Judging the Man Booker Prize

LONDON — On the morning of Oct. 16, five judges will meet in a secret location here to decide the winner of the Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards.

They will have about eight hours to pick a winner from the six-strong shortlist, which includes Rachel Kushner’s “The Mars Room” and Esi Edugyan’s “Washington Black.” But the five — philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, crime writer Val McDermid, cultural critic Leo Robson, feminist writer Jacqueline Rose and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton — will have actually read 171 books over the last seven months to make their choice.

“We are paid, yes,” said Ms. McDermid when asked if she was compensated for such time-consuming work. “If you add up all the hours, I think it works out below minimum wage,” she added.

Why did she accept the offer to be a judge? For a simple reason: “Everyone said to me, ‘You have to do this. It’s an honor and you’ll enjoy it.’ They were right.”

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Broken Ground – Facebook Competition

Broken Ground

Broken Ground

There’s now just two weeks to go until BROKEN GROUND publishes in hardback and ebook! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to pre-order your copy.

Ahead of publication, we’re giving two lucky people the chance to win a proof copy of BROKEN GROUND! To enter, all you need to do is like and comment on this post with the name of the previous novel in the Karen Pirie series . . .

 Head over to Facebook to See more

Series: Karen Pirie
UK Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Literary agent: Gregory & Company
Published date UK: 23 August 2018
Expected US publication:  December 2018 by Atlantic Monthly Press


Waterstones U-turns over unbranded bookshop in Edinburgh

Waterstones has backtracked on plans to open one of its new unbranded stores in a district of Edinburgh that is already home to an independent bookshop – following an outcry that included criticism from figures including the Scottish novelist Val McDermid.

A shop will be opened in the Stockbridge area of the city but it will be clearly branded as Waterstones, according to the company’s managing director, James Daunt, who admitted: “We messed up.”

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Val McDermid