October prizes round-up

October prizes round-up
22 October 2012

What is a prize without its judges? It's like asking what is a book without its author, what is a sandwich without filling, what is soup without croutons. Four of the prizes Book Trust manages have announced their judging panels, so here is all you need to know about the prizes in one easily-digestible place.

Orange is not the only fruit

Now in its 18th year, the Women's Prize for Fiction was set up to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world.  Known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction, it is the UK's most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman and also provides a range of educational, literacy or research initiatives to support reading and writing.


For 2013, the Prize will be privately funded while headline sponsorship negotiations for 2014 and beyond are concluded. Funding has been provided in the form of gifts from companies and individual donors. Supporters include: Bilbary, Bob & Co, Richard & Elena Bridges, Cherie Blair, Christopher Foyle, Jill Green, Martha Lane Fox, Lansons Communications, Joanna Trollope, Sue Woodford-Hollick and others who wish to remain anonymous.


Miranda Richardson will chair a panel of judges including Razia Iqbal, Natasha Walter, Jojo Moyes and Rachel Johnson.


The Prize is also delighted to welcome four new members to the Women's Prize for Fiction Board - Felicity Blunt, Karen Jones, Nicola Mendelsohn and Joanna Prior.


The Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 is awarded annually for the best full novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK. Any woman writing in English - whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter - is eligible.


The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a 'Bessie', created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.


More information about The Women's Prize for Fiction

Life isn't all ha-ha hee-hee...

A sequel to children’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the script for the much lauded London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, has been selected as one of the books on the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlists. Cottrell Boyce, already an award-winning children’s author, is joined on the upper age category shortlist by David Walliams with a book about a jewel thief granny. It is the third book by Walliams to have been shortlisted for the Prize – unique in its recognition of the funniest books for children – since its inception in 2008.

Jostling with Gangsta Granny and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again for the winning prize on the 7-14 shortlist are books that find comedic light amongst the dark with stories featuring goblins, dragons, dark lords from parallel universes and darkest of all, teenagers and their embarrassing parents.

The shortlist for children aged six and under features a host of award-winning illustrators including Oliver Jeffers, Sara Ogilvie and Chris Haughton who are all previous recipients of the Book Trust Best New Illustrator Award (as is Joe Berger, illustrator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again). This year’s books delighted the judges with ever popular themes of pirates and princesses given a modern twist tickling their funny bones; grumpy, dictatorial toddlers and babies provoking knowing chortles; and whimsical tales of a hapless dog and a spiraling episode with a kite and a tree generating wide toothy grins.


More information on the full shortlists


How to judge a prize

The Times columnist and best-selling author of How to be a Woman Caitlin Moran, will be one of the judges helping to select Blue Peter’s favourite children’s books of the year, as part of the 2013 Blue Peter Book Awards judging panel.


These enormously popular and influential awards have been recognising and celebrating the best children’s authors, the most fascinating fact books and the greatest reads for children since 2000. Joining Caitlin Moran on the judging panel will be best-selling children’s author of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell; librarian extraordinaire Jake Hope; and Blue Peter Editor Tim Levell, who will be chairing the panel.


Read more about the Blue Peter Book Awards


All around the world

Award-winning Turkish author Elif Shafak, whose novels have been translated into more than 30 languages, joins a prestigious panel of judges for the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2013.


The Prize is awarded annually for the best work of contemporary fiction in translation. It celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2012.


Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize acknowledges both the author and the translator equally, recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.


The judges for this year's Prize are:


  • Jean Boase-Beier, Professor of Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia
  • Novelist and former Lecturer in English at the University of Sussex, Gabriel Josipovici
  • Elif Shafak, an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey
  • Literary translator, Frank Wynne
  • Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of the Independent


The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize ran previously between 1990 and 1995 and the Prize was revived with the support of Arts Council England in 2001. The £10,000 Prize money and associated costs are funded by Arts Council England who manage the Prize in partnership with Book Trust. The Prize is also supported by the Independent and Champagne Taittinger.


More information about the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 

A nobel prize for a lifetime of work

Awarded biennially, the £40,000 prize honours a lifetime's achievement in literature. Writer, critic and broadcaster Mark Lawson returns for the second time to Chair a stellar panel of judges.


The David Cohen Prize was established in 1992 by David and Veronica Cohen, and Arts Council England and is recognised as one of Britain's most distinguished literary honours. The Prize is awarded to a writer in the English language who is a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. In the past it has been awarded to novelists, dramatists, poets and essayists. The most recent recipient, Julian Barnes, joined a distinguished list of winners, including Seamus Heaney, V S Naipaul, Harold Pinter, Muriel Spark, William Trevor, Doris Lessing, Beryl Bainbridge and Thom Gunn (jointly), Michael Holroyd, and Derek Mahon.


The panel of judges:


  • Shirley Crew, Professor Emeritus of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds
  • Award-winning novelist Sarah Hall
  • Kathleen Jamie, writer, poet and Professor of Creative Writing at Stirling University
  • Writer and critic Sam Leith
  • Broadcaster, critic and biographer Fiona MacCarthy, OBE
  • Award-winning poet and critic, Daljit Nagra
  • Kate Summerscale, award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction, and judge of numerous literary prizes
  • Screenwriter and dramatist, Roy Williams

Read more about the David Cohen Prize for Literature

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