Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi will judge the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize, celebrating first time novelists over the age of 60.
The prize was founded in 2018 by Torday’s two sons Piers and Nick Torday. Torday, who died aged 67 in December 2013, published his debut Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with W&N just six years prior following a 30-year career in the engineering industry.
Sethi and Lawson - both writers, journalists and broadcasters - will join novelist Mosse to decide the winner of the £1,000 prize in June.
Sethi said: “I’m delighted to a be a judge of this important and much-needed prize in its inaugural year, through which we can celebrate that it’s never too late to follow your passion and fulfil your talent - and that sometimes the finest flowers are the latest to bloom.”
“I’m delighted to be part of this celebration of older voices,” said Mosse. “Storytelling is about the wisdom of years as well as the power of imagination, of character, and I'm hugely looking forward to discovering new voices.”
Piers Torday said: “We could not think of a better way to remember our father and his literary legacy than with a prize that honours those who, like him, come to writing later in life. We are both so thrilled that this highly experienced trio of judges, with such a broad range of critical sensibilities and views between them, are now on board to choose an award winning senior debut, and launch the winner on a whole new career at an age when many others are finishing theirs.”
As well as the £1,000 prize, the winner will receive a set of Paul Torday's collected works. Runners-up will receive one specially-selected Torday novel with a commemorative book plate.
The prize will be awarded at the 2019 Society of Authors' Awards ceremony at Southwark Cathedral in June.