created by Rhiannon, a jewellers from Tregaron. And she will also have the opportunity to spend time with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru developing her winning work and receive training with the BBC and S4C.

Carys Mair Bradley-Roberts came second in the competition and Elis Siôn Pari from Aberdaron was third. In partnership with Literature Wales, the top three will be invited to take part in a course at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre. The Olwen Course will offer them a whole weekend of creative writing workshops, an opportunity to get to know other young writers and to learn more about the world of literature and publishing.

Competitors were asked to compose a play that takes between 40-60 minutes to perform, and according to the judges Llinos Gerallt and Sian Naiomi, a total of six plays were put forwards, which were “contemporary and relevant”:

“We’d like to thank all competitors for their efforts and dedication,” said both judges. “The writing was sensitive, delicate and moving. It was very encouraging to read some catching and memorable lines that really impressed us. Friendship was a prominent theme of the competition and the fragile and complex relationships between friends were at the centre of many of the playwrights’ work.”

The judges divided the work into two classes, with four plays placed in the first class. Miriam came out on top with a “gripping, high quality drama.”

In their judgement, Llinos Gerallt and Sian Naiomi noted: “This play got out attention from the first page. The relationship between two friends is rich and complex. With the plot developing skilfully as we dig into their pasts. It’s a drama full of mystery with a strong finale.

The complexity and messiness of life is all here. This playwright is also a poet but takes care to ensure that the poetry does not interfere with the flow and tempo of the play.”

During the week of celebrations across the Urdd’s digital platforms, as well as Heno TV programme (7pm weekdays) and BBC Radio Cymru, winners of the Crown, Chair, Drama and Composition Medals will be revealed.