Meet our Discoveries judges

We’re delighted to announce our judging panel, chaired by author and founder of the Women’s Prize Kate Mosse. She will be joined by author Abi Daré; Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature Director Sandeep Mahal; Curtis Brown literary agent Lucy Morris; and founder and MD of Curtis Brown Creative writing school Anna Davis. They will select a longlist of 16 and a shortlist of 6 writers before selecting an overall winner. 

On Discoveries, Kate Mosse says: 

“I’m honoured to be Chairing the Discoveries panel – with such fantastic fellow judges – and can’t wait to start reading. Somewhere out there, our Women’s Prize winner of the future is considering whether to pick up her pen – to her I want to say: do it. We’re here to help you on your way. The Women’s Prize has always championed female writers to tell their own stories and make sure their voices are heard. Whether you’re 18 or 88, the beginning of one’s writing journey is a crucial time, so let us show you the way.”

Abi Daré’s first novel, The Girl with the Louding Voice, was shortlisted for the 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize. It won The Bath Novel Award in 2018 and was selected as a finalist in The Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition in 2018. Abi says:

“This is a crucial competition for these times, and with an ever increasing need for female voices to be heard, I feel very privileged, and honoured to be part of the judging panel for the Discoveries Prize. I am looking forward to reading and discussing entries that provoke, inspire and engage, in the hope of discovering and championing some new and incredible female talent.”

Passionate about equality, inclusion and empowering young people to build a better world with words, Sandeep Mahal is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She drives the city’s vision where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life. Sandy says:

“Discoveries is a pioneering programme. It will support and encourage the most talented new voices from a whole range of backgrounds and help make their work shine. I am honoured to have been asked to take on the role of judge, and I can’t wait to dive in and read the entries.”

Anna Davis is the founder and Managing Director of Curtis Brown Creative, the first and only creative writing school to be run by a literary agency.

Lucy Morris is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, where she is building a list of commercial and reading group fiction, narrative non-fiction and memoir. Lucy and Anna say:

“A brilliant writer can come from anywhere. She can be any age and of any background. Finding, supporting and developing emerging talent from first pages to long-term writing careers is at the very heart of both the Curtis Brown Literary Agency and the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Women’s Prize Trust and NatWest to champion regionality, inclusivity and accessibility with the launch of Discoveries.” 

Read a full interview with Kate here, discussing her own road to publication, her writing rituals, and writing advice for budding writers.