News: Boakye, Fatimaharan and Thorpe revealed as guest judges for the FAB Prize 2023

Faber celebrated the opening of the 2023 FAB Prize for undiscovered writers and illustrators with a Faber Members FAB Prize alumni event last night featuring past winners and now published authors, Janelle McCurdy, Ravena Guron and Sarah Christou.

The first of its kind in the UK, and now in its seventh year, the FAB Prize aims to discover and showcase new talent from underrepresented backgrounds, closing the gap between what is currently published and the reality for many families.

Now that the prize is open, aspiring authors and illustrators can send in text or illustrations. The entries will be judged by Faber’s Publisher, Leah Thaxton, Curtis Brown Literary Agent, Davinia Andrew-Lynch, Faber Assistant Editor, Ama Badu, and Faber Children’s Art Director, Emma Eldridge.

This year’s guest judges include author, educator and broadcaster, Jeffrey Boakye, World Book Day illustrator and FAB Prize alumni, Allen Fatimaharan, and Ashley Thorpe, Senior Editor at Storymix, the inclusive fiction studio.

Alumni of the FAB Prize include many bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators such as Tọlá Okogwu, Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Kereen Getten, Ngadi Smart, Aisha Bushby, Varsha Shah, Michael Mann, Akhran Girmay and Hannah Lee. More than 150 books have now been published (or acquired by publishers) from FAB alumni.

Leah Thaxton, Publisher says: ‘For seven years now the FAB Prize has proved to be a game changer within our industry. From Rashmi Sirdeshpande to Allen Fatimaharan, the calibre of authors and illustrators championed year after year, is genuinely thrilling, along with the FAB community that grows up out of it.’

Ama Badu, Judge says: ‘The opening of the FAB Prize is always such an exciting time! In the past, we’ve seen exceptional entries go on to become published books. I can’t wait to see the talented writers and illustrators we come across this year.’

Jeffrey Boakye, Guest Judge says: ‘I’m delighted to be a guest judge on this year’s FAB Prize. It’s so important to widen the scope of representation in publishing and to this end, I’m proud to connect with Faber in this way. Having the chance to explore new talent and hear new voices is genuinely exciting and a real privilege. I look forward to being part of the panel and can’t wait to see what’s in store.’