2024 Selfies judges announced

2024 Selfies judging panels announced

The judging line up for this year’s Selfies Book Awards, established by BookBrunch in 2018 to recognise the very best in self-publishing in the UK, have been announced.  The awards, which are sponsored by IngramSpark, are run in association with the London Book Fair, Nielsen BookScan and LitPR.

The judges for the inaugural year of a new general non-fiction category are New Writing North trustee Clare Harington, Helen Lewis of LitPR and Ben Hughes of IngramSpark.

Now in its fifth year, the judges for the children’s book category are Clare Somerville of Kingston University, Gareth Rapley of the London Book Fair and children’s book blogger Hannah Millington.

The adult fiction category, now in its sixth year, will be judged by Sophie Hicks of the Sophie Hicks Agency, author and publisher Toby Faber and Chris White of Nielsen BookScan.

The shortlists for this year’s Selfies Book Awards will be announced in February, and the winners will be revealed at an event in Author HQ at the London Book Fair on the afternoon of Tuesday, 12th March.  The winner in each category will receive a cheque for £750 and a profile in BookBrunch, while all shortlisted authors will have free access to the 2024 London Book Fair and Author HQ, together with a range of PR services and resources from LitPR.

Judges’ full biographies

Adult non-fiction judges

Clare Harington is currently a trustee of New Writing North. She has worked extensively in publishing, most recently as communications director at Hachette and Random House. She has also worked as publisher at Pan and marketing director at Penguin.

Helen Lewis, an award-winning publishing entrepreneur and former journalist, founded Literally PR in 2012. Since then, the team has expanded to 8 amazing women and they’ve worked on more than 650 campaigns. Helen is passionate about diversity, inclusion and equality, and spends a lot of time coaching indie authors to help them achieve long-term success. She is the co-founder of Hashtag Press and The Diverse Book Awards, alongside Abiola Bello, and reads 200+ books every year.

Ben Hughes has been the business development manager for IngramSpark in the UK since 2020. He now oversees the IngramSpark business outside of North America, specifically its UK and Australia markets, and is focused on attracting good quality content from authors in different countries all round the world. Ben previously worked for the Lightning Source part of the Ingram business and at Penguin Random House in various sales and operational roles.

Children’s book judges

Clare Somerville is a senior lecturer in the department of Journalism, Publishing and Media at Kingston University.  She has held board level positions within major UK publishing houses, including Hachette Children’s Group (where she was deputy MD and commercial director),  Harlequin Mills & Boon, Egmont and Reed Elsevier. She combines her education role with freelance consultancy within the publishing and not-for-profit sectors and is currently the COO of a charity promoting fitness and wellbeing for older people.

Gareth Rapley, director of the London Book Fair, has spent the last 13 years working for some of the largest conference and exhibition organisers. His career has seen him work as part of award-winning teams and events for audiences from 200 to 150,000 and across multiple industry sectors in both the private and public sector. Prior to joining the events industry he worked within media advertising for publishing directories and online platforms, which saw him take up roles ranging from administration through to sales leadership. He lived and worked in the Middle East for three and a half years, but since 2021 has been settled back in the U.K.  His biggest passion is sports, particularly football.

Hannah Millington did an MA in Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, studying under Michael Rosen and researching the readership of children’s books as well as learning how to write for children. She has been a volunteer judge and reviewer for the Little Rebels Book Awards, and is writing her first series of YA books. Most of her time is spent as a book blogger and reviewer at @libraryofhannah on instagram, where she posts book hauls, reviews, and more fun bookish content, as well as working at bookish events up and down the country such as YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), and the Cambridge Literature Festival.

Adult fiction judges

Sophie Hicks founded the Sophie Hicks Agency in 2014 after spending 25 years at Ed Victor Ltd, where she was managing director. Sophie’s authors have been New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers on both the children’s and adult lists, have been shortlisted for or won prizes such as the Costa Book Award, Carnegie Medal, Guardian Children’s Book Prize, British Book Award, Irish Book Award, and Waterstone’s Book of the Year and have been adapted into major feature films, translated into more than 40 languages and sold tens of millions of copies worldwide.

Toby Faber was a banker and management consultant before spending four years as managing director of the company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber. He remains on its Board and is chairman of its sister company, Faber Music, an Arts Society lecturer, and a director of Liverpool University Press. Toby has written three works of narrative non-fiction – Stradivarius (2004), described in The New York Times as ‘more earthy, enthralling and illuminating than any fiction could be’, Faberge’s Eggs (2008) and Faber & Faber: The Untold Story (2019) – and one novel, Close to the Edge (2019). Only one of those books (the obvious one) was published by Faber.

Chris White started working at Nielsen Book in 2018 as a reference data analyst before transitioning into the Testing & Integration team in 2019. He is now a senior testing & integration analyst, helping to coordinate testing across various projects as well as investigating and resolving data quality issues, working closely with publishers and suppliers. In addition, he is a mental health first aider across the Nielsen Stevenage and Woking offices.