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The 2011 Judging Panel

Michael Rosen chaired the panel of five judges for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. He was joined by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, Professor Nigel Thrift, award winning author Jenny Uglow, Times Literary Editor Erica Wagner and writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster Baroness Lola Young.

Michael Rosen, Chair of The Warwick Prize for Writing Judging Panel

Michael Rosen is a writer, broadcaster, performer and Visiting Professor of Children's Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. He was the Children's Laureate 2007-2009 and has been writing books for children since 1974. He was born in Harrow, Middlesex in 1946, educated in state schools before studying at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School for a year. He moved on to Wadham College Oxford where he switched to English and finished there in 1969. He worked for three years at the BBC but since then has been a freelance writer, performer and teacher visiting schools all over the country doing what is in effect a one-man show, mixing poetry with songs, jokes and stories. He has just designed a Masters Course in Children's Literature for Birkbeck which he will convene, starting in October 2010. He has presented many radio shows and occasional TV programmes, and is the current presenter of BBC Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth'.

Michael Rosen copyright Lawrence Cendrowicz


Professor Nigel Thrift
Professor Nigel Thrift

Professor Nigel Thrift is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick. He joined Warwick from the University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005.

Since becoming Vice-Chancellor in 2006, Professor Thrift has launched an ambitious new strategy for Warwick’s future and has led the University in: implementing an extensive capital plan; achieving a 50% increase in research income; producing the highest ever annual philanthropic income in 2009; establishing high-profile partnerships and research collaborations with leading universities in the US, Australia, India, Asia and Europe; and rapidly increasing Warwick’s international profile through initiatives such as the Warwick Commission and the International Gateway for Gifted Youth.

Professor Thrift has also been instrumental in building on Warwick’s strong links with business and industry, both nationally and internationally, including Warwick’s leading role in the Birmingham Science City initiative.

Professor Thrift was born in Bath, educated at Aberystwyth and Bristol and is an international research figure in the field of geography. He continues to maintain an active research career alongside his role as Vice-Chancellor and has been the recipient of a number of distinguished academic awards including the Royal Geographical Society Victoria Medal for contributions to geographic research in 2003, Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers in 2007 and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society Gold Medal in 2008. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and received an Honorary LLD from the University of Bristol in 2010. He became a member of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission in 2010. His current research spans a broad range of interests, including international finance; cities and political life; non-representational theory; affective politics; and the history of time.


Jenny Uglow

Jenny Uglow is an Editorial Director of Chatto & Windus, part of random House. She is the author of several award-winning biographies of writers and artists and her most recent book is A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was created an OBE in 2007.

Jenny Uglow


Erica Wagner
Erica Wagner

Erica Wagner was born in New York City in 1967. She moved to Britain in the 1980s and now lives in London, where she works as Literary Editor of The Times.

Author of numerous stories and poems as broadcast on the radio and published in the TLS and PNReview, she is also the author of the collection of short stories Gravity (Granta), Ariel’s Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters (Faber & Faber) and the novel Seizure (Faber & Faber).

She now edits the Books pages which appear in the Saturday Review section of The Times, and writes a weekly column in that section, as well as reviews and articles. She reviews regularly for The New York Times, and also appears frequently on the radio and on television. She has judged many literary prizes including the Man Booker, the Orange Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Forward Prize.


Baroness Lola Young

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey was a professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, and is currently a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster. She also advises arts and cultural agencies and organisations on policy, diversity, leadership and strategic planning. Lola has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations including the South Bank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, and the Royal commission on Historical Manuscripts. She has been involved in a number of judging panels, including Chairing the Orange Prize for Literature. An Independent Cross Bench peer, Lola has been involved in promoting ethical, sustainable fashion. More recently, Baroness Young was appointed to the House of Lords EU Select Committee, and as Chair of its Social Policies and Consumer Protection sub-committee.

Baroness Lola Young