Authors Adam Kay, Reni Eddo-Lodge, David Solomons and Jay Rayner join Labour MP Jess Phillips, “Sky News” presenter Kay Burley and ITV regular, CBeebies presenter and medical expert Dr Ranj Singh as judges of this year’s British Book Awards’ Books of the Year (the Nibbies).
Kay, author of the bestselling This is Going to Hurt (Picador), will join the panel judging the best Crime and Thriller book of 2018; Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (Bloomsbury), will be among judges for Non-Fiction Narrative; food writer Jay Rayner will help judge Non-Fiction/Lifestyle; while David Solomons, author of the Superhero series for Nosy Crow, will be among judges for Children’s Fiction. Illustrator Axel Scheffler will join Singh on the panel for Children’s Non-Fiction and Illustrated; and Phillips and Burley will join TLS editor Stig Abell and author and journalist Anita Anand to judge the overall Book of the Year.
Judges also include Natasha Harding, books editor of the Sun; Alex Reads, presenter on the Mostly Lit podcast; Bea Carvalho, fiction buyer at Waterstones; Karen Brindle, head of buying for books at Tesco; Syima Aslam, founder of the Bradford Literature Festival; Brett Wolstencroft, manager of Daunt Books; children's librarian Jo Clarke; Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, director for books at Amazon UK; David Headley of Goldsboro Books, and Tina Gaisford-Waller from Winstones.
Jess Phillips, Dr Ranj Singh, Kay Burley and Adam Kay are among The British Book Awards' Books of the Year judges
Adam Kay said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to be a judge at this year’s British Book Awards – an excuse to read a stack of wonderful books and for it to be ‘work’. It’s an honour to have the chance to not just reward books written with passion which catch the imagination, but also to punish authors who have inadvertently slighted me in some way.”
Jay Rayner added: “2019 marks the 25th year since my first book came out and, 10 books in, I am just as struck by the sheer creativity and professionalism of the British publishing business as I was at the start. I’m delighted to be marking it by helping to judge the Nibbies and reward the best of the best and in particular the lifestyle category. A well-published book of this kind should be a friend to its reader.”
The Bookseller has wholly owned the British Book Awards, or Nibbies, since 2017. This year it has expanded the awards by splitting children’s into Fiction and Illustrated/Non-Fiction in recognition of the growing importance of this sector and the quality of titles published, and by adding a prize for Small Press of the Year. These will run alongside the established awards, including Publisher of the Year and Retailer of the Year.
Stig Abell, Anita Anand, Axel Scheffler and Reni Eddo-Lodge are also on the judging panels
The Bookseller’s chief executive Nigel Roby said: “Welcoming back previous Nibbies winners, putting them alongside industry and The Bookseller’s own experts and adding insightful opinion-formers, makes for a formidable judging process. The quality of this year’s judging panel is outstanding. I can’t wait to see who they will choose as their Nibbies winners.”
Judges for the trade categories, including Publisher of Year, and Book Retailer of the Year, include Douglas McCabe, chief executive of Enders; Helgard Krause, c.e.o. of the Welsh Books Council; publisher Amanda Ridout; writer Daniel Hahn; Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh Book Festival, and Philip Downer, former c.e.o. of Borders UK, now owner of independent retailer Calliope Gifts.
Submissions for the British Book Awards are open for publishers, agents, authors, illustrators, and booksellers until 8th February 2019. This year’s ceremony takes place on 13th May at the Grosvenor House in Mayfair and will be compered once again by the DJ and television presenter Lauren Laverne.