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Book of the year award for alumna

3 August 2022

Cardiff graduate wins international award for her first book

English Literature alumna Jessica George (English Literature, PhD 2014 & MA 2006) scooped the £2,000 prize in the 2022 International Rubery Awards for The Word.

The prestigious international book award seeks the best books by indie writers, self-published authors and books published by independent presses.

Originally from Pontypool, writer Jessica George is thrilled that her workstruck such a chord with the judges. She said:

“It's great to see a prize promoting small presses and independent authors for whom entering the big awards is unaffordable. When I studied English Literature at Cardiff, the encouraging atmosphere and chance to study Welsh fiction showed me that tackling current events and big ideas was possible for me as a writer, and that's what The Word tries to do.”

Set in a disturbingly relatable dystopian future, The Word follows a group of young people connected by a new superpower – the ability to compel others to obey them. When they are imprisoned by shady government forces, and undergo experimentation, they struggle to understand their place in this frightening new world. Their resistance to the authoritarian regime leads to an escape attempt and a series of events which mount to an exciting climax.

In its novella form, The Word had previously won the New Welsh Writing Awards 2019, with a filmic trailer produced by the New Welsh Review.

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