Posted on 26th October 2012

Posted by Sophie

Judging Panel for Fiction Uncovered 2013 Announced

Fiction Uncovered announces its 2013 judging panel today (Friday 26th October). Supported by Arts Council England and funded by National Lottery, Fiction Uncovered celebrates the best of contemporary British fiction through its website, an annual retail promotion, author events, and its pop-up radio station, Fiction Uncovered FM.

The eight titles for the third annual Fiction Uncovered promotion will be selected by a judging panel chaired by novelist Louise Doughty. The 2013 judging panel will include Sandeep Mahal, Programme Manager at the Reading Agency, Lynne Hatwell, aka influential blogger dovegreyreader, and writer Courttia Newland.

The Fiction Uncovered promotion creates an annual opportunity for eight British fiction writers (novels, short stories, graphic novels) to be part of a major summer promotion supported by a wide network of partnerships.

Chair of the 2013 judging panel, Louise Doughty, today said:

“There has never been a better time for a promotion such as Fiction Uncovered, helping readers to discover the best British authors they may not have heard of yet. For many good writers, there is often a lull between between the sparkling debut and established bestseller status. Fiction Uncovered aims to push to the fore eight exciting authors, recognising and celebrating their talent as they go on to produce the great works for which they may one day be renowned.”

About Louise Doughty (Chair):
Louise Doughty is the author of six novels, most recently Whatever You Love, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.  She has won awards for radio drama and short stories, along with publishing one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her hugely popular newspaper column.  She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC. She has judged many literary awards over the years, particularly those for new and emerging writers such as the Asham Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award.  She has previously chaired two judging panels, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Orange Award for New Writers and was a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. Her new novel, Apple Tree Yard, will be published by Faber & Faber in June 2013.

About the Judging Panel:

About Sandeep Mahal

Sandeep leads The Reading Agency’s partnership work to link publishers and libraries up better. Reading Partners was set up in 2004 with 5 publishers. Today, the scheme is hugely flourishing with 40 publishers now involved and is part of a bigger drive to turn libraries into social, community hubs for reading. Always seeking to widen The Reading Agency’s partnership net to spread reading, Sandeep is interested in working with anyone passionate about building new audiences for reading and stronger library partnerships. In 2006, she was chosen as one of the top 10 Young Librarians of the Future, named Events Manager of the Year at the Publisher’s Publicity Circle awards and The Bookseller’s ‘Rising Star’ in 2012.

About Lynne Hatwell

Lynne Hatwell has worked as a health visitor for thirty five years and in that time also gained a degree in English Literature from the Open University. She has been writing her literary blog dovegreyreader scribbles for the last six years from her home in the Tamar Valley in Devon attracting a worldwide audience of readers who share her lifelong passion and enthusiasm for books whilst exploring a wide range of reading tastes. Lynne is a regular contributor to The Reader magazine and also brings the blog to life each year with author interviews in the dovegreyreader tent at Port Eliot Festival, as well as speaking at other literary events around the country.

About Courttia Newland:

Courttia Newland’s first novel, The Scholar, was published in 1997. Further critically acclaimed work includes Society Within (1999) and Snakeskin (2002), The Dying Wish (2006), Music for the Off-Key (2006), and A Book of Blues (2011). He is co-editor of IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (2000) and has short stories featured in many anthologies. His career has encompassed both screen and playwriting; plays include B is for Black, and an adaptation of Euripedes Women of Troy. He was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, the Alfred Fagon Award, the Frank O’ Conner Award and The Edge Hill Prize 2012. His latest anthology, co-edited with Monique Roffey, is Tell Tales 4: The Global Village (2009). A forthcoming novel, The Gospel According to Cane, will be published by Akashic Books in February 2013.

The eight Fiction Uncovered titles go on to be part of a summer promotion supported by retailers which last included Foyles, Waterstones, Daunt, iBookstore and independent bookstores across the UK.  The selection is also promoted via a partnership with The Reading Agency reaching libraries and reading groups. In 2012 Foyles Charing Cross Road hosted the inaugural Fiction Uncovered FM, a pop-up FM radio station which attracted over 10,000 listeners over four days.

UK publishers are now invited to submit titles for consideration. This year Fiction Uncovered has introduced a new sliding scale of contributions for publishers selected for the promotion to encourage a wider group of smaller publishers and presses to submit.

Details of Rules and Eligibility and Submissions Forms are available for download at:

The eight titles chosen for the 2012 promotion were:

  • Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke by Peter Benson, Alma Books
  • The Light of Amsterdam by David Park, Bloomsbury
  • This is Life by Dan Rhodes, Canongate
  • Hit and Run by Doug Johnstone, Faber and Faber
  • My Former Heart by Cressida Connolly, Fourth Estate
  • When Nights Were Cold by Susanna Jones, Mantle
  • Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson, Sceptre
  • Crushed Mexican Spiders by Tibor Fischer, Unbound

“The Mercury Prize for books, because it celebrates writers whom keen readers (and literary editors) might know about, and introduces some whom we probably don’t.”

Katy Guest, The Independent on Sunday

“Fiction Uncovered is one of the best run competitions I’ve served on. It is also, I think, uniquely well conceived.”

John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL Chair of Judges, Fiction Uncovered 2012

For more details about submitting titles for Fiction Uncovered 2013 please contact [email protected]


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