The 2011 Book Drum Tournament
First Prize (£1,000): Emily Gray
What the judges said: "Simply excellent - relevant, interesting and inventive, giving a real sense of someone very literate engaging with the book in a way that was both intelligent and quietly passionate."
Second Prize (£500): Gordon Knox
The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
What the judges said: "Clear, thoughtful and enticing, written with a brilliant understanding of the book - covering not only its strengths but also those elements that might present obstacles to readers. Genuinely exciting - it really makes you want to read the book."
Third Prize (£250): Johanna Trew
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
What the judges said: "An extraordinary achievement - informative, thoughtful and occasionally playful, impressive in scope and ambition. It's hard to take such a monumental subject without falling short, but the profile lived up to it, helping us see past the reputation to a book that is accessible and compelling."
Runner-up Prizes (£100 each)
Our immense thanks to the Judges:
Naomi Alderman (left) is the author of Disobedience (Penguin, 2007), winner of the Orange Award for New Writers and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. She writes for The Guardian, creates stories for online games, speaks regularly on national radio, and writes short fiction. In 2009 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, and she has been named one of Waterstones' 25 Writers for the Future. The Lessons (Penguin, 2010) was published in paperback in April.
B.R. Collins (centre) is an actress, poet and author of Young Adult fiction. Her first novel, The Traitor Game (Bloomsbury, 2008), won the Branford Boase Award and was longlisted for the 2009 Carnegie Medal. She has twice won the Young National Poetry competition, had two plays produced, and has recently acted in an independent film. A Trick of the Dark was published in 2009, and Tyme’s End in 2011 (Bloomsbury). Gamerunner will be published in July.
S.J. Parris (right) is the pseudonym of journalist, critic and author, Stephanie Merritt. She was Deputy Literary Editor for The Observer from 1998 to 2006, and has judged the Costa Biography, Orange New Writing and Perrier Awards. Her first novel, Gaveston (Faber & Faber, 2002), won a Betty Trask Award, while her memoir about living with depression, The Devil Within (Vermilion, 2008), was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award. Her first historical thriller, Heresy (HarperCollins), was published in 2010, and Prophecy followed in March this year.