Hay Festival director to chair Man Booker Prize 2019

Hay Festival founder and director Peter Florence will chair the Man Booker Prize 2019, it has been announced today.

The judges include: former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch and pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor.

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: "The collective brainpower and creative spirit of this year’s panel is stunning, and the judges’ commitment to high quality literature boundless. I’m looking forward to seeing this varied group in action, and to hearing the ways in which their private reading will become a public act, bringing great books to the notice of others."

The judging panel will be looking for the best work of long-form fiction, selected from entries published in the UK between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019.

The 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner was Milkman by Anna Burns, published by Faber & Faber. In the week following the winner announcement, it posted the highest volume sales for any winner in the Nielsen BookScan era, selling nearly 19,000 copies, and has gone on to sell 350,000 copies in the UK since.

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in July 2019 and the shortlist of six books in early September. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced on October 2019 at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, broadcast live by the BBC.

Find out more here.