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2015 Judging Panel

A L Kennedy chaired the panel of five judges for the 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing. She was joined by GP and author Gavin Francis, author and academic Robert Macfarlane, actress and director Fiona Shaw and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler.

Dr A L Kennedy, Chair of The Warwick Prize for Writing Judging Panel

A.L.Kennedy is the author of 15 books including six novels, six short story collections and three works of non-fiction. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Her most recent book 'All The Rage' – a collection of short stories – was published by Jonathan Cape in spring 2014. She is also a dramatist for the stage, radio, TV and film.

She writes for a number of UK and overseas publications aswell as The Guardian Online.

AL L Kennedy is an alumna and an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches on the Warwick Writing Programme.


Image: Campbell Mitchell


Dr Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis is a practising GP and the author of True North and Empire Antarctica; the latter was winner of Scottish Book of the Year 2013, and shortlisted for the Costa Prize and Ondaatje Prize.

He writes regularly for the Guardian and the London Review of Books and his next book, Adventures in Human Being will be released in May 2015.

Professor Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind (2003), The Wild Places (2007), The Old Ways (2012) and Holloway (2013). His books have won numerous prizes, been widely translated, and adapted for television and radio. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

In 2013 he chaired the jury for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction; the same year his book The Old Ways was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize.


Image: Angus Muir

Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw

Fiona Shaw is one of the most recognised actors of her generation, known for both her theatre work (Hedda Gabler, Medea, Mother Courage) and for her film work (Harry Potter series, Three Men and A Little Lady).

In addition to her highly praised acting work Fiona has recently directed Riders to the Sea, Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers and The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera, and The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne, which will also be revived for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin in November 2014.

Tony Wheeler

A trek across Asia on the ‘hippie trail’ of the early 1970s, after graduating from the University of Warwick, led Tony Wheeler to write the first Lonely Planet guide and the New York Times to describe him as ‘the trailblazing patron saint of the world’s backpackers and adventure travellers.’

Since departing Lonely Planet Tony has been involved with the Planet Wheeler Foundation’s work in South-East Asia and East Africa and Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas. Tony is also a director of Global Heritage Fund which works to protect and develop archaeological sites in the developing world.

His most recent book, Dark Lands, is a follow up to Bad Lands, his journey along George W Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ and assorted other bad countries.