Uli Lenart (Chair of the Judges)
Uli Lenart has worked in bookselling for over a decade and is passionate about LGBT literature and the health of the British independent book trade. He currently bears the rather comprehensive job title Events, Press and Online Development Manager at Gay’s the Word – the UK’s independent lesbian and gay bookshop, based in London’s Bloomsbury. Now at the shop for eight years– where he is also on the Board of Directors – it has been Uli’s mission to help secure Gay’s the Word future, in part, through a new web-sales platform. Uli has written literary articles and book reviews for numerous print and on-line publications and especially enjoys running author events. Coming from a background in Human Sciences and English and American Literature, Uli’s first love was for the theatre for which he has acted and directed.
Christopher Bryant is the editor and co-founder of Polari Magazine, which all began with a spark of an idea that came to him on a January day in 2007. He writes feature articles, opinion pieces, reviews, interviews – these have included the writer Gore Vidal and Tori Amos. Christopher has a PhD in Literature & History from the University of Edinburgh. He also has an MA in Contemporary Literature, and a BA in English & Related Literature, both from the University of York. After working in publishing, from Random House to Bloomsbury, he went freelance and started to experiment with online technologies. His favourite writers are Gore Vidal, Angela Carter, Percival Everett, P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Dickens and E.M. Forster. He also likes to read Shirley MacLaine’s memoirs for the guilty pleasure that comes from the unintentional comedy. He writes his own fiction, from short stories to television plays, but only a few of the stories have made it out into the wider world. He is also the author of the comic strip Media Ted.
Sarah Henshaw is the owner of floating literary emporium The Book Barge which has travelled the length and breadth, well as much as the canals will allow, of the country. Her book detailing its voyages, The Bookshop that Floated Away, is published by Constable & Robinson next Spring. She has previously worked as a journalist and copywriter. She is delighted to be joining the panel of judges as their ‘straight eye’ and being deluged in books.
Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Growing up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life, and a love of travel. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma) was published in July 2012 and has been shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize and Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst, was developed with support from the National Lottery through an Arts Council England grant. She currently divides her writing time, and affections, between Hackney and Hanoi.
Clayton Littlewood was born in Skegness, England, in 1963 and grew up in Weston-super-Mare. When he was in his teens he moved to London to join a band called Spongefinger. After being rejected by every record company in town he turned to pirate radio, hosting a comedy show where he posed as a 70-year-old female West Country aromatherapist called Doctor Bunty. This lead to an MA in Film & Television and writing comedy scripts. In his recent incarnations Clayton has been running the shop Dirty White Boy, writing the ‘Soho stories’ column for The London Paper and contributing regularly to BBC radio. His first book, Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho and was named the GT book of the year in (2009). In 2009 Clayton turned the book into a play and appeared on stage at the Trafalgar Studios in the London’s West End alongside actor David Benson and singer Maggie K de Monde. The play returned for an extended run in June 2010, Clayton again narrating alongside David and singer Alexis Gerred. Goodbye to Soho is his follow-up.
The judges are all available for interviews and/or write articles, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org