Mark Lawson to judge William Hill Sports Book prize

Mark Lawson to judge William Hill Sports Book prize

Broadcaster and journalist Mark Lawson has joined the judging panel for the 28th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, while co-founder of the award Graham Sharpe will become the new chair of judges, following the retirement of his fellow co-founder John Gaustad.

The prize is currently open for submissions from publishers with a deadline set for August 28th. The longlist will be announced in September, the shortlist in October, and finally the winner on November 28th.

Lawson said: "For a long time, my two greatest ambitions in sport have been to play cricket for England and to become a judge for the William Hill Sports Book of The Year Award. Forced to admit that the former is becoming a receding possibility, I am even more thrilled to have achieved the latter.

“I have judged many literary prizes - including the Man Booker, the Costa and the Ondaatje - but have always considered the William Hill unusually exciting for its varied content and consistent high quality."
 
Graham Sharpe said of his new role as chair of judges: “Although I am more than happy to take over as chairman of the judging panel that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sorry when John decided to retire from the award, which we nurtured together from day one almost thirty years ago. Without his invaluable input and commitment, it would never have achieved the stature which it now enjoys.

The winner takes home £28,000, an amount that increases by £1,000 every year it is awarded. They also recieve a leather bound copy of their book, a £2,000 bet and a day at the races courtesy of William Hill. Runners up will receive £3,000 and a £1,000 bet.

Previous winners of the award include Nick Hornby, Lance Armstrong and Duncan Hamilton, with David Goldblatt winning last year’s prize for The Game of Our Lives (Penguin).