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2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Judges Announced

2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction: Judges Announced

The judges for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction are announced today, Thursday 12 December 2013.

Chaired by the philosopher and writer, AC Grayling, the other 2014 judges are: Jonathan Bate, Oxford Professor of English Literature and biographer; Sarah Churchwell, UEA’s Professor of American Literature; Dr Daniel Glaser, neuroscientist and cultural commentator; Dr Alastair Niven, former Director of Literature at the British Council and at the Arts Council, and Erica Wagner, journalist and writer.

2014 is the first year of the new rules, which will see the prize opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English, for novels published in the UK by an established imprint between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014. The expanded prize will recognise, celebrate and embrace authors of literary fiction writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai.

For this inaugural year, the trustees have decided that the judging panel will increase from five to six. The 2014 judges bring with them a wide reading experience and knowledge of international literature. In what will be an exciting new era for the prize, the panel consists of three new judges and three who have previously judged the prize - Alastair Niven in 1994, Erica Wagner in 2002 and AC Grayling in 2003.

The judges’ mission remains the same as in previous years: to select the finest fiction of the year. Following her win in October 2013, Eleanor Catton said of the expansion of the prize: ‘I think it’s a really great thing that finally we’ve got a prize that is an English-language prize that doesn’t make a distinction towards writers who are writing from a particular country. If you’re writing in the English language, you’re considered alongside everybody else.’

AC Grayling comments on behalf of the judging panel:

'The Man Booker prize has become an even bigger entity this year, with all fiction in English published worldwide between October 2013 and October 2014 now joining the competition. The challenge for my fellow judges and me is an exciting one, and I'm delighted to have such an outstanding group of people to work with in this highly significant year for the prize. We welcome that challenge, and are now launching ourselves into it with relish.'

The judges will read submissions both in hard copy and using iPad Airs, donated by Apple.

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in late July 2014 and the shortlist of six books in early September 2014. The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on 14 October 2014, at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, broadcast live by the BBC.

2014 is the 46th year of the prize, which was launched in 1969. The 2013 winner, Eleanor Catton, made history as the youngest author to win the prize, at 28, with her novel The Luminaries and has since gone on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and was recently honoured as Woman of the Year by New Zealand’s M2 Magazine. The Luminaries has already been reprinted seven times in the UK alone.


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Four Colman Getty on 020 3697 4200

Amy Barder

Katy MacMillan-Scott


The Man Booker Prize 2014 Judges

A C Grayling (Chair) is a philosopher and writer. He is Master of the New College of the Humanities and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. Previously he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over 30 books on philosophy and other subjects; most recently The God Argument and The Good Book. He writes the Thinking Read column for the Barnes and Noble Review in New York; is the Editor of Online Review London, and a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to a number of publications and BBC radio shows. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Jonathan Bate is Provost of Worcester College and Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. His many books include The Genius of Shakespeare and John Clare: A Biography, which won the Hawthornden Prize for Literature and the James Tait Black Prize for Biography. He was consultant curator for the British Museum’s London 2012 exhibition Shakespeare Staging the World. His one-man play for Simon Callow, Being Shakespeare, has been staged to sell-out audiences in Edinburgh, the West End, New York, Chicago, Trieste and on tour throughout the UK. He has also written a novel, The Cure for Love. He has a CBE and is Vice-President of the British Academy.

Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at UEA. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, and co-editor of Must Read: Rediscovering the Bestseller. She has written for numerous publications including, the GuardianNew Statesman, Financial Times, TLS and Sunday Times and comments regularly on culture and politics for TV and radio.  She has judged several literary prizes, including the Women's (Orange) Prize for Fiction and the David Cohen Prize for Literature.

Dr Alastair Niven is a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. He was Director-General of the Africa Centre in London for six years. He then became Director of Literature at the Arts Council of Great Britain, later Arts Council England, from 1987 to 1997, and was Director of Literature at the British Council from 1997 to 2001; a unique double. He was President of English PEN from 2003 to 2007 and is currently Chairman of the Board of The Annual Register. He also chairs Border Crossings, a company promoting the arts across frontiers. He has written widely about post-colonial literature, as well as two books about D.H. Lawrence. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 and this year The Queen personally appointed him a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order. 

Dr Daniel Glaser is a neuroscientist who has worked for many years promoting public engagement with science. He is the first pure scientist to be a Man Booker judge. He is Director of Science Gallery London at King’s College London, a new space where art and science collide to be constructed opposite the Shard. Previously he was Head of Engaging Science at Wellcome Trust, commissioning and funding public engagement and arts projects. In 2002 he was appointed 'Scientist in Residence' at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and in 2005 received a Cultural Leadership Award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). He has presented and contributed to numerous BBC television and radio programmes. 

Erica Wagner is an author and journalist. Born in New York, she now lives in London. She is author of a number of books: Gravity, a collection of short stories; Ariel’s Gift, a book about Ted Hughes’s Birthday Letter and a novel, Seizure. She is Eccles British Library Writer in Residence for 2014 and is working on a new book: The Chief Engineer, A Biography of Washington Roebling, the Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge, which will be published in the US and the UK by Bloomsbury. She was for many years Literary Editor of The Times and writes for the Economist, Financial Times and New York Times, among other publications. She has been a judge for the Orange Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Forward Prize and the Paris Literary Prize.

Notes to Editors

  • Photographs of the 2014 panel are available from Four Colman Getty

  • UK publishers may submit novels written in the English language and published in the UK between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014. The number of books a publisher can submit will depend on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists over the previous five years, as follows:

  • 1 submission - publishers with no longlistings

  • 2 submissions - publishers with 1 or 2 longlisting(s)

  • 3 submissions - publishers with 3 or 4 longlistings

  • 4 submissions - publishers with 5 or more longlistings


This means that the number of submissions for each publisher may change year on year. The rule which allows submission of any new title by an author who has previously been shortlisted for the Booker (pre 2002) or Man Booker Prize remains

  • 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 aspects of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin (Chair) Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation; Richard Cable- publisher, Random House; Mark Chilton- Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc;

Basil Comely - BBC TV; James Daunt-  Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas- Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson - writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Derek Johns- literary agent; Peter Kemp- Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Nigel Newton- publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco- literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Emmanuel Roman- Chief Executive, Man; Eve Smith- Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; 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: Jonathan Taylor CBE – Chair, former Chairman of Booker plc; Lord Baker of Dorking CH; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Victoria Glendinning CBE – biographer; Sir Ronald Harwood CBE- playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund; Baroness Kennedy QC- former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Sir Andrew Motion - Professor of Creative Writing, Royal Holloway College University of London and former Poet Laureate; James Naughtie- broadcaster; Christopher Pearce - former Finance Director of Rentokil plc. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents

  • Man is an established alternative investment management business. It has expertise in a wide range of liquid investment styles including managed futures, equity, credit and convertibles, emerging markets, global macro and multi-manager, combined with strong product structuring, distribution and client service capabilities. At 30 September 2013, Man managed $52.5 billion.

The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index with a market capitalisation of around £ 1.5 billion. Man is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at

  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide.  It serves over 350,000 independent businesses