Matt Haig the author of The Humans, described by the Independent as “Extraordinary”, will be chair judge for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.
Haig’s first novel The Last Family in England, about a pet dog Prince’s view of the secrets and dangers of family life, is being made into a film by Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B/Paramount. The paranormal story The Radleys was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and Shadow Forest, in which Martha disappears in the eponymous place populated by trolls, Truth Pixies, and a witch thief, has won numerous awards including both the Nestle/Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Haig became the Booktrust’s eighth online writer in residence, and his novels have been translated into 29 languages.
Haig said: “It is an honour to be chairing the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize for 2014, especially as this year it is actually offering hard cash to the winners, thanks to the support of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. The great thing about the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize is its focus, not only in that it solely features British writers, but also because it reaches the parts no other prizes reach, to go and shine a torch towards great writers who – for whatever reason – may have become hidden away in the literary shadows. We’re telling readers these writers are too good to ignore.”
The rest of the judges are Arifa Akbar literary editor of the Independent and former judge for the Orwell Prize for books, Greg Eden online content and social media manager at Waterstones, Sam Jordison organizer of the Guardian’s online book club and author of the Crap Towns series, and Julie Wharton trustee of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.