First Novel Prize 2021 Judges

Two titans of the publishing world are judging the entries in the First Novel Prize 2021

Juliet Mushens, principal agent at Mushens Entertainment, is the panel’s literary agent.

Juliet started her publishing career in 2008 at HarperCollins, and became an agent in 2011. She has been shortlisted for Literary Agent of the Year four times and is currently the number 1 ranked UK dealmaker on Publishers’ Marketplace.

‘I am delighted to be judging First Novel Prize alongside Emad Akhtar. I’m looking forward to diving into the entries to discover exciting new voices – rich settings, gripping plots, and characters who feel ready to walk off the page.’

Juliet tweets at @mushenska

Emad Akhtar, publisher at Orion/Hachette UK, is the panel’s commissioning editor.

Emad joined Orion in March 2017 where he oversees band names such as Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Alex Michaelides and Steve Cavanagh, Josh Malerman.

‘I’m incredibly excited to work with Juliet to find amazing new writers and help them begin new journeys from their pages into the hearts and minds of readers around the world. Best of luck to everyone entering – looking forward to reading!’

Emad tweets at @orionbooks

Lorena Goldsmith, literary consultant at Daniel Goldsmith Associates, is the Prize Manager. Lorena will manage entries, check eligibility, liaise with the judges and answer any queries. If you have any queries, you can contact Lorena at or on 020 3667 7236 (Mon-Fri, 10am – 5pm GMT, standard charges apply).

Lorena tweets at @lorenaedits