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Royal Literary Fund Fellow to Judge Prestigious Writing Prize

Published: 2 May 2013

Southampton’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow James McConnachie will join classicist Mary Beard, human rights advocate Shami Chakrabarti, historian Peter Hennessy and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on the judging panel of this year’s Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

The Samuel Johnson Prize is the UK’s most significant award for non-fiction. Nominees write in a range of fields, from current affairs, history and politics, to science, sport, travel, and the arts.

James confesses that he’s ‘delighted, and only a little daunted’ by the tsunami of books that is heading his way. ‘My plan is to read the books on the longlist in much the same way that I read Southampton students’ essays: paying particularly close attention to the quality of the writing itself’.

In addition to teaching writing at Southampton, James is the author of numerous travel guides and reference books, and of a critically-acclaimed study of the Kamasutra, The Book of Love. He reviews non-fiction for The Sunday Times, edits The Author, and, as an agony uncle for Metro, dispenses weekly relationship advice to the nation’s commuters.

Southampton's Royal Literary Fund Fellow James McConnachie
James McConnachie

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