Judges

2021 Chairs

  • 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 Amazon.co.uk and joined The Bookseller in 2008.
  • Alison Flood
    Chair of Fiction - Crime & Thriller & PageTurner Books of the Year
    Alison Flood is the Guardian's books reporter and the former news editor of the Bookseller.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Charlotte Eyre
    Chair of Children's Fiction Book of the Year
    Charlotte Eyre is the children’s editor of The Bookseller magazine, where she writes news and features about the children’s publishing industry. She programmes the annual The Bookseller Children’s Conference and launched The YA Book Prize in 2014, and is a regular guest on radio programmes such as "Open Book" on BBC Radio 4.
  • Fiona Noble
    Chair of 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.
  • Philip Jones
    Overall Chair of the British Book Awards Judges, and Chair of the Audiobook of the Year award
    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 thebookseller.com in 1998. He is a regular commentator on book trade matters on radio, TV and in the broadsheet newspapers.
  • 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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2021 Books of the Year Judges

  • Alex O'Connell
    Arts editor of The Times and children's book critic
    Alex O'Connell is arts editor of The Times and children's book critic. She has been a Costa Book Award judge in 2020 and is on the annual judging panel of The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition which has been running for over a decade.  At the age of seven, she told her mother that she would "never read anything that wasn't Enid Blyton". That has not proved to be the case but it did begin a passion for children's literature that has endured. She has three children and lives in North London.
  • Anita Rani
    Broadcaster and author
    Anita is an RTS award winning broadcaster with a career spanning nearly 20 years. Already a lead presenter on BBC One’s Countryfile, some of Anita’s latest TV projects have included Channel 4’s Britain’s Best Parent? and appearing on fan-favourite Celebrity Gogglebox. She continues her long radio career most recently being announced as the new host of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. In 2020, Anita announced she was writing her memoir, The Right Sort of Girl, which will be published July 2021.
  • Anita Singh
    Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph
    Arts entertainment editor
    Anita Singh is arts and entertainment editor for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, covering books, television, film, music and the visual arts.
  • Anita Sethi
    Writer and journalist
    Anita Sethi was born in Manchester, UK and is an award-winning writer, journalist and critic. She is the author of I Belong Here: a Journey Along the Backbone of Britain (Bloomsbury, Spring 2021), the first in her nature writing trilogy, to be followed by Nocturne (2022) and Forces (2024). She is forthcoming in Women on Nature edited by Katharine Norbury, and has been published in the Seasons nature writing anthology among others. She has written for national and international newspapers and magazines including the Guardian and Observer, BBC Wildlife, and Vogue, and in broadcasting has appeared as a guest critic and commentator, panellist and co-presenter on several channels including BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the World Service, and ABC Australia. She has been a Judge of the British Book Awards, Society of Authors Awards, and Costa Book Awards among others. @anitasethi
  • Anne Cater
    Reviewer and Blog Tour organiser
    Anne Cater has been reviewing books for almost fifteen years. She has blogged about books at Random Things Through My Letterbox since March 2011, reviews fiction for the Daily Express and is a CWA Dagger Awards judge. Anne organises Book Blog Tours for publishers and authors, and created the Book Connectors group on Facebook for authors and bloggers. Anne lives in Lincolnshire with her husband, her cat and lots of books. https://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.com/
  • Caroline Raphael
    Dora Productions Ltd
    Director
    A former BBC Head of Radio Drama and Commissioning Editor for BBC Radio 4 Caroline now runs an audio production company, Dora Productions, making audio drama, readings and documentaries for the BBC and other platforms. She is also an Associate Lecturer on the MA Dramatic Writing course at Central St Martins where she runs the audio drama module. In 2018 she won the BBC Audio Drama Best Production Award and in the following year the same for Scripted Comedy. She is a Fellow of the Radio Academy. http://www.doraproductions.co.uk/
  • Christy Lefteri
    Writer and lecturer
    Christy Lefteri is an award-winning author and lecturer in creative writing at Brunel University. Her international bestselling novel The Beekeeper of Aleppo has sold over half a million copies in the UK and won the Aspen Words Literary Prize in 2020. It was born out of Christy’s time working as a volunteer at a Unicef supported refugee centre in Athens. Christy’s new novel Songbirds will be published July 2021.
  • Clarissa Pabi
    Acast
    Marketeer, Producer and Content Development Manager
    Listed on the inaugural FutureBook40 list and the Bookseller 150 2020, Clarissa is a multi-award-winning marketeer and content specialist who in 2020 wrote a seminal thought-leadership piece for The Bookseller on the opportunity for book publishers in podcasting. Clarissa is as Content Development Manager at Acast, the world’s largest podcast company, where she helps to develop, market and monetise podcasts and bring millions more listeners to podcasting over the last few years. She pivoted to working in podcasting after 7 years working in marketing in book publishing, creating global bestsellers at Penguin Random House and Bonnier Books. She sits on The Advisory Board for the Times and Sunday Cheltenham Literature Festival.
  • David Headley
    Goldsboro Books
    Managing Director
    David Headley studied theology before co-founding and becoming the Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, a much admired, leading independent bookseller, based in central London. In 2020 he was included in the Top 150 most influential people in publishing by The Bookseller. David is also the MD of the DHH Literary Agency, and co-founder of Capital Crime.
  • The Rt Hon. David Lammy MP
    The Rt Hon. David Lammy has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Tottenham since June 2000. He has served as Minister for Higher Education and is currently Shadow Justice Secretary. His acclaimed first book, Out of the Ashes, looked at the causes and repercussions of the riots of summer 2011, and was published by Guardian Books. David’s new book, Tribes, about our need to belong, was published in 2020 by Constable/Little, Brown.
  • Ella Risbridger
    Writer and editor
    Ella Risbridger is a writer and editor from London. Her debut cookbook-meets-memoir, Midnight Chicken (& Other Recipes Worth Living For), was praised by Nigella Lawson, won a Guild Of Food Writers Award and was named a Book of The Year by (among others) the Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The I, and BBC Radio 4. She also works in poetry (Set Me On Fire, 2019), and children's books (The Secret Detectives, 2021). She lives in South-East London.
  • Farrah Serroukh
    Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)
    Learning Programme Leader
    Throughout her career, Farrah has always been committed to amplifying marginalised voices and keenly advocated for inclusive practices both within and outside of the education sector. She co-leads on the design, development, and delivery of the charity’s professional development programme, as well as the research and development strand of the CLPE’s work. She is the author of the CLPE’s annual Reflecting Realities Survey and leads on the groundbreaking and award winning work in this area.
  • Frankie Bridge
    Author, broadcaster and podcaster
    Sunday Times best-selling author Frankie Bridge is also known as one-fifth of the UK's leading girl band The Saturdays. Through her ambassadorial work with mental health charity MIND, podcast series Open Mind and Sunday Times bestselling book Open, Frankie has helped create a more open and honest conversation around mental health. Frankie is a regular panellist on ITV1’s Loose Women, and took part in the BBC’s most recent Sport Relief Challenge The Heat is On in 2020 trekking the Namibian desert.
  • Gordon McGhie
    Grab This Book
    Crime Fiction Blogger
    In my younger days I worked in the largest bookshop in the Scottish Highlands and I absolutely loved it. Although I opted for a career in Financial Services I never lost the love of chatting to people about the books I enjoyed, pensions just don’t match that level of excitement.  In 2014 I started blogging as Grab This Book so I could reach a wider audience with my recommended reads. 
  • Hannah Beckerman
    Novelist and journalist
    Hannah is a book critic and features writer for the Observer and the FT Weekend magazine. A regular chair at literary festivals and corporate events, she has also appeared as a book pundit on BBC Radio 2 and Times Radio. Her second novel, If Only I Could Tell You, was published in 2019, and her third, The Impossible Truths of Love, will be published in October 2021.
  • Jasper Sutcliffe
    Bookshop.org
    Publishing and Affiliate manager
    Jasper Sutcliffe is the Publishing and Affiliate manager for Bookshop.org in the UK. Jasper joined the business in August to help them in their mission to financially support local, independent bookshops, publishers, publications, authors and other book lovers. Jasper was previously the Head of Buying at  Foyles where he worked for 21 years, starting on the shop floor in the Fiction Dept progressing through the business to the position of Head of Buying. 
  • Kate Skipper
    Waterstones
    COO
    Kate Skipper is the COO of Waterstones, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the book chain. Kate joined Waterstones in 2008, originally in the Buying Team, before becoming Buying Director in 2014 and COO in 2019
  • Kate Young
    Author and bookseller
    Kate Young is an award-winning food writer, cook, and bookworm. She is the author of three cookbooks: The Little Library Cookbook, The Little Library Year, and The Little Library Christmas. Her writing has been recognised with awards from The Guild of Food Writers and the World Gourmand awards. She is based in the English countryside, where she is writing her next book, and also working behind the counter in her local bookshop.
  • Katie Clapham
    Bookseller and writer
    Katie Clapham is a writer and bookseller at Storytellers, Inc., an independent bookshop in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. She has previously been named a Bookseller Rising Star and the Young Bookseller of the Year. You can find her on Twitter @storytellersinc
  • Konnie Huq
    Presenter and Author
    Konnie Huq is one of Britain’s most loved presenters, famous for being the longest serving female Blue Peter presenter. She is also an accomplished screenwriter and popular children’s author. In 2019 she released COOKIE!, the first in a series of books based on her own London Bangladeshi background and love of science. FEARLESS FAIRYTALES was published in 2020, which is a 21st century revival of the classic bedtime stories told with Konnie’s signature wit and charm.
  • Sir Lenny Henry CBE
    Comedian and actor
    Lenny Henry has risen from being a cult star on children’s television to becoming one of Britain’s best known comedians, as well as a writer, philanthropist and award-winning actor. As a co-founder of Comic Relief Lenny was delighted to announce last year that the British Public has donated over £1billion to Comic Relief over the last 30 years. He has recently released his memoir ‘Who Am I Again?’ in October 2019. Photo © Jack Lawson
  • Lisa O'Kelly
    The Observer New Review
    Associate Editor
    Lisa O'Kelly is associate editor of The Observer New Review. She has worked at the paper for 27 years in a number of different roles from news reporter to books editor. Before joining the Observer she wrote for several national newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Marie Claire and Vogue. She lives in south west London with her husband and three children.
  • Lisa Taddeo
    Author
    Lisa Taddeo is an author, journalist and two-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize. Her 2019 nonfiction book, “Three Women,” became a #1 New York Times and international best seller and is currently being adapted by Showtime as a TV series. Her debut novel, Animal, will be published in June.
  • Matthew Todd
    Writer
    Matthew Todd is a multi-award-winning writer who was editor of Attitude, the UKs best-selling gay magazine, for 8 years where he convinced Prince William to make history by sitting for the cover. He is the author of ‘Pride’ (Welbeck) and ‘Straight Jacket’ (Black Swan), about LGBT mental health, which was voted Boyz Book of the Year and is described as ‘lifesaving’ and ‘game changing’ by readers and ‘an essential read for every gay person on the planet’ by Sir Elton John.
  • Mel Giedroyc
    TV presenter, writer and actress
    Mel Giedroyc is a TV presenter, writer and actress best known for her work alongside Sue Perkins. Shows such as the multi Bafta-winning Great British Bake Off (BBC) and Light Lunch (Channel 4) have made them household names. Mel has appeared in sitcoms and panel shows, as well as on stage, most recently in Stephen Sondheim’s Olivier Award winning “Company" at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End.   Mel and Sue are reunited in their latest comedy series “Hitmen” for Sky (Season 2 out in 2021). Mel can also be seen hosting new comedy panel show “Unforgivable” (Dave) and “Good With Wood” (C4) in spring 2021. Mel’s first novel “The Best Things” is out on April 1st, 2021.
  • Michaella Parkes
    Amazon Books Editorial
    Michaella works on books editorial features at Amazon to help readers discover new reads and authors. She joined Amazon after university and has worked in many different parts of the business, including the team that launched Amazon in Singapore in 2019. Recently relocating back to the UK - she brings her love of fiction and food to Amazon’s book editorial pages
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
    Author
    Oyinkan Braithwaite is the author of My Sister the Serial Killer, which won the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year British Book Awards 2020, was shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize and longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. She has a number of short stories which include The Driver, Treasure and One Chance. The Driver was shortlisted for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She has also written pieces for the New York Times and Vogue.
  • Paula Hawkins
    Writer
    Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been a global phenomenon, selling 23 million copies worldwide. Published in over forty languages, it has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and was a No.1 box office hit film starring Emily Blunt. Into the Water, her second stand-alone thriller, has also been a global No.1 bestseller, spending twenty weeks in the Sunday Times hardback fiction Top 10 bestseller list, and six weeks at No.1.
  • Peter Frankopan
    Author and professor
    Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University. He is the author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, a global bestseller that has been translated into 35 languages, was named a Book of the Decade by the Sunday Times and as one of the twenty most important books ever translated into Chinese. His most recent book, The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World, was awarded the Carical Prize in 2019, when Peter also won Germany’s Calliope Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
  • Phil Henderson
    Blackwell's Bookshop
    Sales & Marketing Director
    After studying History at the University of Glasgow, Phil worked at Asda in a variety of buying, strategy and planning roles, before taking on the leadership of Asda’s book business in 2014. He joined Blackwell’s in 2019, where he leads the commercial and marketing teams and the shop estate. An avid reader and aspiring mountaineer, he is often lost in books about mountains, or trying to avoid being lost in actual mountains.
  • Piers Torday
    Children's writer
    Piers Torday writes books and plays for children. Books include The Last Wild trilogy (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize) and The Lost Magician series (Teach Primary Book Award). Plays include The Box of Delights and Christmas Carol (Wilton’s Music Hall). He co-founded the Paul Torday Memorial Prize for Debut Novelists Over 60 and has been a judge for the Guardian Prize, the Indie Book Awards and the Costa Book Awards.
  • Rhys Stephenson
    CBBC Book Club
    Actor and TV presenter
    Rhys Stephenson, born in London, now based in Manchester, is an actor and TV presenter. He is best known as the energetic, smiling face of children’s TV channel CBBC. Since 2017, Rhys has been hosting the presentation links between shows, live from the CBBC studio HQ. Rhys’ presenting career started in 2013 when he began working with his university’s channel, Smoke TV. In 2015, for his work with Smoke, Rhys won the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) award for Best On Screen Male. Beyond CBBC HQ, Rhys has presented some of the biggest shows on the CBBC slate, including: Blue Peter; the annual Blue Peter book awards (live); Newsround; Dengineers; and Saturday Mash-Up. Last year, Rhys presented the main stage at the CBBC Summer Social – a music festival in Croxteth Country Park, Liverpool. Alongside this, Rhys has presented for NFTS productions ‘The Lowdown’ (an ‘as live’ news show aimed at young people) and ‘Trending Now’. Rhys also hosted the BBC Teach five-part series ‘Don’t Hate the Debate’, discussing British values, politics and citizenship. More recently Rhys has been working with BAFTA Kids, presenting online content for children. Away from TV and hosting, since the age of ten, Rhys has acted and performed. Starting with school theatre productions, he then went on to audition and in 2013 join the National Youth Theatre, performing alongside stars including Matt Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes. As well as his work with the NYT, Rhys has performed in a number of productions. In 2012 as part of a site-specific comedy ‘Back to School’ at the Edinburgh Fringe. Between 2013 and 2014 he acted in a number of shows with the Sydenham Arts Festival. In 2014 Rhys played the Mad Hatter in a university production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In 2015 he performed in an R&D musical at the Omnibus Theatre and in 2016 played one of the main roles, Dyego, in ‘At the Feet of Jesus’, at Stratford East Theatre – a play Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair and written by Adanna Oji. Rhys is an ambassador for Place2Be, a charity which provides mental health services in schools.
  • Robbie Millen
    The Times
    Literary editor
    Robbie Millen has been literary editor of The Times since 2013. Before that he was deputy comment editor, The Times, and assistant editor, The Spectator.
  • Robin Ince
    Comedian, Writer and Broadcaster
    Robin Ince is many things. An award winning comedian, author, broadcaster and a populariser of scientific ideas. He is best known as the co-host of the BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox and co-creator of The Cosmic Shambles Network where he co-hosts the Book Shambles podcast. His most recent book is, I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human.
  • Rónán Hession
    Writer
    Rónán Hession is an Irish writer from Dublin. His debut novel Leonard and Hungry Paul was published by Bluemoose Books in 2019 and was shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the Irish Novel of the Year and the British Book Award for Best Debut. It has also been selected as Dublin City Council’s One Dublin One Book for 2021. His second novel Panenka will be published in May 2021.
  • Rosie Beaumont-Thomas
    Co-founder of Feminist Book Society and Manager of Women's Prize for Fiction
    Rosie Beaumont-Thomas is prize manager of the Women's Prize for Fiction. She is the producer and co-founder of event series Feminist Book Society, whose first anthology This is How We Come Back Stronger: Feminist Writers on Turning Crisis into Change supports charities Women's Aid and Imkaan. She was previously events manager at Waterstones and the Royal Society of Literature.
  • Rozalind Dineen
    Writer and critic
    Rozalind Dineen is a writer and critic with work appearing in the TLS, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. She was formely an editor at the Times Literary Supplement.
  • Saber Khan
    Topping & Company Booksellers
    Senior Managing Bookseller
    I've been a bookseller for almost 30 years: starting with Waterstone's for 8 years, another 8 with The Pan Bookshopand then with Topping's in Bath for the last 15 years.
  • Stuart Lawrence
    Motivational & Public Speaker Diversity, Inclusion, Grief, Youth Engagement Specialist
    Stuart is a motivational and public speaker with over 20 years’ experience, he is also the younger brother of Stephen Lawrence. Over the last 18 months Stuart has spent most of his time working with schools and youth groups/youth centres – presenting assemblies, sharing his story, experiences and presenting his messages of hope & tolerance. The Stephen Lawrence Foundation was recently launched to redouble efforts, think bigger and use the current moment to create further opportunities for more people on our journey to equality for all.
  • Sue Scholes
    Books Category Manager at WHSmith Online
    Sue Scholes has worked in the book industry for 30 years. Starting as a shop floor bookseller for Books etc, she then moved to Ottakars where she went from the shop floor to head office working on events, marketing and finally buying and promotions. She moved to WH Smith as Literary Fiction Buyer where, for 10 years, she was also responsible for the Richard and Judy Book Club.
  • Syima Aslam
    Bradford Literature Festival
    CEO & Artistic Director
    Syima Aslam is the founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival (BLF), which she established in 2014. A 10-day literary and cultural celebration, BLF welcomes more than 70,000 visitors to Bradford annually and is celebrated as the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse literary festival in the UK.
  • Yaba Badoe
    Filmmaker and writer
    Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British filmmaker and writer. A graduate of King's College Cambridge, she was a civil servant in Ghana before becoming a general trainee with the BBC. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica and worked at the University of Ghana. Her short stories have been published in Critical Quarterly, African Love Stories and Daughters of Africa. Her first adult novel, True Murder, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009. Her first YA novel, A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award in 2018 and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Award 2018. Wolf Light, her 2nd YA novel, was published by Zephyr in April 2019.
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2021 Trade Judges

  • Anwen Hooson
    Bird Literary Agency
    Founder
    Anwen started her career in the press departments at Penguin and Waterstones, before co-founding Riot Communications, one of the most respected and influential PR agencies in the sector. In 2018, Anwen launched Bird Literary Agency, where she represents authors of literary fiction, non-fiction and children's books. Herself a Nibbie winner, this is Anwen’s fourth year as a judge.
  • Hannah Griffiths
    All3Media
    Head of literary acquisitions
    Hannah worked in book publishing for over 20 years; in publicity at Virago, then as an agent at Curtis Brown and then as an editor and publisher at Faber & Faber. In 2016, she moved across to the TV industry. Her role is to find books for adaptation for super indie TV company All3Media.
  • Jules Danskin
    Freelance publicist and managing director of Extra Teeth magazine
    Jules Danskin is based in Edinburgh and works as a freelance book publicist for small publishers; she is also the Managing Director of Extra Teeth, a literary magazine. A former bookseller, she ran Golden Hare Books (2019 Independent Bookshop of the Year) and now consults and collaborates with independent bookshops on various projects and events. She has been a judge for the Saltire Literary Awards and in 2019 she was included in the Bookseller’s 150 Most Influential list.
  • Liz Sich
    Colman Getty
    Former managing director
    Liz Sich was MD of Four Colman Getty for almost twenty years where she worked on a range of high profile book, 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.
  • Mairi Kidd
    Seven Stories
    c.e.o
    Mairi took up post as CEO of Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, in February 2021 after two years as Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland. Mairi was formerly Managing Director of Barrington Stoke, a prize-winning independent publisher specialising in accessible fiction titles for children and young people, where she published UK Children’s Laureates Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell among many other household names. She has a particular commitment to breaking down barriers to reading and promoting equalities in publishing and has written and consulted extensively in this area. She has lectured in publishing at the University of Stirling and is a published author of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults.
  • Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL
    Writer, editor, broadcaster and literary critic
    Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL (Nana Akua Ackon) is a major cultural figure around the world. Born in Ghana and educated in the UK, she became Britain’s youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the 1960s. A writer, editor, broadcaster and literary critic, she has judged numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, received many honours and served on several boards, among them the Royal Literary Fund, Wasafiri and the Africa Centre in London.
  • Nels Abbey
    Media executive, writer and satirist
    Nels Abbey is British-Nigerian media executive, writer, and satirist. Prior to any of the above he was a senior banker in the City of London (Nels politely asks that this very minor fact should not be held against him) . Nels is a co-founding organiser of the Black Writers' Guild. Think Like a White Man, a satirical self-help book on being black in the professional world, is his first book.
  • Nick Barley
    Edinburgh International Book Festival
    Director
    Nick Barley has been director and chief executive of the Edinburgh International Book Festival since 2009, overseeing its successful move to an online platform during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and planning a hybrid festival at a new site in 2021. He has judged a variety of literary and cultural prizes and in 2017 he chaired the jury for the Man Booker International Prize. Since 2018 he has also been a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation.
  • Nick Brackenbury
    NearSt
  • Sam Missingham
    The Empowered Author
    Founder
    Sam Missingham is an award-winning book marketer and publishing consultant. She runs The Empowered Author, (http://www.theempoweredauthor.com), a book marketing membership service for authors. She works as a consultant for publishers and authors. Prior to this she worked at HarperCollins UK for 4 years as head of audience development where she ran large-scale marketing campaigns that connected books and authors with readers.
  • Sandy Mahal
    Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature
    Director
    Since 2016, Sandeep has been strategically managing Nottingham’s UNESCO Creative City designation and mission of Building a Better World with Words. She works closely with creative producers and partner organisations to develop people’s ideas and ambition to make Nottingham an even more creative place. Sandeep is a trustee of the Women’s Prize Trust and Spread the Word.
  • Seni Glaister
    WeFifo
    Founder & c.e.o
    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.
  • Simon Mackay
    AwesomeBooks
    Head of Books
    Simon Mackay joined AwesomeBooks to lead the books strategy in 2020. An online bookseller selling both new and used books, Awesome are committed to a sustainable retail model, matching each sale made through its website with a donation to its literacy and aid partners worldwide. Lots of activity is planned in 2021. Mackay has been a bookseller for almost two decades, and also works as a freelance consultant for publishers and industry campaigns including the CWIP prize.
  • Tim Godfray
    Booksellers Association
    Former Executive Chairman
    Tim was Executive Chairman of The Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland until 31st October 2019, and Chairman of World Book Day Ltd until the summer of that year. Also until he retired from the BA Tim was a director of Book Tokens and Batch, as well as being on the Advisory Board of the British Retail Consortium and the European Booksellers Federation.
  • Trevor Goul-Wheeker
    Former Chairman
    Blackwell's Bookshop
    “After careers in Unilever and Gestetner, I fell in love with bookselling in 1994 first as MD of Hammicks Bookshops, then WH Smith, Haven Books and most latterly as Chairman of Blackwell’s. On BA council played a key role in the inception of World Book Day, becoming WBD Chair in 2000 and receiving Nibbies for WBD and for Services to Bookselling. Retired in 2019 and was honoured with the BAMB’s Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling award.”
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