Thursday, October 18, 2012
Mark Lawson heads up stellar judging panel for prestigious lifetime achievement award
Booktrust is delighted to announce the launch of the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2013. 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 heavyweight panel of judges. Lawson replaced former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion in 2011, who served as Chair for ten years.
The winner of the David Cohen Prize, who will be announced on 7 March 2013, will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of authors, literary critics and academics. This year’s judging panel includes:
· Shirley Chew, Professor Emeritus of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds and current Visiting Professor at the Division of English, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
· Novelist and short story writer, Sarah Hall, whose awards include the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
· Kathleen Jamie, writer, poet and Professor of Creative Writing at Stirling University, who has won the Forward Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award
· Author, journalist and former literary editor of The Daily Telegraph, Sam Leith, who writes for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Spectator, Wall Street Journal Europe and Prospect
· Broadcaster, critic and biographer, Fiona MacCarthy OBE, who won in the biography category in this year’s James Tait Black Memorial Prizes
· Poet and critic, Daljit Nagra, who has received Forward Prizes in the categories for best individual poem and best first collection and contributes to BBC Radio, the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Times of India
· Kate Summerscale, writer of fiction and non-fiction, and past judge of numerous literary prizes including the Booker. She won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2008 and the Somerset Maugham award in 1998
· Screenwriter and dramatist, Roy Williams OBE, has won the John Whiting Award, the Alfred Fagon Award and, in 2001, the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. He has prolific theatre credits and has also written drama for Channel 4
Mark Lawson, Chair of Judges:
‘In 2011, when Julian Barnes won the David Cohen Prize before going on to take the Man Booker, it was further confirmation of the Cohen's knack of highlighting the writers who really matter. Three previous winners of the David Cohen Prize went on to claim the Nobel Prize for Literature and I think the Prize can properly be seen as a sort of Nobel for UK and Irish writers. I am delighted to be chairing for a second time an award of such distinction and, in the early stages of the 2013 judging, have been excited to see new candidates emerging to challenge those who ran close last time.’
The David Cohen Prize for Literature is awarded biennially to a living writer from the UK and Ireland whose work, in the opinion of a distinguished panel of judges, merits recognition for a lifetime’s achievement in literature. Prize money is made up of £40,000 for the winning author, provided by the John S Cohen Foundation, and £12,500 contributed by Arts Council England for the Clarissa Luard Award. This is awarded to an individual or organisation, chosen by the winner, to encourage writers under the age of 35.