2025 International Booker Prize announces star-studded judging panel

The 2025 International Booker Prize, the world’s premier award for a single work of translated fiction, has unveiled its distinguished panel of judges. 

According to the prize’s website: https://thebookerprizes.com this year’s selection committee is led by Max Porter, a bestselling author who was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He is joined by an eclectic mix of literary and artistic talents: the prize-winning poet, director, and photographer Caleb Femi; the writer and Publishing Director of Wasafiri, Sana Goyal; the Booker Prize-shortlisted translator Anton Hur; and the acclaimed singer-songwriter Beth Orton.

Max Porter, who chairs the panel, brings a wealth of experience from his literary career. Porter’s debut novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, garnered several prestigious awards and critical acclaim, while his subsequent works, such as Lanny and Shy, have solidified his reputation as a significant voice in contemporary fiction. His passion for literature, particularly translated works, is evident. “Translation is a radical practice, ever more important in a polarised world,” Porter states, underscoring the prize’s mission to celebrate the intricate craft of translation and its impact on cultural exchange.

Joining Porter, Caleb Femi is a multifaceted artist whose debut poetry collection, Poor, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2021 and has been praised for its raw portrayal of urban youth culture. Femi’s work extends beyond poetry, having directed for major platforms like HBO and Netflix and collaborated with high-profile brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior. His diverse artistic background promises to bring a unique perspective to the judging process.

Sana Goyal, with her extensive experience in literary publishing and criticism, adds another layer of depth to the panel. As the Editor and Publishing Director of Wasafiri, Goyal has been at the forefront of promoting global literary voices. Her scholarly background in postcolonial studies and literary prizes positions her as a key asset in evaluating the nuanced narratives that the prize aims to highlight.

Anton Hur, celebrated for his translation of Cursed Bunny and Love in the Big City, brings an insider’s perspective on the translation process. Hur’s expertise is further validated by his historic double-longlisting for the International Booker Prize in 2022. His dual career as a translator and novelist ensures a deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs inherent in bringing stories across linguistic boundaries.

Rounding out the panel is Beth Orton, whose lyrical prowess as a singer-songwriter has earned her BRIT Awards and multiple Mercury Prize nominations. Orton’s integration of music and words provides a fresh lens through which to appreciate the rhythmic and melodic qualities of translated fiction.

Publishers are now invited to submit their works for consideration. The judges will be seeking the best long-form fiction or short story collections translated into English and published in the UK and/or Ireland between May 1, 2024, and April 30, 2025. The prize, which splits its £50,000 equally between the author and translator, recognises the symbiotic relationship between the two.

The longlist of 12 or 13 books will be revealed on February 25, 2025, followed by the shortlist of six books on April 8, 2025. The winning title will be announced at a grand ceremony at London’s Tate Modern on May 20, 2025.

Fiammetta Rocco, the prize administrator, emphasises the judges’ multidisciplinary expertise, stating, “Their deep expertise, along with their critical judgement as readers and writers, will be vitally important in the private reading and communal judging discussions that will be held over the coming months.”

  • Featured image: Max Porter/thebookseller.com


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