PEMBROKESHIRE-based children's author Eloise Williams has been announced by Literature Wales as the first Children's Laureate Wales.

This new national ambassadorial post aims to engage and inspire Welsh children through literature, and to promote a child's right to have their stories and voices heard.

The announcement was made last Wednesday, September18.

In an open letter addressed to the children of Wales, available to read on the Literature Wales website, Eloise emphasised how excited and honoured she was to be their laureate; how she will do her very best to help them find the right stories for them; will push for them to see themselves well- represented in literature; and most importantly, that their voices matter.

Eloise, who lives in Saundersfoot with her artist husband Guy Manning, worked as a touring actor and creative practitioner for over a decade before becoming a children's writer. Her novel, Gaslight, which was written with the support of a Literature Wales new writer's bursary - won the Wales Arts Review Young People's Book of the Year 2017, the YBB Book Awards 2018, and was shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards 2018.

Her latest novel for young people, Seaglass (Firefly Press, 2018), was also shortlisted for the Tir na nOg Awards in 2019, and the North East Book Awards 2019.

A regular speaker at festivals and events, Eloise uses her drama skills to engage young people in children's literature and now finds herself onstage more than she ever did as a professional actor.

"I've always loved stories. The joy of losing yourself in a good story is simply magical," she said. "Stories connect us, give us empathy and understanding, exercise our brains and imaginations, let us travel the world and experience the greatest wonders.

"I truly believe that young readers will make our futures bright and I'm honoured to be a part of that."

Eloise will visit a number of schools, clubs, festivals and events across Wales during her two-year tenure.

To arrange a school visit, or to discuss other activity, email Literature Wales on: