Discoveries Prize | Readers & Judges
Discoveries invites all unpublished women writers aged 18 and up, residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English, to submit their works of fiction to the Discoveries Prize. The prize doesn’t require writers to have finished a novel – only to have started one – and it is free to enter.
The prize will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction and entrants will be required to submit only the first 10,000 words of their novel with a synopsis.
Discoveries is now closed for entries. The longlist will be annouced in March/April 2021. Find out more.
The Discoveries Prize are proud to be working with the many talented publishing professionals that make-up our team of readers. Including publishers, editorial assistants, agents and agent assistants.
Our first and second round readers will select twenty-five novels to put forward to the judging panel. Then a longlist of sixteen and shortlist of six writers will be selected by a judging panel chaired by acclaimed author and Women’s Prize Founder Director Kate Mosse. She will be joined by author Abi Daré, literary agent Lucy Morris, Curtis Brown Creative Foundr and Director Anna Davis, and Director for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature Sandeep Mahal.
READERS & JUDGES
Kate Mosse, Author
Kate Mosse is the Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Kate is a number one international bestselling novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer. The author of six novels and short story collections – including the multimillion-selling Languedoc Trilogy (Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel) and Gothic fiction The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter, which she is adapting for the stage – her books have been translated into thirty-eight languages and published in more than forty countries. Kate is also the chair of the Discoveries judging panel.
Abi Daré, Author
Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied law at the University of Wolverhampton and has an M.Sc. in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University. Keen to improve her writing, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving a Distinction with an earlier version of The Girl With the Louding Voice. It went on to win the Bath Novel Award for emerging authors and to be a finalist in the Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition in 2018 before being published in 2020. An instant New York Times bestseller, it was subsequently shortlisted for the 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize and the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. Abi Daré lives in Essex with her husband and two children. Photography by @gazmadustudios
Anna Davis, CBC Founder & Director
Anna is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five acclaimed novels which have been published in twenty languages. She has been a journalist and Guardian columnist, as well as a Curtis Brown literary agent. She taught creative writing at the University of Manchester and in many other settings before founding Curtis Brown Creative in 2011.
Lucy Morris, Curtis Brown Agent
Lucy joined the Curtis Brown Books Department in September 2014 from Bloomsbury Publishing and us actively building a list of commercial and reading group fiction, narrative non-fiction and memoir. Her clients include CBC alumni Elizabeth Lee and Hazel Barkworth.
Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature
Passionate about equality, inclusion and empowering young people to build a better world with words, Sandeep Mahal is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She drives the city’s vision where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life. She is also Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network. Sandeep previously spent ten years in public libraries in Sandwell, in various roles, working as Race Equality Librarian, and later as Outreach Services Librarian. In addition to libraries, she has many years of experience in the UK publishing environment, transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network. In 2013, Sandeep was seconded as a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow to The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC. Sandeep has previously judged the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the Costa Prize First Novel Award. She is a trustee of Spread the Word and the Women’s Prize Trust.
Bea Carvalho, Waterstones
Bea Carvalho is the head fiction buyer at Waterstones. Based at the Piccadilly head office, she is responsible for the selection and promotion of new fiction titles for the chain’s 284 branches and website. She has been a part of the central buying team since 2011, initially working on non-fiction, and previously worked as a bookseller in Waterstones bookshops around London including Hampstead, Oxford Street, and The Economists’ Bookshop.
Ella Gordon, Wildfire Books
Ella Gordon is a senior commissioning editor at Wildfire Books, where she has worked since the imprint was set up in 2016; before that, she was a bookseller at Waterstones. Ella publishes agenda-setting, often issue-led narrative non-fiction, as well as fiction with an edge – whether it be exciting, experimental literary fiction or upmarket commercial novels with something interesting to say. Her list is broad and diverse; recent and upcoming highlights include White Ivy by Susie Yang, An Olive Grove Ends by Moses McKenzie and Mother Mother by Annie Macmanus on the fiction side, The Mind of a Murderer by Dr Richard Taylor and Down and Out by Daniel Lavelle on the non-fiction side. Next year she will also publish Long Island Compromise, Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s hotly anticipated follow-up to Women’s Prize longlisted Fleishman in in Trouble.
Millie Seaward, Dialogue Books
Millie Seaward began working in Publishing in 2013. She has worked in the Publicity department for a number of UK publishers including Cornerstone (Penguin Random House) and Headline (Hachette). She began working at Little, Brown Book Group in 2018 and specifically running the publicity for Dialogue Books, an inclusive imprint set up by Sharmaine Lovegrove. Dialogue Books shines a spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and Black, Asian and minority communities.. She recently won a PPC Quarterly Award for her campaign for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and was a Bookseller Rising Star for 2020.
Ore Agbaje-Williams, Borough Press
Ore Agbaje-Williams is a fiction and non-fiction editor at The Borough Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. She began her publishing career at Bloomsbury Publishing, before moving into the digital team at HarperCollins and then into Editorial, where she’s been for the past three years. Her upcoming projects include Is This Too Much?, a Lisa Taddeo meets Nora Ephron memoir about sex, dating and divorce by Laura Friedman Williams, The Unfortunates, a darkly funny campus novel about a black queer college student trying to keep her life together by J K Chukwu, and Wild Fires by Sophie Jai, winner of the BAME Open Submission she ran in 2019.
Jen Breslin, Penguin Random House
Jen started out in publishing in 2014 and has worked in many marketing departments across the industry including Orion and HarperCollins. She won a Book Marketing Society award for her work on Sharon Bolton’s The Craftsman campaign in 2019, and regularly speaks on the UCL publishing MA course. Jen is currently at Penguin Michael Joseph where she works across a variety of their fiction from commercial to literary, debuts to brand authors and everything in between.
Sophie Robinson, Titan Books
Sophie is an editor at Titan Books, where she commissions across crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy and horror. She began her publishing career at Allison & Busby Books in 2012, and then spent two years at Head of Zeus before joining Titan in 2019. Her recent projects include Wendy, Darling, a lush, feminist re-imagining of what happened to Wendy after Neverland and Confess to Me, a compulsive and scrupulously plotted thriller about infatuation and deadly homecomings.
Charlotte Brabbin, HarperFiction
Charlotte Brabbin is a fiction editor at HarperFiction, one of the commercial publishing divisions of HarperCollins UK. She began her career at Michael Joseph, Penguin, as an editorial assistant before moving to HarperFiction where she now commissions for the General Fiction list. Charlotte loves hooky, page-turning reads as well as thought-provoking reading group fiction. She has worked with authors including No.1 bestselling crime/thriller author Lucy Foley, Dawn O’Porter and Emma Gannon, whose fiction debut, Olive, released last year. Her upcoming projects include Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie, a rock and roll love story for fans of Daisy Jones and the Six, The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, an uplifting love letter to stories and the communities they create, and The Maid by Nita Prose, one of HC’s lead launches for 2022.
Karen McPherson, The Reading Agency
Karen McPherson spent a number of years working in public libraries, and is a passionate advocate for books and reading. She works with national charity The Reading Agency to shortlist the books selected for the Radio 2 Book Club, and has been a judge choosing the finalists for the children’s 500 Words competition for many years. In 2019, she was the logistics lead for the inaugural Comedy Women in Print Prize, helping promote funny female fiction, and was a judge for the Unpublished Comic Novels Prize. Alongside her work in the book world, she is also a Psychodynamic Counsellor-in-training, and a keen amateur mixologist.
Rose Goddard, Literature Consultant
Rose Goddard is an arts and literature consultant working with clients across the cultural sector, helping organisations to build resilience and develop their fundraising strategies. Until recently she was Prize Manager for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and now works with the Trust as a freelance bid-writer. Previously she ran the World Book Night and Quick Reads programmes at national charity The Reading Agency, and was an Assistant Editor for Penguin Classics and Particular Books. She’s a fan of Tudor history, house plants and brilliant writing by women.
Ansa Khan Khattak, Picador
Ansa Khan Khattak
Ansa Khan Khattak is a Commissioning Editor at Picador, publishing both literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. Her authors include Dima Alzayat, Lana Bastašić, Lucia Berlin, Wendy Erskine, Danielle Evans, Mary South, and Éric Vuillard.
Viola Hayden, Curtis Brown
Viola worked as a commissioning agent at Sphere before joining Curtis Brown as an associate agent in Jonny Geller’s Office. She works on Jonny’s list of clients as well as building a list of new clients.
Lisa Babalis, Curtis Brown
Lisa joined Curtis Brown in 2011 as Jonny Geller’s assistant, she now works as an editorial consultant to the book department at Curtis Brown. She is currently building her own children’s book list, with a special focus on middle grade and YA writers. She is looking for a strong narrative with great writing.
Norah Perkins, Curtis Brown
Norah is very proud to represent Curtis Brown’s historic clients, from modern classics to classic British crime, and from poetry and criticism to true-life adventure. She’s also building a list of living writers, and her taste spans international literary, historical and crime fiction, and non-fiction that has something smart and unusual to say about the world, particularly about food, landscapes and technology.
Jennifer Kerslake, CBC Senior Manager
Jennifer is Senior Manager for Courses and Operations at Curtis Brown Creative. She was previously an editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, the literary imprint of the Orion Publishing Group. In her time there, she worked with authors including Costa-shortlisted Elisa Lodato, Stella Prize-winning Heather Rose, Leila Aboulela, Francesca Jakobi, Chloë Mayer, Shannon Leone Fowler and Haleh Agar. She is passionate about nurturing new voices and excited to be part of CBC’s creative and dynamic team.
Becky Brown, Curtis Brown
Becky joined Curtis Brown in 2017 and is currently an agent working in the Curtis Brown Heritage team. In 2019 she was named one of the publishing industry’s ’30 under 30′ and longlisted for a Trailblazer award.
Ria Cagampang, CBC
Since graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2014, Ria has worked in an array of digital marketing roles. She spent just under five years working in Oxford University Press’ Educational division, marketing their online schools platforms, before joining the CBC team as Ecommerce Manager in 2020.
Katie Smart, CBC
Katie joined CBC as the Team Assistant in 2018 after completing an MA in English Literature, specialising in contemporary fiction. Katie is currently CBC’s Marketing and Content Executive and loves finding exciting ways to engage with writers.
Jess Molloy, Curtis Brown
Jess joined the Curtis Brown literary department in October 2019 having previously worked at Curtis Brown in the talent and comedy department and within talent management for over 8 years. She currently assists Cathryn Summerhayes with her brilliant and eclectic list.
Sarah Harvey, Curtis Brown
Sarah joined Curtis Brown in 2018, firstly as a maternity cover on the ICM list before moving over to work on the Curtis Brown UK list in 2019. Sarah has previously worked in translation rights at HarperCollins, Hachette, Quercus Books, and Pan Macmillan.
Niall Harman, Curtis Brown
Niall assists Gordon Wise on his phenomenal list of fiction and non-fiction titles. His reading tastes are quite broad and he enjoys accessible literary and book club fiction, ideally with a memorable hook.
Sabhbh Curran, Curtis Brown
Sabhbh currently assists Sheila Crowley with her wonderful list of clients while also building her own list across fiction and non-fiction. Before joining Curtis Brown in the summer of 2018, she worked with literary agents Sonia Land and Vivien Green. Sabhbh studied English at Oxford followed by a literature MPhil at Cambridge, specializing in Renaissance London Literature.
Ciara Finan, Curtis Brown
Ciara joined Curtis Brown after graduating with an MA in Literature and Publishing from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Ciara joined the Books Department as an intern and now she assists Jonny Geller with his list of exceptional clients.
Danni Georgiou, CBC
Danni joined CBC as Team Assistant in 2020, after spending the previous year supporting the agents at Curtis Brown Books and Tavistock Wood. Prior to this, she completed an MA in Professional Writing and a BA in Fine Art with Falmouth University.
Caitlin Leydon, Curtis Brown
Caitlin has worked with Karolina Sutton on her amazing list of authors since 2018. Prior to joining Curtis Brown she worked in editorial for an illustrated publisher.
Meredith Ford, C&W
Meredith joined C&W in 2018 initially as a translation rights intern before starting her role as Susan Armstrong and Sophie Lambert’s assistant. Prior to joining C&W she worked as an intern at Murdoch Books and Simon & Schuster.
Callum Mollison, Curtis Brown
After graduating from University College London, Callum completed internships at both John Murray (Hachette) and C&W, before joining Curtis Brown as a Translation Rights Executive in 2018. He works alongside Katie McGowan and handles rights in largely Central and Eastern European countries, such as Croatia, Hungary, and Russia, however, Callum also cover territories outside of this, including Greece, Israel, and Turkey.
Sophia Macaskill, Curtis Brown
Sophia started in publishing at Ed Victor Ltd. before joining Curtis Brown in 2018. She works alongside Alice Lutyens on her wonderful list of authors and has helped grow the Podcast Department since its inception in 2019.
Joanna Lee, Curtis Brown
Joanna Lee assists Karolina Sutton on her wonderful list of authors. Before joining Curtis Brown Joanna worked at Faber.
Jodi Fabbri, Curtis Brown
Originally from Kansas, after attending Eastern Michigan University for Creative Writing, Jodi moved to the Czech Republic to teach English as a Second Language. She began working in publishing in London with an editorial internship in 2015, followed by a literary scouting internship and an agent’s assistant position. Jodi joined Curtis Brown as a translation rights executive in September 2018. She works alongside Melissa Pimentel (currently on sabbatical covered by Sarah Harvey) on Curtis Brown titles, and Sophie Baker on Curtis Brown, Gelfman Schneider / ICM, ICM and ICM / Sagalyn titles.
Jack Hadley, CBC
After completing an MA in Victorian Literature in 2014, Jack worked as a reader and researcher at film/TV production company The Imaginarium Studios in Ealing, before joining the CBC team in September 2016 as an editorial and administrative assistant. He was promoted to Courses Manager in 2018. Also a keen musician and songwriter, he can often be found frequenting singer-songwriter nights in Farringdon. He is proud to work alongside the many talented students and superb tutors who are the beating heart of Curtis Brown Creative.
Anna Weguelin, Curtis Brown
After studying Classics at Cambridge, Anna worked for several years at Tavistock Wood before working directly with two actors, developing her understanding of the film/TV world. Anna joined Curtis Brown in 2019 and currently assists Luke Speed in his role as Media Rights agent. Anna loves working in this niche between books and film/TV and reading the work of so many brilliant authors from across Curtis Brown and C&W.
Peppa Mignone, Curtis Brown
Originally from South Australia, Peppa attended Flinders University in Adelaide to study English Literature. She moved to London in 2019 where she began working in publishing as a Translation Rights Intern at Curtis Brown. Now she works as a Translation Rights Executive also at Curtis Brown alongside Helen Manders on the ICM and ICM / Sagalyn lists.
Emily Harris, Curtis Brown
Following several summer stints selling tickets at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in 2016 Emily joined DAA Management as assistant to comedy agent Debi Allen and moved with her to Curtis Brown the following year. Now Emily assists Sheila Crowley on her wonderful list of fiction and non-fiction titles.
Hannah Beer, Curtis Brown
Hannah started her publishing career with internships at Granta and Pushkin Press, and worked in Foreign Rights at United Agents before coming to Curtis Brown in 2019.
Matilda Ayris, C&W
I’ve worked at C&W since 2017 where I am part of the translation rights team. I was born in London, but spent much of my childhood moving between the UK, Sweden and Hong Kong and am bilingual in English and Swedish. In 2017 I graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in American Literature and Creative Writing, having spent a year abroad studying at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. I read fairly widely, but some favourites include The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, The Expatriates by Janice Y K Lee, Heartburn by Norah Ephron and Samlade Verk by Lydia Sandgren.
Sophie O'Mahony, Curtis Brown
Sophie is part of the legal team at The Curtis Brown Group, having found her way there shortly after completing a Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course. When she is not busy negotiating contracts she enjoys reading an eclectic range of books, poems and short stories. Her draft novel Third Space came second in the 2019 Bridport Prize’s Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award.
Louise Emslie-Smith, Curtis Brown
Louise is part of the busy Contracts team at Curtis Brown and loves working alongside both CB and C&W agents and assistants on their exciting book deals. Louise studied at St. Andrews and then worked in Contracts at Penguin Random House and The Blair Partnership, before joining Curtis Brown in 2018.
Rosie Pierce, Curtis Brown
Rosie joined Curtis Brown in 2018, after a couple of years in editorial at an independent publisher in Edinburgh. She now works alongside Felicity Blunt on her list of talented authors.