Sarah Hall is the author of five novels - Haweswater, The Electric Michelangelo, The Carhullan Army, How To Paint A Dead Man and The Wolf Border – as well as the short story collection The Beautiful Indifference, winner of the Portico Prize for Fiction and the Edge Hill short story prize. Her novels have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards, including the Man Booker Prize, the Prix Femina Etranger, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. The Carhullan Army was listed as one of The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade.
An honorary fellow of Aberystwyth University and a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Sarah tutors for the Faber Academy, The Guardian and the Arvon Foundation.
Kurt Heinzelman is a poet, translator, and scholar.
His most recent book of poems is Intimacies & Other Devices and he has translated Demarcations, a collection of poems by Jean Follain. He has been the Executive Curator at the Harry Ransom Center and the Director of Education at the Blanton Museum of Art.
A Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of Texas-Austin, he is also Editor-in-Chief of Texas Studies in Literature and Language (TSLL), and the co-founder and currently Advisory Editor of Bat City Review.
Phyllida Lloyd, CBE, is an award winning British director of stage and screen, including Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady.
Her theatrical works include: Josephine and I (Bush/Public Theater NY); Henry IV, Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse/St Ann’s Warehouse, NY); The Rime of The Ancient Mariner with Fiona Shaw, Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse, Apollo, and Broadway - Tony Nomination); Mamma Mia! (London, Broadway, Worldwide); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Duchess of Malfi, The Way of The World, Pericles (Royal National Theatre). Operatic works include: La Boheme, Medea, Carmen, Gloriana, Peter Grimes (Opera North); Macbeth (Paris/ROH); The Handmaid's Tale, The Carmelites, Verdi Requiem, Rheingold, Valkyrie, Siegfried, Twilight of The Gods (ENO). Phyllida was the 2006 Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Drama at St Catherine's College Oxford.
Kamila Shamsie is the author of six novels, translated into more than 25 languages, including A God in Every Stone (shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction) and Burnt Shadows (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction).
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and one of Granta’s ‘Best Young British Novelists’, she grew up in Karachi, and now lives in London.
Owen Sheers is a novelist, poet, and playwright and Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.
He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hill and the award-winning verse drama Pink Mist, while his non-fiction includes The Dust Diaries and Calon: A Journey to the Heart of Welsh Rugby. Twice winner of Welsh book of the Year Owen has written several plays including The Passion, Mametz and The Two Worlds of Charlie F., winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. He has been a NYPL Cullman Fellow, Artist in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union, and is an honorary life fellow of the IWA.
His latest novel, I Saw A Man (Faber, 2015) has been published across Europe and North America and is shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger.
Dai Smith is a distinguished historian and writer on Welsh arts and culture. He was Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan from 2001 until 2005 and is currently The Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University.
He was Chair of the Arts Council of Wales from 2006 to 2016, and is Series Editor of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Library of Wales for classic works. In 2013, he published a novel Dream On and in 2014 edited definitive anthologies of Welsh Short Stories, Story I & II, for the Library of Wales.
Professor Smith is Chair of the Judging Panel.