A 23-YEAR-OLD woman from Criccieth has been named the winner of the 2017 Bridgend, Taff-Ely Urdd National Eisteddfod crown.

Elen Gwenllian Hughes was described by adjudicators Lowri Cooke and Angharad Elen as ‘the dreamer’ in the competition which this year had the theme of ‘Rhyddid’ (freedom).

The crown is awarded for the best piece, or pieces of literature, over 4,000 words and there were 17 entries in total this year.

Elen was bought up in Eifionydd and attended Ysgol Gynradd Chwilog, Ysgol Glan y Môr and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor.

She recently completed her teacher training course, and has a degree in Welsh. Before beginning her search for a job as a Welsh teacher she intends to go travelling.

Elen’s winning work is based around the mythical world of fairies.

The main character is a fairy called Loti who is on the threshold between childhood and adolescence, and trying to find her feet.

Speaking about Elen’s work, Lowri Cooke said: “This is a visually strong story, which offers a breath of fresh air.

“The main character, Loti, goes on a journey challenging her oppressing, totalitarian world. An interesting situation emerges in the work when Loti strikes on an unlikely friendship with a finite being, an old man called Wil.

“This author knows how to create ambience and her words sing as if they have existed forever.

“It was quite strange that both of us judging, without discussing beforehand, had read her work out aloud; and that says something about the musicality of her work.”

See this week’s north editions for the full story, in shops and online tomorrow