The Judges


The Judges for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2014 are:

  • CHRIS CLEAVE – author of global bestseller Gold
  • PATRICK NEALE – co-owner of Jaffe & Neale
  • ISABEL BERWICK – associate editor of Financial Times, Life & Arts

Best-selling author Chris Cleave will chair the judging panel for the “most prestigious award for first-time novelists” (Telegraph) in the UK and Ireland, The Desmond Elliott Prize.

Cleave, the latest in a line of notable writers to head up the panel, said: “The Desmond Elliott Prize has proved itself a serious and consistent award for the very best debuts in fiction. As British and Irish writing is in such first-rate health, I am expecting the reading to be exciting and the judging difficult. I’m delighted to be involved.”

Chairman of the Trustees, Dallas Manderson, said: “I know Desmond Elliott would share our pride as we welcome three such respected and experienced individuals to help us continue our work in championing home-grown writing talent.”

About the judges

Chris Cleave’s own debut novel, Incendiary, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His second, the Costa-shortlisted The Other Hand was both a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. His third, Gold, was global bestseller. His new novel is due for publication in 2014.

Isabel Berwick, associate editor of the Financial Times, Life & Arts, has worked on FT Weekend for the past eight years and been a journalist for over 20 years.

Patrick Neale has worked in the book trade since 1988 and has run his own bookshop, Jaffe and Neale, since 2001. In 2007 the bookshop was awarded The Independent Bookshop of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. Patrick is president of the Bookseller’s Association.