2006 judges

Short Story Judge: Jane Gardam

Novelist Jane Gardam was born Jean Mary Pearson in Coatham, North Yorkshire on 11 July 1928. She was educated at Saltburn High School for Girls, and won a scholarship to the University of London where she read English at Bedford College. In 1951 she worked as a Red Cross Travelling Librarian to Hospital Libraries, afterwards taking up editorial posts at Weldon Ladies Journal (sub-editor, 1952) and the literary weekly Time and Tide (Assistant Editor, 1952-4).

Her first book for adults, Black Faces, White Faces (1975), a collection of linked short stories about Jamaica, won both the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Subsequent collections of short stories include The Pangs of Love and Other Stories (1983), winner of the Katherine Mansfield Award; Going into a Dark House (1994), which was awarded the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award (1995); and Missing the Midnight: Hauntings & Grotesques (1997).

Jane Gardam's first novel for adults, God on the Rocks (1978), a coming-of-age novel set in the 1930s, was adapted for television in 1992. It won the Prix Baudelaire (France) in 1989 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Her other novels include The Queen of the Tambourine (1991), a haunting tale about a woman's fascination with a mysterious stranger, which won the Whitbread Novel Award; Faith Fox (1996), a portrait of England in the 1990s; and The Flight of the Maidens (2000), set just after the Second World War, which narrates the story of three Yorkshire schoolgirls on the brink of university and adult life. This book was adapted for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. In 1999 Jane Gardam was awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in recognition of a distinguished literary career.

Her non-fiction includes a book about the Yorkshire of her childhood in The Iron Coast (1994), published with photographs by Peter Burton and Harland Walshaw.

She also writes for children and young adults. Her novel Bilgewater (1977), originally written for children, has now been re-classified as adult fiction. She was awarded the Whitbread Children's Book Award for The Hollow Land (1981) and is the author of A Few Fair Days (1971), a collection of short stories for children set on a Cumberland farm, and two novels for teenagers, A Long Way From Verona (1971), which explores a wartime childhood in Yorkshire, and The Summer After the Funeral (1973), a story about a loss of innocence after the death of a father.

Jane Gardam is a member of PEN and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is married with three children and divides her time between East Kent and Yorkshire. Her latest books are The People on Privilege Hill (2007), a collection of short stories, and the novel, The Man in the Wooden Hat (2009).

 

Peotry Judge: Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw was born in London, where she has lived for most of her life. She has published four collections of poetry: Night Photograph (1993), A World Where News Travelled Slowly (1997), Minsk (2003), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Whitbread Poetry Prizes, and The Casual Perfect (2011). Her first novel, Mary George of Allnorthover, was published in 2001 and has appeared in the Netherlands, the United States, Germany and France, where it won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger. A second novel, An Irresponsible Age, appeared in 2006, followed by two non-fiction works: The Importance of Music to Girls (2007) and Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland (2011).

In 2011 she received a commission from Artangel and Manchester International Festival which resulted in the sound work Audio Obscura, installed at Manchester Piccadilly station in July 2011 and St Pancras International, London, from 13th September to 23rd October.

She has an MA in Seventeenth-Century Art from the Courtauld Institute and was awarded a three-year NESTA fellowship in 2001 in order to pursue her interest in vision, travel and perception. She has held a number of residencies including at the Science Museum and the Royal Society of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a former Chair of the Poetry Society, and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she directs the Poetry MA.