The judging panel for the Guardian First Book Award 2009, presented in association with Waterstone s, has been announced.
It comprises Claire Armitstead, Guardian Literary Editor, BBC presenter Martha Kearney, poet and novelist Tobias Hill, author Nadeem Aslam, philosopher and author John Gray, Guardian Deputy Editor Katharine Viner, and Waterstone's Stuart Broom, who will represent the views of Waterstone's reading groups.
Now in its eleventh year, the Guardian First Book Award is unique amongst book prizes for rewarding new writing across both fiction and non-fiction, and for being judged by both a celebrity panel and by readers from Waterstone's book groups. The bookseller has this year recruited five groups, each of which will read the 10 long-listed books to help the judging panel decide the shortlist of five.
Armitstead, who will chair the panel, said: The closing date for entries for the 2009 First Book Award has now passed, and we re really excited about this year's selection. There have been more entries than ever before and the standard is as ever - very high.
The Award carries a purse of £10,000, plus an advertising package in the Guardian and the Observer for an author's rst book published in 2009. The long list will be announced at the end of August, the shortlist in November and the overall winner in December.