BookBrunch are delighted to announce 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. The awards are sponsored by IngramSpark and run in association with the London Book Fair and Nielsen Book.
Now in its fourth year, the adult fiction category is being judged by Anne Williams of the Kate Hordern Literary Agency, Emma Hopkin and Eleanor Pigg of Nielsen Book.
The judges for the children’s book category, now in its third year, are Vanessa Lewis of The Book Nook in Hove, Brenda Gardner and Jennie Marlow of the London Book Fair.
The judges for the second year of the memoir/autobiography category are Alan Staton of the BA, Alan Samson and Ben Hughes of IngramSpark.
The shortlists for this year’s Selfies Book Awards will be announced in March, and the winners will be revealed at an event at the London Book Fair in early April. 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 access to the 2022 London Book Fair’s author content.
The Selfies Book Awards are also run in the U.S. in association with BookLife/Publishers Weekly, with submissions for the 2022 awards (for adult fiction, children’s books and – new for 2022 – memoir/autobiography self-published in 2021) open until the 18th March: more information on the website.
Judges’ full biographies
Anne Williams is an Associate Agent at the Kate Hordern Literary Agency, working mainly in the areas of commercial women’s fiction and crime and thrillers. She represents a number of bestselling authors, including Kathryn Hughes, whose career started with her self-published novel THE LETTER and Julie Houston whose early novels were also self-published. Before becoming an agent, Anne worked for over fifteen years as a commissioning editor, first at Michael Joseph and then for thirteen years at Headline.
Emma Hopkin has worked in publishing for over 25 years; her early career was in sales and marketing before becoming Managing Director of Macmillan Children’s Books. Most recently she was Managing Director of Consumer Publishing at Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, where she managed the children’s and adult publishing businesses in both the UK and US. Now a publishing consultant, she has spent the last months at SJH Group advising on sales strategy. Passionate about reading and books, as a senior executive she has a track record of growing revenues and profits within trade publishing houses.
Eleanor Pigg started at Nielsen Book in 1999 as an Editorial Assistant looking after publishers such as Random House, Hodder & Stoughton, Scholastic and Butterworth-Heinemann. In 2006 she joined the UK & Ireland ISBN Agency as a Registration Services Advisor before becoming Manager in 2018. Eleanor also manages the SAN Agency allocating SAN identifiers to the book industry.
Vanessa Lewis is co owner of The Book Nook in Hove, a multi award winning, children’s specialist bookshop. As a member of the BA Children’s Bookselling Group and former member of the Children’s Laureate Steering Group, Vanessa has always been a keen promoter of children’s literature. Vanessa is an ex-teacher, passionate about children’s literature and is always on the lookout for exciting and inspiring books.
Brenda Gardner joined Puffin in the early 1970s, working with the legendary Kaye Webb, before setting up her own company, Piccadilly Press, in 1983. Flourishing for 30 years, the company was eventually sold to Bonnier. Involved in the first iteration of Women in Publishing, she was co-chair of the Children’s Book Circle, a committee member of IPG and won the Pandora Award in 1999 for supporting women working in publishing, while Piccadilly Press won the IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year Award in 2009. In her career she developed a number of top authors and illustrators including Louise Rennison, Colin & Jacqui Hawkins, Malorie Blackman, Anne Fine, Emma Chichester Clark, Cathy Hopkins, Jeanne Willis, Arthur Robins, Ros Asquith, Joanna Nadin, Tony Maddox, and Rosie Rushton. Since Brenda retired in 2015, she has judged the Branford Boase Award, been involved in a pilot project to introduce an online writing course and is a trustee for The Royal Literary Fund.
Jennie Marlow has worked within content marketing for over six years. She is now the Content Manager for The London Book Fair, writing, editing and delivering engaging content for the event. Before this, Jennie worked in various roles, from writing for an online magazine to freelancing for a publishing house.
Alan Samson was Chairman and Non-Fiction Publisher of Weidenfeld & Nicolson until August 2021, when he stepped down after 18 years in the Orion Publishing Group/Hachette. Prior to that he was an Editorial Director at Little,Brown, and previously worked for Macmillan and Michael Joseph. Among the many high-profile autobiographies and memoirs he has edited and published are those by Dame Julie Walters,Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Jule Andrews and Sir Sean Connery; LIFE by Keith Richards; the diaries of Sir Michael Palin, Tina Brown, Catherine Deneuve; Jane Birkin and Dame Joan Collins; the autobiographies of Arsene Wenger, John McEnroe and Roy Keane; and three volumes of memoir by the Reverend Richard Coles, including the 2021 bestelling THE MADNESS OF GRIEF.
Alan Staton has worked in the book industry for over 30 years and has a career-long commitment to high street bookselling. At Bertram Books he worked in product and sales marketing and buying, and since 2003 he has worked for the BA as Head of Marketing and Director Strategy & Communications. He has lived in Norfolk for 35 years, and particularly enjoys walking in the Norfolk countryside and along the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.
Ben Hughes has been the Business Development Manager for IngramSpark in the UK since 2020. In this role, he oversees all business relating to IngramSpark including the customer service team and developing services to meet the needs of authors in an ever-changing publishing landscape. With experience across physical and digital bookselling and publishing, Ben previously worked for the Lightning Source part of the Ingram business and at Penguin Random House in various sales and operational roles.