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2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Full judging panel announced

2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Full judging panel announced

The full judging panel for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is announced today, Monday 17 December 2012.

The judges are: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Natalie Haynes, Martha Kearney and Stuart Kelly. The panel is chaired by Robert Macfarlane, academic, critic and writer.

Robert Macfarlane comments on behalf of the panel:

‘The first books are in, and the reading begins: the 2013 Man Booker jury starts its work this week. I am fortunate to be joined on this year's panel by four outstanding judges: the renowned broadcaster, bee-keeper and former Chair of the Orange Prize for Fiction, Martha Kearney; the critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; the broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes; and Stuart Kelly, essayist, polymath and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday. We are all looking forward to the ten months, 140 novels and many meetings and conversations that lie ahead of us, as we search for the very best of contemporary fiction.’

The judges’ mission is to select as a winner the novel of the highest literary quality from the past year. Between them, they will read over 100 novels submitted by UK publishers.

The judges will announce the 2013 ‘Man Booker Dozen’ – 12 or 13 longlisted books – on 23 July 2013, with the shortlist of six outstanding titles announced on 10 September 2013. The winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 15 October 2013, at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall.

On the impact of the prize, former winner Howard Jacobson has commented: ‘I have seen from the inside the interest it generates, the new readers it finds, not just for winning the book, but – if that book has the power to stimulate – for literature in general. Books I wrote years ago, which I thought were long buried, have been touched back into life…’.

2013 will mark the 45th year of the £50,000 prize, launched in 1969. Hilary Mantel made history in 2012 when she won the prize for the second time with Bring up the Bodies, as the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice.

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The Man Booker Prize 2013 Judges

Robert Macfarlane (Chair) is a Fellow in English at Cambridge University, specialising in contemporary literature, and is well-known both as a critic and writer. He writes regularly on literature, travel and nature for The Guardian and Granta Magazine, among other publications. He is the author of a number of prize-winning, non-fiction books. Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003) won The Guardian First Book Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a Somerset Maugham Award. The Wild Places followed in 2007 and was adapted for television by the BBC. His latest book The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot (2012) has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Banff Mountain Festival Book Award and The Waterstones Book of the Year Award. He is currently writing a book called Underland, about subterranean worlds.

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is a biographer and critic who is a Fellow and Tutor in English at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of Becoming Dickens (Harvard UP, 2011), which was awarded the 2011 Duff Cooper Prize, and Victorian Afterlives (OUP, 2002), and has also produced editions of Dickens's Christmas stories, Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, and Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies for Oxford World's Classics. He writes regularly for publications including the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, TLS, Art Newspaper and New Statesman. Radio and television appearances include Start the Week and The Culture Show, and he has also acted as the historical consultant on BBC productions of Jane Eyre, Emma and Great Expectations. He lives in Oxford.

Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She writes a column for the Independent, and blogs for the Guardian. Her most recent book, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, was published on both sides of the Atlantic, and she has spoken on the modern relevance of the classical world everywhere from Cambridge Classics Festival to Chicago Ideas Week. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4: reviewing for Front Row and Saturday Review, appearing as a team captain on two seasons of Wordaholics, and banging on about Juvenal whenever she gets the chance. She reviews books, films and television for Review Show on BBC2, and was a judge for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction.


Martha Kearney has developed a reputation as one of the BBC’s most respected journalists. She presents The World At One on Radio Four and The Review Show on BBC2. Being a dedicated apiarist herself, Martha fronted a BBC4 documentary about the desperate plight of the bee. Who Killed The Honey Bee? aired in 2009. In 2011 Martha presented Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait? a BBC2 documentary about the quest to verify the authenticity of a possible portrait of the author. She began her journalistic career in radio for LBC/IRN, before joining Channel Four TV’s respected Week in Politics team. She became political editor of Newsnight in 2000 and has also reported for Panorama. She presented Woman's Hour on Radio Four from 1998 to 2007.

Stuart Kelly is a writer, critic and reviewer. He is the author of The Book Of Lost Books: An Incomplete Guide To All The Books You’ll Never Read and Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Non-fiction Prize and was Radio 4’s Book Of The Week, as well as introductions to several novels. He writes reviews for The Scotsman, Scotland On Sunday, The Guardian and The Times and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s book programmes. He was guest selector at the 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival, curating a strand on fiction and the avant-garde. He is Reader-in-Residence for the MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University, a Board Member for the Society of Scottish Studies in Europe. He lives in the Scottish Borders and is currently working on a book about religion.

Notes to Editors

•    Photographs of the 2013 panel are available from Four Colman Getty

•    Each year UK publishers may submit two full-length novels written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe and published between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013.  In addition, any title by an author who has previously won or been shortlisted for the Booker or Man Booker Prize may be submitted.

•    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10 year sponsorship from the Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group plc’s sponsorship began.  It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention.  For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website:

•    The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Peter  Clarke, Chief Executive, Man; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; James Daunt,  Managing Director of Waterstone’s; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.

•    The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, Baroness Kennedy QC; Professor of Creative Writing, Royal Holloway College University of London and former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning  CBE and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents.   


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