The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is pleased to announce its 2021 judging panel.

Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is an award-winning writer, publisher and festival director. She is the author of twenty books, including ten works of fiction. Her latest novel Jaipur Journals, published in 2020, is set against the backdrop of the vibrant Jaipur Literature Festival, of which Gokhale is a co-founder-director. Jaipur Journals will be published in the UK in Spring 2021 by HopeRoad Publishing. 

She is director of Yatra Books, a publishing house specialised in translation. Gokhale was conferred the Centenary National Award for Literature by the Assam Sahitya Sabha in Guwahati in 2017. Her novel Things to Leave Behind has won the Sushila Devi Literature Award in January 2019 and Valley of Words Book Award for the Best English Fiction. Follow her on Twitter @NamitaGokhale_
Namita is Chair of the Judging Panel.

Syima Aslam

Syima Aslam is the founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival (BLF), which she established in 2014. A 10-day literary and cultural celebration, BLF welcomes more than 70,000 visitors to Bradford annually and is celebrated as the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse literary festival in the UK. 

Under Syima’s directorship, BLF has made a significant impact on the country’s literary landscape, hailed as ‘one of the most innovative and inspirational festivals in the UK’, bringing together literature from all genres, promoting intercultural fluency, providing a platform for marginalised voices, and reflecting the changing face of contemporary Britain through a programme which celebrates diversity, empathy and artistic excellence.

Stephen Sexton (c) Michael Weir

Stephen Sexton’s first book, If All the World and Love Were Young was the winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2019 and the Shine / Strong Award for Best First Collection. He is the 2020 recipient of the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was the winner of the National Poetry Competition in 2016 and the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award in 2018. He teaches at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast. Follow him on Twitter @ssexton02 
[Photo Credit: Michael Weir]

Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels and a collection of short stories, The Dinner Party. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and was named one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers in 2010. He lives in New York.

Francesca Rhydderch

Francesca Rhydderch is a novelist and academic. In 2014, her debut novel The Rice Paper Diaries was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines and broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio Wales. She was the recipient of a BBC/Tŷ Newydd bursary in 2010, and in 2014 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. She subsequently co-edited Seren Books’ most recent fiction anthology New Welsh Short Stories with Penny Thomas, and has been Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Swansea University since 2015. [Photo Credit - Jake Morley]

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