2021 judges

The judges of the 2021 prize were...

Ellah Wakatama is Editor-at-Large at Canongate Books. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, and was the founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press. She is chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing and she served on the judging panel of the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award and the 2015 Man Booker Prize. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for services to the publishing industry, and in 2019 was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Rukhsana Yasmin is Associate Agent at The Good Literary Agency. She is building an eclectic non-fiction list and seeking strong voices in fiction. She has worked at award-winning publishers Saqi Books, Profile Books and Jacaranda. In 2012 she was awarded The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing and is a Bookseller Rising Star. She is a trustee of The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. She has a degree in physics and is looking for the best science writing. In between agenting, she is bringing up two unruly teenagers and developing her own writing projects.

Alice Vincent is Features Editor at Penguin Books. After teaching herself to garden in 2014, Alice started to share her adventures in urban gardening through Noughticulture, a newsletter and Instagram account, as well as in a column for the Telegraph. She has since written for Gardener’s World and Gardens Illustrated, appeared on Gardeners’ Question Time, collaborated with Hunter, Finery, Monsoon and Seedlip, among others, and hosts workshops and a YouTube channel for Patch Plants. She is the author of How To Grow Stuff and Rootbound, which was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize.

Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author, environmental historian, and winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, and the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award. She is the author of two books of nature writing: Turning and Two Trees Make a Forest. She has a PhD in Environmental History and Aesthetics and was Writer-in-Residence at the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology in Berlin from 2017–18. Jessica is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review and a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

Adrian Cooper is editorial director and co-founder of Little Toller Books, where over the last decade he has established a library of classic books on landscape, place and natural history alongside an innovative list of new and debut nature writing by authors including Tim Dee, Oliver Rackham, Fiona Sampson, JC Niala, Davina Quinlivan, Iain Sinclair, Richard Mabey, John Burnside, Jay Griffiths, Neil Ansell, Dara McAnulty, Paul Kingsnorth, Alexandra Harris, Peter Marren, Adam Thorpe, Jeff Young, Pamela Petro, Simon Moreton and Ken Worpole. He was born in Nairobi, Kenya, before moving to the UK where he became a youth-worker and film-maker, producing and directing work for Channel 4, BBC Films and the BFI. He is also and the executive director of the arts and environmental charity Common Ground.