In 2019, we launched Word After Word Press, to publish works of non-fiction including nature and place writing and memoir. 

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The Making of Ynyslas: Tales from an Area the Size of Wales 25,000 Years Ago to the Present Day by John S Mason

Machynlleth author and scientist John S Mason has teamed-up with Word After Word Press, to publish the first in a series of books about the geology and landscape of some of the key sites in Wales.

The Making of Ynyslas brings to life the remarkable tale of the origin of this popular destination on the Cardigan Bay coast of Wales. Journey through deep time, from 25,000 years ago when Wales had an ice cap, through the dramatic changes in Earth’s climate that resulted in the familiar landscape of today. Drawing upon the extensive scientific literature on Cardigan Bay, this book is a vivid narrative of that dramatic transition — what happened, when it happened and why — and how such changes may have been reflected in Welsh folklore, with the legend of the Kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod and its terrible fate.

John said: “This book has been long in the making. It began life in 2014 as a detailed analysis of our geological origins here in Wales, but it became something of a journey of discovery, through aspects of the Earth sciences that, as a mineralogist I had not entirely appreciated. Rather than seek to publish it all in a single weighty volume, I realised it would reach a wider readership if it could be sliced up into bite-sized portions, with the focus each time on a specific, well-loved place in the Welsh Landscape. The next slice is coming soon, but for now, I hope that you enjoy this part of the story. If it can ignite the spark of curiosity in one young mind, then I will be happy.”

Fiona Mason from Word After Word said: “It’s been a delight to work closely with John on The Making of Ynyslas and such a fitting tribute to our mum, who was also a writer and editor and always great encourager of all of our endeavours. She was particularly fond of Borth and Ynyslas and I am sure that John’s writing and wonderful photography will bring this area alive for readers and visitors alike.”

Published August 1st2019, The Making of Ynyslas will become the go-to guide to this fascinating and important area of outstanding natural beauty and provide new ways of seeing the landscape, including the famous Submerged Forest.



Title: The Making of Ynyslas: Tales from an Area the Size of Wales 25,000 Years Ago to the Present Day
Author: John S Mason
Editor: F J Mason
Designer: Sara Holloway
Publication: Thursday 1stAugust 2019
Publisher: Word After Word Press
Genre:  Non-fiction
Sub-genre: Geology, climate science, nature-writing, Ynyslas, Wales guide books
Price: £7.50
ISBN: 978-1-9161655-0-2
Distributor: Coch-y-Bonddu Books, Heol Pentrerhedyn, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8DG

John S Mason

John S Mason, MPhil, is a geologist by training with a long-held love of wildlife and a deep interest in weather and climate. He has been walking, sea-fishing, photographing landscapes, wildlife and weather, day and night around Ynyslas for over 35 years. On climate change, he writes for the award-winning website, Skeptical Science, with a particular focus upon research into climates of the past. He is also the author of the successful Shore Fishing – a Guide to Cardigan Bay(Coch y Bonddu Books, Machynlleth, 2013), Introducing Mineralogy(Dunedin Academic Press, 2016) and numerous peer-reviewed contributions to British Mineralogy, including co-authorship of the major volume, Mineralization in England and Wales(published by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee).

Sara Holloway

Sara is a graphic designer and illustrator with a 1st Class Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree from the University of Suffolk. She was the winner of the BBC Worldwide Graduate Internship in 2015 and the winner of the UCS Graham Scott Memorial Award for Creative Typography in 2013. She has since won a national design competition with StreetReach, securing £20,000 worth of bus advertising for Colchester Zoo.

For author and publisher interviews, high res images and more information please contact Fiona Mason on 01206 625010 or email