British Book Awards 2020 Judges

2020 Judges

2020 Chairs

  • Caroline Sanderson
    Chair of Non Fiction - Lifestyle and Non Fiction - Narrative Book of the Year
    Caroline is Associate Editor and non-fiction previewer for The Bookseller. She is also the editor of ALCS News, the online magazine of the Authors Licensing & Collecting Society; and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Worcester. Caroline is the author of five non-fiction books, including ‘A Rambling Fancy: In the Footsteps of Jane Austen’; and ‘Someone Like Adele'. She is a regular broadcaster, and co-hosts a monthly book club on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Caroline regularly chairs events at literary festivals, and is a judge for the Wales Book of the Year 2016.
  • Alison Flood
    Chair of Fiction - Crime & Thriller
    Alison Flood is the Guardian's books reporter and the former news editor of the Bookseller.
  • Philip Jones
    Overall Chair of the British Book Awards Judges, and Chair of the Audiobook of the Year award
    Editor Philip is editor of The Bookseller, a position he took up in August 2012. Before that he was deputy editor, having first joined the magazine in 1996. He was its web editor for 10 years, having helped launch in 1998. He is a regular commentator on book trade matters on radio, TV and in the broadsheet newspapers.
  • Alice O'Keeffe
    Chair of the Books of the Year, and Chair of Début and Fiction Book of the Year
    Alice O’Keeffe is the Books Editor at The Bookseller and so is lucky enough to read books for a living. She interviews authors for The Bookseller’s weekly author profile slot and writes about all the wonderful new fiction published each month in an overview that covers all genres. Alice began her career in books as a buyer at Book Club Associates before moving to and joined The Bookseller in 2008.
  • Fiona Noble
    Chair of Children's Fiction and Children's Illustrated & Non-Fiction Book of the Year
    Fiona Noble is the Children's & YA Previews Editor for The Bookseller and a freelance children's books consultant. Fiona has over 20 years experience of the children's book world, starting as a Saturday library assistant aged 16, and has gone on to work in a variety of bookselling and publishing roles, including Children's Books Manager for the Ottakar's book chain.
  • Benedicte Page
    Chair of the Trade Publishing categories
    Benedicte Page started her career as a publicist for academic house Routledge, before joining The Bookseller as its books editor. She has since acted as its news editor, and is now deputy editor.
  • Tom Tivnan
    Chair of the Trade Retail categories
    Tom is Managing Editor of The Bookseller, leading the team that deals with the magazine's in-depth coverage, company profiles, charts, and data analysis. He previously worked as a freelance writer and bookseller, beginning his book trade career at Barnes & Noble in the US and worked at Blackwell's and BookSpeed in the UK, before joining The Bookseller in 2007. His debut novel, The Esquimaux (Silvertail), was published in 2017.
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2020 Books of the Year Judges

  • Stig Abell
    Times Literary Supplement
    Editor and Publisher
    Stig Abell is the editor and publisher of the Times Literary Supplement, which he thinks is the most important literary publication in the world. He also presents Front Row, an arts magazine show on Radio 4, and pops up as a commentator on Sky News, CNN and the BBC. He has written for almost every newspaper in Britain, and one or two in America as well. Stig's book How Britain Really Works was published in May 2018.
  • Georgina Atwell
    Georgina has broad experience across the industry, having worked previously at the Penguin Group, launched and run the UK e-book store for iTunes and founded Children’s discovery website Her vision of providing a peer-to-peer space for children to review books has quickly grown to become the leading online community with over 100,000 visitors each month, connecting, connecting publishers, authors and illustrators with readers across the UK.
  • Luciana Berger
    Former MP
    Luciana was first elected Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree in 2010 and served until 2019. During her three terms in Parliament she was a shadow minister for energy and climate change, public health and the first ever Shadow Cabinet member for mental health. Luciana served as a member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee between 2016-19. Luciana is an advisory board member of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Vice President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council. In September 2019, Luciana joined the Liberal Democrats.
  • Fanny Blake
    Journalist and writer
    Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as a ghostwriter for a number of celebrities, and has also written eight novels, the latest of which, A Summer Reunion, came out last year. She has judged a number of book prizes including the Costa First Novel Award, the Desmund Elliott Award and the British Book Awards.
  • Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
    Journalist and creative
    Charlie is a journalist, editor, features writer, columnist and creative who focuses on race, lifestyle, travel, media, youth culture and social politics. She is the head of editorial at gal-dem, a writer and former editor at Dazed and a Guardian freelancer. Charlie has written columns for the Observer, ipaper and Metro and freelance for a variety of publications, including Easyjet Magazine and the Financial Times. Experienced panellist and speaker on radio and TV. Commercial clients include Exposure, Nike and Channel 4.
  • Francesca Brown
    Books Editor
    Francesca is a writer and editor who oversees books in all their glory across Stylist magazine, and its sister email, Stylist Loves. From following in the footsteps of Tove Jansson in Helsinki and interviewing Marian Keyes, Eimear McBride, Marlon James, Yaa Gyasi and Nina Stibbe to commissioning amazing writers, it’s her dream job. She was also one of the Costa Book Awards judges in 2019.
  • Louise Candlish
    Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, most recently 'Those People' and the property thriller 'Our House (published by Simon & Schuster). 'Our House' won the British Book Awards Book of the Year: Crime & Thriller in 2019 and is now in development for a major TV series with Red Planet Pictures. Louise worked as a copywriter and illustrated books editor before writing fiction. She lives in South London with her husband and daughter.
  • Natalie Carter
    Black Girls Book Club
    Natalie is the co-founder of Black Girls Book Club - a safe space for black women who loved reading and who want to live their best lives. Since establishing BGBC with Melissa Cummings Quarry, the pair have gone on to host over 100 book club events with June Sarpong, Dorothy Koomson, Malorie Blackman and Candice Carty-Williams and were selected as The BookSellers Rising Stars in 2019.
  • Bea Carvalho
    Fiction Buyer
    Bea Carvalho is the general fiction buyer at Waterstones. Based at the Piccadilly head-office, she is responsible for managing the fiction category for the chain’s branches and website. She has been a part of the central buying team since 2011, initially working on non-fiction, and previously worked as a bookseller in Waterstones shops around London including Hampstead and Oxford Street.
  • Melissa Cummings-Quarry
    Black Girls Book Club
    Co-founder & Civil Servant
    Melissa Cummings-Quarry is the co-founder and Director of the award winning events and lifestyle platform Black Girls Book Club founded in 2016 as a response to the lack of spaces available celebrating the work and achievements of Black womxn's and their contribution to literature. Now boasting over 900 members with attendees travelling from the US, Monaco and Spain with debates hosted in the Houses of Parliament alongside events with guests such as Bernardine Evaristo, Malorie Blackman and Roxane Gay she publishes her debut non-fiction book GROWN with Bloomsbury in Spring 2021.
  • Tina Daheley
    Broadcaster & presenter
    Broadcaster and Presenter Tina Daheley’s work stretches across news and current affairs to sport and the arts. She can currently be heard hosting the news on Zoe Ball's BBC RADIO 2 BREAKFAST SHOW and regularly presents BBC BREAKFAST on BBC ONE and the BBC NEWS AT SIX and AT TEN. Other presenting work includes THE CULTURAL FRONTLINE – her own weekly global arts and culture programme on the BBC WORLD SERVICE – and RADIO 4 WOMAN’S HOUR.
  • Rozalind Dineen
    Features Editor and columnist
    Roz Dineen is features editor at the TLS and commissioning editor for TLS Books. She writes a column for the TLS reviewing all things audio.
  • Seni Glaister
    Founder & CEO
    Since the late 1980s, Seni has enjoyed a career as a book buyer, bookseller, book collector and book writer - marking her as an all round book person for life. She co-founded and ran The Book People for 27 years and then went on to found WeFiFo, the award winning Supper Club platform, where she likes to eat food that other people have cooked, while talking about books.
  • Hannah Griffiths
    Head of Literary Acquisitions
    Hannah Griffiths moved into television after working as a book agent and editor for many years, most recently at Faber. Her role at super-indie production company All3Media is to find writers, books and great stories for the many drama and documentary producers in the group.
  • Loyd Grossman
    Author, broadcaster & cultural campaigner
    Loyd Grossman CBE was born in Boston and educated at Boston University, The London School of Economics and Magdalene College Cambridge. Alongside his career in television, journalism and as an entrepreneur, he has a long and varied involvement in the arts and heritage. He has been Chairman of National Museums Liverpool and Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust. He is currently Chairman of The Royal Parks, Chairman of Gresham College, a Governor of The British Institute of Florence and a Trustee of the Warburg Charitable Trust.
  • Joe Haddow
    Radio 2 Book Club
    Radio & Podcast Producer Host
    Joe Haddow is a radio and podcast producer and host, an awards judge, event chair and writer. He runs The Radio 2 Book Club, hosts the Booker Prize podcast - and his own Book Off! podcast - as well as contributing articles and stories to Scoop Magazine. He regularly appears at literary festivals across the country and most recently co-hosted Telling Tales on BBC Radio 4 Extra - discussing his books of the year.
  • Natasha Harding
    The Sun
    Book Columnist
    Natasha Harding, journalist, yoga teacher and mother of thirteen-year-old Zak and six-year-old Lexi has worked as a freelance journalist basis for over twelve years. Her specialisms are books, health, parenting, autism and travel. Natasha writes for the Sun, Glamour, Metro, Woman, Woman’s Own and the Kent Messenger. As well as writing and teaching yoga Natasha has written two books, From Bump to Baby and YogaMamma. Natasha lives in West Malling, Kent.
  • David Headley
    Goldsboro Books
    Managing Director
    David Headley studied theology in London and Durham before co-founding and becoming the Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, a much-admired, leading independent bookseller, based in central London. He has gained a reputation for championing début authors and he created the UK’s largest collectors’ book club. David has won awards for bookselling and in both 2015 and 2019 he was included in the Top 100/150 most influential people in publishing by The Bookseller.
  • Phil Henderson
    Blackwell's Bookshop
    Sales & Marketing Director
    After graduating from the University of Glasgow, Phil joined Asda and spent over 20 years working in a variety of roles, culminating in looking after the books offer for several years. Once the book bug had bitten, he left Asda to join Blackwell's, where his remit includes leading the shops, developing the customer offer and publisher liaison. An avid reader and aspiring mountaineer in his spare time, he is often to be found perusing mountain literature.
  • Rosamund de la Hey
    Mainstreet Trading Company
    Rosamund was the children’s marketing director at Bloomsbury where she worked on Harry Potter from the very beginning. Having returned home to Scotland in 2003, she and her husband Bill opened The Mainstreet Trading Company in June 2008. Mainstreet has won various awards, including Nibbies for Children’s Bookseller of the Year and Independent Bookshop of the Year, plus most recently, Britain’s Best Small Shop 2018. Rosamund served as President of The Booksellers Association 2016-2018.
  • Rachel Hill
    The Association of Illustrators
    Membership Manager
    Rachel Hill is the Membership Manager at the Association of Illustrators, the professional body for illustration in the UK. Through the AOI, Rachel offers support to freelance illustrators, advising on self-promotion, portfolios, negotiation and copyright. Having previously worked as an Illustration Agent, specialising in Children’s publishing, Rachel is passionate about championing illustrators at all stages of their careers, and helping them to manoeuvre an ever evolving industry.
  • Lisa Howells
    heat and Crime Monthly
    Books Editor
    Lisa Howells has been a journalist in consumer media for the past 20 years and has worked across a wide range of market-leading magazines. She is currently Head of Production on heat and Bella magazines, as well as Assistant Editor of recent true-crime launch Crime Monthly. In addition, she is the Books Editor of both heat and Crime Monthly, and has a particular love of crime and thriller novels.
  • Kayleigh Keam
    CBeebies Bedtime Stories
    Writer and Director
    Kayleigh is a Writer and Director at BBC Children’s. She writes and produces television and audio content for CBeebies. She works closely with celebrity readers on CBeebies Bedtime Stories, bringing the very best books on the market to the youngest viewers. When not devouring children’s books or leaping like a salmon on a netball court, Kayleigh can be found writing her début middle-grade novel.
  • Simon Mackay
    Edinburgh International Book Festival
    Head of Booksales and Retail
    Simon Mackay joined Edinburgh Book Festival's team to lead the retail operation in 2018. Since then, book sales have increased and the bookshops and signing tents have been refitted to improve the author and visitor experience. He has worked across High Street and Independent booksellers for almost two decades. An experienced bookshop manager, he is also known for leading events and working with brand and media partners on bespoke book campaigns.
  • Florentyna Martin
    Children's Buyer
    Florentyna has worked in Children’s Bookselling for the last decade at Waterstones, across a variety of shops and roles. She has been the Children’s Book Buyer since 2014 and is responsible for all categories from Baby and Toddler through to Teenage and YA.
  • James McConnachie
    Writer and journalist
    James McConnachie is a writer and journalist. He reviews non-fiction for the Sunday Times, is an agony uncle for Metro, and edits The Author, the magazine of the Society of Authors. His next book is a biography of a mountain, to be published by Bloomsbury.
  • James Naughtie
    Author & broadcaster
    James Naughtie, special correspondent for BBC News, is one of the country's best-known broadcasters. He presented Today on Radio 4 for 21 years, and has reported for the BBC from around the world for more than three decades. Alongside his journalism he has wide cultural interests, and has written and produced many documentaries on music and books, and presented concerts from across Europe for radio and television. On Radio 4, he has hosted every edition of Bookclub since it began in 1998. James has been travelling in America since the 1970s - witnessing many of the important events that have shaped the country as it is today. On the Road is an account of his experiences, the places and people he has encountered, and the changes he has seen.
  • Simon Oldfield
    Pin Drop Studio
    Artistic Director and Founder
    Simon Oldfield is a cultural curator and artistic director, working across the visual arts, literature and theatre. He is the founder of the arts organisation Pin Drop Studio, which brings together influential artists, writers and actors to create, write and perform new work. Pin Drop Studio often works in collaboration with major institutions and iconic brands including the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, Burberry and BAFTA. Simon has also, chaired and participated in panel discussions on art, literature and culture across the globe and featured in radio programmes and podcasts including Monocle Radio 24, RTE and the BBC.
  • Raifa Rafiq
    Writer, podcaster and lawyer
    Raifa Rafiq is the co-creator and co-host of the multi-award-winning literature and pop culture podcast, Mostly Lit. She is also a solicitor at one of the leading international law firms in the US. Raifa has appeared at Literature Festivals, BBC radio and interviewed authors for BBC Sunday Morning Live and Waterstones. She is a contributing author to Its Not About The Burqa and has written for the Guardian, Refinery29, iNews and Stylist Magazine amongst others.
  • Jay Rayner
    Writer, journalist, broadcaster & musician
    Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist, broadcaster and musician. He’s covered everything from crime and politics, through cinema to the visual arts, but is best known as restaurant critic for the Observer. He’s published four novels and six works of non-fiction. His latest, My Last Supper, was published in September 2019. He chairs BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, judges on Masterchef and performs live, both in one-man shows and with his jazz quartet
  • Pete Selby
    Commercial Strategist
    Pete has over twenty years commercial retail experience, most significantly at Sainsbury's where he served as Head of Books and Music. His passion for children's publishing saw him develop the Children's Book Awards at the supermarket as well as a broader cross-format brand licensing proposition. More recently Pete supported the 2020 World Book Day launch at The Bookseller's Children's Conference and spoke as a passionate advocate for inclusivity in children's publishing. He currently lives in Surrey with his two young children.
  • Fleur Sinclair
    Sevenoaks Bookshop
    Fleur Sinclair has owned Sevenoaks Bookshop (est. 1948) since November 2015. She is a member of the Booksellers Association Council, and was a judge for the 2018 Costa Children’s Prize. In a previous life, Fleur trained in photography and worked in the fashion industry as a photographers’ agent.
  • Jasper Sutcliffe
    Head of Buying
    Jasper has worked at Foyles for 19 years, starting on the shop floor in the Fiction Dept progressing through the business to the position of Head of Buying. Jasper has been a judge for a number of awards including the Costa Novel Award.
  • Pandora Sykes
    Journalist, author & co-host of the High Low podcast
    Pandora Sykes is a journalist and contributing editor and columnist for ELLE magazine. Previously the Fashion Features Editor and a columnist for the Sunday Times Style, she has also written for the Telegraph, Guardian, GQ, i-D, Red magazine, Vogue Australia and Man Repeller. With Dolly Alderton, Pandora Sykes hosts the no 1 iTunes current affairs podcast The High Low, which has 250,000 weekly listeners and has featured authors including Leila Slimani, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Tina Brown. Her first book, 'How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right?', will be published by Hutchinson in July 2020.
  • Robert Topping
    Topping & Company Booksellers
    Robert worked at Foyles for 8 months from December 1982 and then joined Tim Waterstone in 1983, opening Deansgate Manchester in 1987. In 2000 he was fired for stocking too many books by the corporate regime which succeeded Tim. After 2 years at the Pan Bookshop he opened a bookshop in Ely, then Bath and St Andrews, and in 2019 Edinburgh. He still resolutely fails to learn parsimonious book stock control.
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2020 Trade Judges

  • Victoria Barnsley
    Castle Howard
    Executive Co-Chairman and Former CEO OF Harper Collins UK and International
    Victoria Howard OBE (née Barnsley) is a successful entrepreneur, business woman and organisational leader with over 30 years’ experience in the publishing, heritage and cultural sectors. Executive Co-Chairman of Castle Howard, a family business and iconic heritage visitor attraction; Former CEO of Harper Collins UK and International for thirteen years until 2013; Founder of the ground-breaking independent publisher, Fourth Estate; Trustee of both English Heritage and the Yorkshire Arboretum.
  • Jonty Claypole
    Director of Arts
    Jonty Claypole is Director of Arts for the BBC. In this role, he has commissioned major broadcast seasons like Civilisations and Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude as well as ongoing literary programming and events like Contains Strong Language poetry festival and BBC Novels That Shaped Our World. Previously, he directed or produced over a hundred arts documentaries. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of HOME, Manchester.
  • Zoey Forbes
    Harbottle & Lewis
    Zoey is an associate at Harbottle & Lewis, working across the media and entertainment industries with a particular focus on publishing and rights exploitation. Before qualifying as a lawyer, Zoey studied English Literature at the University of Oxford and worked in an number of bookshops, including Ottakar’s, Waterstones, Harrods’ bookstore and Heywood Hill.
  • Kate Gunning
    Penguin Random House
    Independent Retailers Partnership Manager
    Kate worked for Waterstones for thirteen years. She managed the Covent Garden and High Street Kensington stores and spent a year on secondment at WH Smith Paris. She was the Books Buyer at Selfridges for four years, before moving to Foyles as their Head of Buying. She took up her current position in 2009 when she joined Random House, as it then was. In 2014, her remit was extended to cover all of PRH.
  • Anwen Hooson
    Bird Literary Agency
    Anwen started her career in the press departments at Penguin and Waterstones. In 2009, she co-founded Riot Communications, an agency now regarded as one of the most respected and influential in the sector. Anwen stepped down as co-Managing Director in 2017, and in 2018 announced the launch of her own literary agency, Bird. Herself a Nibbie winner, this is Anwen’s third year as a judge.
  • Helgard Krause
    Welsh Books Council
    Chief Executive Officer
    Helgard is a senior multilingual executive with extensive experience in strategic and people management in international academic, professional and trade publishing as well as the culture sector in Wales. Helgard previously worked for Routledge and Quarto in sales and rights roles which have provided first-hand knowledge of how global and local markets work. She was Managing Director of University of Wales Press for 7 years before joining the Books Council in 2017.
  • Ursula Mackenzie
    Book Trade Charity
    Ursula Mackenzie retired from her role as the Chair of Little, Brown Book Group at the end of 2016, following 10 years as its Chief Executive. She is currently a non-executive director of Profile and of Andrew Nurnberg Associates, and the President of the Book Trade Charity (formerly BTBS).
  • Sandy Mahal
    Director of Nottingham UNESCO - City of Literature
    Sandeep Mahal is the Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She is chair of the international network of UNESCO Cities of Literature, a grouping of 39 cities worldwide committed to literary partnerships, projects and opportunities. Sandeep started her career in public libraries, before moving to The Reading Agency, where she led a powerful partnership consortium transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network. She is a trustee of the Women’s Prize Trust and Spread the Word, and a Clore Leadership Fellow.
  • Philip Marshall
    The London Library
    Philip Marshall became Director of The London Library in 2017 following senior roles at the British Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Sadler’s Wells. He is focussed on sharing the Library and its astonishing collection as widely as possible, through initiatives such as its Emerging Writers Programme and its highly-successful speaker events series.
  • Woodrow Phoenix
    Author & designer
    Woodrow Phoenix is a writer, artist, and graphic designer based in London and Cambridge. His work has appeared in national newspapers including The Guardian and The Independent, in comics and magazines across Europe, the USA and Japan and in television projects for Walt Disney and Cartoon Network. His books include Plastic Culture, the critically acclaimed Rumble Strip, the award-winning anthology Nelson, and the experimental She Lives, a gallery installation that is also a graphic novel.
  • Frances Pinter
    Independent Academic Publishing Advisor
    Dr. Frances Pinter was the CEO of Manchester University Press and the Founding Publisher at Bloomsbury Academic. She established Knowledge Unlatched and KU Research. Previously she was Publishing Director at the Open Society Institute (now the Open Society Foundation). Earlier she founded Pinter Publishers that also owned Leicester University Press and established the imprint Belhaven Press. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.
  • Charlotte Robertson
    Robertson Murray Literary Agency
    MD & Literary Agent
    Charlotte launched RMLA, a division of the talent agency Arlington Management Ltd, with its MD Hilary Murray last year. Prior to that she was Sales & Marketing Director & Paperback Publisher and Board Director at Faber and Faber, a literary agent at Aitken Alexander and United Agents and held senior Sales and Marketing Director roles at S&S, Penguin, Macmillan and Headline. She started her career in editorial at Reed Books in 1994.
  • Liz Sich
    Colman Getty
    Former MD at Colman Getty
    Liz Sich was MD of Four Colman Getty for almost twenty years where she worked on a range of high profile books, arts, and retail campaigns. Before that, she was Group Publicity Director of Random House and promoted a number of bestselling writers including Sebastian Faulks and Robert Harris. She is a trustee of Streetwise Opera, The Orwell Foundation, Chipping Norton Literary Festival, and Hornsey Town Hall Trust.
  • Madeline Toy
    Head of Literature Programming
    Bath Festivals
    After a career in publishing working for Vintage and Transworld publicity departments, in 2013, Madeline made the move out of London to Bristol. As a freelance publicist she worked with a variety of publishers alongside festivals and local PR projects. She also became a freelance programmer for Cheltenham Literature Festival, moving in-house as Programme Manager in 2015. She worked predominantly on fiction, celebrity and lifestyle events bringing particular focus to debut and commercial fiction. During this time she also became Treasurer of the Publishers’ Publicity Circle. In October 2018 she moved to Bath Festivals to become Head of Literature Programming responsible for The Bath Festival in May and overseeing the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in the Autumn. The Bath Festival celebrates the best of words and music and areas of focus for her are new talent, diversity and breadth of programming as well as local and national partnerships. In her first year literature tickets and book sales were up by 25% and with the 2020 programme being announced towards the end of February, she hopes to continue that success.
  • Rosie Wolfenden
    Tatty Devine
    MD & Co Founder
    Rosie Wolfenden MBE is Managing Director and co-founder of cult jewellery brand Tatty Devine which she founded in 1999 with friend and peer Harriet Vine MBE straight after graduating from art school. Rosie drives strategy and partnerships and is passionate about promoting creativity and equality throughout everything Tatty Devine does. All Tatty Devine jewellery is designed and handmade in house by a small, skilled team of makers in Kent. Every piece boasts the quality and unique stamp that's become synonymous with the label as well as representing British design on an international level.
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30 from 30 Judges

  • Elise Dillsworth
    Literary Agent
    Elise Dillsworth set up her literary agency in 2012. The agency represents literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, with a keen aim to reflect writing that is international. Previously she was a commissioning editor at Virago Press. In 2005 she co-founded the Diversity in Publishing Network. She has been a judge for various prizes including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the Northern Writers’ Awards.
  • Andrew Holgate
    Sunday Times
    Literary Editor
    Andrew Holgate has been the literary editor of The Sunday Times since 2008 and before that was the deputy literary editor for nine years. He has worked in books his whole career - as a bookseller, (briefly) in publishing, and as a literary journalist. He runs the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award and the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award, and has been a judge on the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Somerset Maugham, among others. He has edited two books, The Test of Time: What Makes a Classic a Classic? and The Cost of Letters: How Much Do You Think a Writer Needs to Live On?
  • Andy Miller
    Author, co-host of Backlisted podcast
    Andy Miller is a reader, author and editor of books, most recently The Year of Reading Dangerously (4th Estate). His writing has appeared in the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Spectator, Esquire, Mojo and Sight and Sound. He has toured the UK with his motivational lecture Read Y'self Fitter and appears regularly on BBC Radio, most recently The Verb (R3) and The Museum of Curiosity (R4). He is the co-host of the award-winning literary podcast Backlisted.
  • John Mitchinson
    Writer, publisher & co-founder of Unbound
    John Mitchinson is a writer and publisher, co-founder of Unbound, the crowdfunding platform for books and co-host of the 2019 Futurebook Podcast of the Year, Backlisted. He also helped create the BBC TV show and with John Lloyd, wrote the bestselling series of QI books. Before that he held senior roles in publishing at Harvill and Cassell and was Waterstone’s original marketing director. He is a Vice-President of the Hay Festival.
  • Cathy Rentzenbrink
    Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love which was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize. She followed it with A Manual for Heartache and her next book Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books will be published in September 2020. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, interviews authors, reviews books, runs creative writing workshops and speaks and writes on life, death, love, and literature.
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