Katherine Rundell is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and the bestselling author of Rooftoppers, a novel inspired by summers working in Paris and by night-time trespassing on the rooftops of All Souls. Rooftoppers has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Award, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and is currently shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the UKLA Award. Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and Europe and her first book, The Girl Savage, was born of her love of Zimbabwe. Her next children’s novel is called The Wolf Wilder and will be published by Bloomsbury in 2015.
Nicolette Jones is an author, broadcaster, critic and journalist who has written for all the national broadsheets and for the book trade press. She is the Children’s Books Editor of the Sunday Times, and has been a judge of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Branford Boase Award, the Costa (then Whitbread) Children’s Novel prize, the Carnegie/Greenaway Top Ten, Booktrust’s Ten Best New Illustrators, the Macmillan Prize for Illustration and the Bailey’s (then Orange) Prize for Women’s Fiction.
She was shortlisted in 2012 for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for an outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books. She is the author, with Raymond Briggs, of Blooming Books (Cape), and her work of narrative history, The Plimsoll Sensation: The Great Campaign to Save Lives at Sea (Little, Brown/Abacus/Kindle) was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and won two maritime literature awards. She was educated at Oxford and Yale.
Nicolette will be chairing the judging panel. She says:
“I am honoured to have this chance to support the all-important work of the National Literacy Trust which does so much to enrich this country by encouraging reading, and I am glad to give all those aspiring children’s authors out there a chance to be found. I trust the discrimination of my distinguished fellow judges. Be assured: they will recognise the best.”
Jonathan Douglas was appointed Director of the National Literacy Trust in January 2007. Previously he was Head of Policy Development at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, where he also worked as Head of Learning and Access. Prior to that, he was Professional Adviser for Youth and School Libraries at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. He has also worked as a librarian and in children’s services for Westminster Libraries.
Jonathan is the Non Executive Director at the Consumer Finance Education Body. He sits on the Advisory Committee of the Man Booker Prize and is the Chair of Governors at his local primary school.
“Congratulations to Emma on a fantastic achievement. Compelling books, like the one Emma has written, with a strong plot and engaging characters encourage children to read more for enjoyment which improves their literacy. We are very proud to have launched this competition with Bloomsbury to find talented new authors and look forward to seeing Emma’s book in print.”