Elif Shafak to chair the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the prize rewards exceptional works of literature that illuminate the many ways that health, medicine and illness touch our lives.

Award-winning author Elif Shafak has been announced as chair of judges for the Wellcome Book Prize 2019.

Elif is joined on the panel by Kevin Fong, consultant anaesthetist at University College London Hospitals; Viv Groskop, writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian; Jon Day, writer, critic, and academic; and Rick Edwards, broadcaster and author.

Elif Shafak commented on behalf of the judging panel:

“I have long admired the unique ways in which the Wellcome Book Prize explores the complexity of what it means to be a human in a fast-changing world, and expands our understanding of medicine, health and illness through the universality of literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I feel deeply honoured to have been asked to chair the 10th anniversary of the prize in 2019, and I look forward to joining my distinguished fellow judges as we immerse ourselves within this year's submissions.”

Kirty Topiwala, publisher at Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Book Prize manager, said:

“We’re delighted with the tremendous line up of judges we have assembled for this special anniversary year. They bring an incredible range of insight and experience and I know they will choose some fantastic and surprising books!”

The Wellcome Book Prize timetable

  • Judging panel announced

  • Longlist announced

  • Shortlist announced

  • Winner announced