2014 Judges


Previously a Jasmine Judge, Joanna Norman is the Chairman of the judging panel.  She has spent nearly 30 years working with fragrance and was originally trained by leading supplier, IFF, in both London and Paris. Her professional background includes all aspects of fragrance development, marketing, sales and training.

Researching fashion and fragrance at the Royal College of Art fuelled Joanna's passion to explore perfumery, fashion and sensory design combining aesthetics and business.

Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time.

Her novels include the prizewinning Light of the Moon and Consider the Lily reviewed in the Independent as a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated . A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS Primetime Drama.

This was followed by several other novels, including The Second Wife, Separate Beds and Daughters and A Thousand Little Lies, a novel about the SOE operating in Denmark during the Second World War. She has just finished I Can't begin to Tell You. Elizabeth Buchan s short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) awards. She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and of The National Academy of Writing.

Ruth Newman has worked for Marks & Spencer, Polo Ralph Lauren and Esprit.  Throughout her career she has worked both in the UK as well as having the opportunity to work overseas in Spain, Switzerland and Germany.   Ruth also took a career break - travelling to South America where she decided to live in Bolivia for a few years and worked with under privileged children.  


She has been working for House of Fraser for just over a year where she is the Director of Beauty - a role she enjoys enormously.

Natasha Kaplinsky is known as one of television's best-loved broadcasters. 
Graduated in English from Oxford (Hertford College). She is currently one of the anchors for the ITN network and for the previous three years was the 'face of Five', anchoring the channel's main evening news programme.
Before her role at Five News, Natasha spent five years working at the BBC. Her time there began by co-presenting Breakfast with Dermot Murnaghan.  This daily three-hour live show, combining news, current affairs and softer items was where she developed a reputation for incisive interviewing combined with a gentle touch where necessary.  Her success on the show led to Natasha s move to co-present the Six O clock News, where she stayed for two years.
Natasha lives in London with her husband and their son, Arlo, born in September 2008, and daughter, Angelica, who was born in April 2010. She combines her family life with a busy schedule of broadcast and corporate work, and guest appearances.
Melissa Odabash An American swimwear model who lived and worked in Italy for many years, Melissa Odabash has an innate sense of what women want from their swim and beachwear.  Melissa launched her first collection in 1999 and her designs swiftly came to epitomize the glamour and sophistication of a luxury lifestyle brand.


Melissa has partnered with many high profile stars and brands including, Gwyneth Paltrow, for her lifestyle website GOOP, refashioned iconic swimsuits for the films Diana and  Imposssible starring Naomi Watts as well as collaborating with Speedo and Bryan Adams.  Whilst based at her UK head office in London, Melissa Odabash continues to work in broadcast media, nationally and internationally as well as supporting her many philanthropic ventures.


SJ Watson was born in the Midlands, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years. In 2009 Watson was accepted into the first Faber Academy 'Writing a Novel' course, a programme that covers all aspects of the novel-writing process. Before I Go To Sleep is the result.

Before I Go To Sleep has become a phenomenal international success, sold in 42 territories around the world. It is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and won both the Crime Writers' Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year. Before I Go To Sleep is being filmed by Ridley Scott's production company, Scott Free, with Rowan Joffe directing and starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong to appear.