On Tuesday 2 February 2010, the judges for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2010 were announced. Acclaimed author and journalist Elizabeth Buchan was named as Chair of the panel of judges and was joined by William Skidelsky, Literary Editor of The Observer, and leading independent bookseller James Daunt, founder of Daunt Books.
Elizabeth Buchan, a former publisher, commented: “What a fabulous prize this is… in a typically far-sighted and generous gesture, Desmond Elliot has given us the opportunity to seek out the best of emerging talent and to pay it its due. Nurturing new writers is always necessary but, in financially uncertain times, it is vital.”
About the judges
Elizabeth Buchan (Chair) began her career as a blurb writer for Penguin Books. She later became a fiction editor at Random House but decided after a couple of years that she should do what she wished to do: write. Her novels include Daughters of the Storm, Light of the Moon, Consider the Lily and the bestselling Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman, which has sold all over the world and has been made into a television film for CBS. Her latest novel is Separate Beds, to be published in 2010, a story of a family’s renegotiation of their relationships after the credit crunch has hit them.
Her short stories have appeared in various magazines and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and she reviews for the Sunday Times. She had also chaired the Betty Trask prize and been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) book awards.
William Skidelsky is books editor of the Observer. Before that he was deputy editor of Prospect magazine and, before that, literary editor of the New Statesman. Aside from books, he writes about sport and food and he is the author of a guide book, Gourmet London.
James Daunt opened Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street, London in 1990. He has subsequently opened a further four bookshops in central London. He remains very much a shop floor bookseller. James has also judged The Ondatjee Prize and The Whitbread First Novel Award. He is aged 46 and is married with two daughters.