The Judges

The judges for the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize were best-selling author, Penny Vincenzi (who was the chair the panel of judges) and was joined by Tatler Editor, Geordie Greig and author and journalist Cristina Odone.

Penny Vincenzi, who was represented by Desmond Elliott, commented, “This prize is the perfect memorial to Desmond. He believed so passionately in supporting new writers, and bringing the very best of entertaining fiction to readers. It’s all extremely exciting, and we, the judges, feel we’re not just helping new writers, we’re discovering and enjoying some sparkling new fiction for ourselves.”

The judges

Penny Vincenzi (Chair) is the best-selling author of many novels, including No Angel, Something Dangerous, and Into Temptation. Before becoming a novelist, she worked as a journalist for Vogue, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan. As a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan Penny asked Jilly Cooper for advice on writing a novel whilst interviewing her for a magazine profile. Jilly put her in touch with her own agent, Desmond Elliott, who auctioned a synopsis of her first novel (then still unwritten). It was bought for £100,000.  Bestseller followed bestseller and after fifteen years as a novelist, Penny is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most popular writers. She is married with four daughters and four grandchildren and lives in London.

Geordie Greig is the editor of Tatler magazine. He attended Eton College and St Peter’s College, Oxford. Geordie worked for the South East London and Deptford Mercury newspaper, the Daily Mail and Sunday Today, before joining the Sunday Times in 1987. He became the editor of Tatler in 1999. Geordie is also known as a social commentator and discerner of trends in London society. He lives with his wife and three children in London.

Cristina Odone writes a column for The Guardian and The Observer and also regularly contributes to The Times.  She broadcasts widely, on radio and television, and is a former Deputy Editor of The New Statesman. Between 1990 and 1994 she edited The Catholic Herald. She has written two novels, The Shrine and The Perfect Wife. Born of an Italian father and a Swedish mother, Cristina has lived in Rome, Washington DC and Oxford. She now lives in west London with her husband and daughter.


judgesThe Judges – Penny Vincenzi (Chair), Geordie Greig, Cristina Odone