2023 Judging Panel

Jen Hadfield

Jen Hadfield lives in Shetland. Her first collection, Almanacs, won an Eric Gregory Award in 2003. Her second collection, Nigh-No-Place, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. She won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition in 2012. Her fourth collection The Stone Age, published by Picador in 2021, explores neurodiversity and won the 2021 Highland Book Prize. She is also working on a collection of essays about Shetland.

Cynan Jones

Cynan Jones is an acclaimed fiction writer from the west coast of Wales. His work has appeared in over twenty countries, and in journals and magazines including GrantaFreeman’s and The New Yorker. He has also written a screenplay for the hit crime drama Hinterland, a collection of tales for children, and a number of stories for BBC Radio. He has been longlisted and shortlisted for numerous awards, and won, among other prizes, the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award, and the BBC National Short Story Award. 

Peter Mackay / Pàdraig MacAoidh

Peter Mackay / Pàdraig MacAoidh is a poet, lecturer and broadcaster. He has two collections of poems, Nàdar De (Some Kind of, 2020) and Gu Leòr (Galore, 2015), published by Acair, and a pamphlet, From Another Island, with Clutag Press (2010). He writes in Gàidhlig and English, and his work has been translated into Czech, French, German, Irish, Occitan, Macedonian and Slovakian. His academic work includes This Strange Loneliness: Heaney’s Wordsworth (2021) and Sorley MacLean (2011); he is a Senior Lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews, and has been an AHRC / Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. 

’S e bàrd, craoladair agus oraidaiche a th’ann am Pàdraig MacAoidh. Tha dà leabhar bàrdachd aige, Gu Leòr (Acair 2015) agus Nàdar De (Acair 2020), agus pamflaid, From Another Island (Clutag, 2010). Bidh e a’ sgrìobhadh anns a’ Ghàidhlig agus a’ Bheurla, agus chaidh an obair aige eadar-theangachadh gu Beurla, Fraingis, Gaeilge, Gearmalitis, Masadonais, Ogsatainis, Seicis, agus Slòbhacais. Mar oraidiche tha e ag obair aig Oilthigh Chill Ribhinn, agus tha e air sgrìobhadh This Strange Loneliness: Heaney’s Wordsworth (2021) and Sorley MacLean (2011); tha e cuideachd na New Generation Thinker leis an AHRC / BBC Radio 3. 

Alex Ogilvie

Alex is a trustee of the Highland Society of London, and his particular focus within the Society is on promoting and supporting the arts in the Highlands of Scotland.

As well as presenting the Highland Book Prize, the Society provides funding to the University of the Highlands and Islands for a dissertation prize and sponsors the Fiction prize at the Gaelic Literature Awards.

Alex grew up near Fort William, the son of a Classics professor, in a house overflowing with books; since then, he has retained a love of both reading and the Highlands – and tries to combine both, wherever possible. He currently lives in the South of England and works for Warner Bros. International Television.

Alex is the non-voting Chair of the Highland Book Prize Judging Panel.