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Judges

Denise Mina

Denise Mina is the author of the Garnethill Trilogy (1998) Paddy Meehan novels and the Alex Morrow Series. Stand-alones include Sanctum (Deception in the US), Conviction, The Less Dead and The Long Drop.

Plays include Ida Tamson, A Drunk Woman Looks at the Thistle (hour long performance poem), Meet Me and an adaptation of Brecht’s Mr Puntila and His Man Matti for a co production between the Traverse, Citizens and Dot Theatre company of Istanbul. An improvised comedy series Group pilot premiered on BBC Scotland 2020.

Comics include a year-long run on Hellblazer, an original graphic novel A Sickness in the Family and an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy.

Literary prizes include the CWA Dagger for best first novel, CWA Dagger for short story of the year which she won twice, the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award in two consecutive years and the 2017 Gordon Burn and McIlvanney Prizes for The Long Drop and The Less Dead.

Conviction was a joint winner of the McIlvanney Prize 2019, a New York Times best seller and a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. She has been shortlisted for The Edgar, The CWA historical Dagger and short story dagger. In 2020 The Less Dead was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year.

She has served as a judge for the CWA, The Womens’ Prize for Fiction and the David Cohen Prize.

She has written for the New York Times, La Liberation, the Guardian and the Herald and is a regular contributor on radio and television.

I’m delighted to be serving as chair of the Gordon Burn Prize for my second and final year. This year’s panel of judges promise to bring fresh eyes and strong opinions to the exceptional remit of this joyous prize.

Jonathan Liew

Jonathan Liew is a sportswriter for the Guardian and a columnist for the New Statesman who was awarded the 2021 Sports Journalists’ Association prize for Sportswriter of the Year.

This is a hugely prestigious award with a long history of recognising the world’s leading writing talents. Personally, I can’t wait to begin reading the submissions and irritating my fellow judges with ill-chosen sporting metaphors.

Stuart Maconie

Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter, journalist, columnist and author. He is on BBC Radio 6 Music (with Mark Radcliffe) every weekend morning between 8 and 10am, and hosts The Freak Zone on Sunday nights.

His best-selling books include the smash hit Pies and Prejudice: In Search of The North; The Long Road From Jarrow; The People’s Songs and the recent The Nanny State Made Me, which came out in the first week of Lockdown 2020.

As someone who loves Gordon Burn’s work for its dark and unsettling intelligence, I am of course hugely flattered to be asked to judge this prize. But, with any award that bears his name, I am also very much looking forward to reading the books.

Photo © Country Walking Magazine

Heather Phillipson

Heather Phillipson’s audacious and wide-ranging practice spans video, sculpture, installation, music, poetry and online projects. She describes her works as ‘quantum thought experiments’.

Recent solo exhibitions include Tate Britain, London (2021-22), the Fourth Plinth commission, Trafalgar Square (2020-22), Almost Gone, an audio collage for BBC Radio 3 (2020), a major exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018) and a vast commission for Art on the Underground’s flagship site at Gloucester Road underground station (2018).

Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016 and the European Short Film Festival selection from the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018. She is also an award-winning poet, was named a Next Generation Poet in 2014 and has published three volumes of poetry.

Photo © Rory Van Millingen

Chitra Ramaswamy

Chitra Ramaswamy is a journalist and author. Her first book, Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy, published by Saraband in April 2016, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize.

Her second book, Homelands: The History of a Friendship, will be published by Canongate in April 2022. She has contributed essays to Antlers of Water, Nasty Women, The Freedom Papers, The Bi:ble and Message from the Skies.

She writes for the Guardian, is the restaurant critic for The Times (Scottish edition), and broadcasts for BBC radio. She lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two young children and rescue dog.

What a privilege to be a judge on such a forward-thinking, open-hearted, broad-minded and ambitious prize as the Gordon Burn. I cannot wait to get reading.

Past Judges

2021

DENISE MINA

DEREK OWUSU

IRENOSEN OKOJIE

SIAN CAIN

2020

ANTHONY ANAXAGOROU

RACHEL HOWARD

SALI HUGHES

RICHARD T KELLY

2019

AA DHAND

MIRANDA SAWYER

RACHEL UNTHANK

GARY HUME

2018

ALEX CLARK

ANDREW WEATHERALL

GILLIAN WEARING

KEI MILLER

2017

COSEY FANNI TUTTI

PETINA GAPPAH

ALLAN JENKINS

IAN SANSOM

2016

JENN ASHWORTH

WILLIAM BOYD

RACHEL COOKE

HARLAND MILLER

2015

MAXINE PEAKE

RODDY DOYLE

DOUG JOHNSTONE

GAVIN TURK

SUZANNE MOORE

2014

JOHN BURNSIDE

JULIAN BARRATT

SARAH LUCAS

BEN MYERS

2013

DAVID PEACE

DEBORAH ORR

MARK LAWSON