Today the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize judging panel is announced. BBC Radio 4 presenter and chair Martha Kearney, is joined by fellow BBC presenter, professor and author Shahidha Bari, editor and novelist Simon Ings, New Statesmen writer Leo Robson, New York Times editor Max Strasser and journalist and author Bee Wilson.
Martha Kearney said:
‘It’s a time when books have become our companions more than ever before. I’m looking forward to welcoming the treasures of UK non-fiction into my home and celebrating them (at a safe distance) through the Baillie Gifford prize.’
The announcement coincides with the opening of submissions for this year’s prize. Publishers have until 1 June 2020 to enter up to three non-fiction books per imprint with publication dates between 1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020.
Prize Director Toby Mundy said:
‘With all that that’s happening in the world, the role of non-fiction writers is more critical than ever to enable us to separate fact from fiction; and genuine explanation from mere opinion. We’re very grateful Martha Kearney for agreeing to chair our award this year. She and her stellar collection of judges will once again have the task of selecting the best of this year’s non-fiction from another hugely diverse range of submissions.’
The winner of the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction will be announced on Thursday 19 November at an awards dinner generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The longlist will be announced in September followed by the shortlist in October.
The prize aims to recognise and reward the very best in high quality non-fiction, and is open to books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. Authors of any nationality whose work is published in the UK in English in any given year, are eligible.