Julia Eccleshare (Chair)
Julia Eccleshare is the children’s director of the Hay Festival and head of Public Lending Right policy and advocacy and a regular contributor to Radio 4’s Front Row and Open Book programmes. Julia is the Chair of the Judging Panel.
Brenda was born in Vancouver but grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After graduating from university with a B A and B ED, she taught in St.Louis, Mo. while studying for an MA in librarianship. She moved with her husband in 1972 to London and joined Puffins working with the legendary Kaye Webb. She worked at Penguins for seven years starting by helping in the Puffin club, and eventually becoming an assistant editor in the hardback children’s side, then called Kestrels. In 1979 she became a commissioning editor for the children’s section of W H Allen. After a spell with E J Arnold setting up a children’s list, she went out on her own in 1983, setting up Piccadilly Press. Piccadilly Press survived and even flourished at times for 30 years! In 2013 she sold it to Bonnier and worked through the transition for over two years retiring in July 2015.
She was co-chair of the Children’s Book Circle in the eighties, a committee member of IPG from the late nineties until 2010, and won the Pandora Award in 1999 for supporting women in publishing. Piccadilly won the IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year Award in 2009.
Elizabeth works for Wokingham Borough Libraries, as a Reader Development Officer for Young People and Families. Her role lets her interact with children of all age ranges. Being creative and inventive with books and sharing stories is at the heart of all of this and knowing what authors, series and genres to read and recommend to children and adults alike is essential. ··She had the privilege of being a Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Judge for two years and loved discovering new and exciting stories to share with children. She’s looking forward to judging for The Branford Boase Award ·and having an excuse to read even more books can never be a bad thing!
Horatio Clare’s·first book,·Running for the Hills, an acclaimed account of a Welsh childhood, won a Somerset Maugham Award, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and saw Horatio shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. His subsequent books include·Truant, A Single Swallow·(shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year),·The Prince’s Pen and the best-selling travelogue,·Down to the Sea in Ships (winner of the Stanford·Dolman Travel Book of the Year).·His essays and reviews appear regularly in the national press and on BBC radio.
Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, was awarded the Branford Boase Award 2016.
Joanna Halpin is the Manager of the Trafalgar Square branch of Waterstones and was born in Ireland but grew up in London. She is very proud of the fact that she was the first child to borrow ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl from her local library and that began her life long love of books and places that house books. Being Irish in an inner city school in the 1980s made her a bit of an outsider and she always found sanctuary in reading. She has been working in bookshops for 18 years, specialising in children's books, and now managing Trafalgar Square Waterstones, possibly her favourite place on earth! She finally got round to getting a degree with the Open University aged 34 and she passionately believe in literacy changing peoples lives.