2017 Judges

2017 judges

Catherine Mitchell - Chairman of the Judging Panel

Business Manager, IFF 

Catherine studied languages at Cambridge University. She was working as a Graduate Trainee in the textile industry when she read the recently translated ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind. This book proved to be a eureka moment and triggered a career change when she moved to London to join International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) in 1990.  Catherine has worked across all areas of the business from Fabric Care to Fine Fragrance, and spent two years at the global headquarters in New York.  As one of the global leaders in the creation of fragrance IFF is a committed supporter of The Fragrance Foundations.  Catherine’s passion for spreading the education and joy of fragrance to a wider audience is infectious.

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday 2012), Perfect (Doubleday 2013) and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Doubleday 2014). The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into 34 languages. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards New Writer of the Year in December 2012 and shortlisted for the UK Author of the Year 2014. She is also the author of the short story, A Faraway Smell of Lemon, and the short story collection A Snow Garden & Other Stories (Doubleday 2015). Rachel moved to writing after a 20-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl. She has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4 and major adaptations for the Classic Series, and Woman's Hour, including The Professor, Villette, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Shirley and Jane Eyre (2016).
Rachel Joyce lives with her family in Gloucestershire.

Sadie Frost started her career as an actor and has appeared in over thirty films, including Francis Ford Coppola s Bram Stocker's Dracula .

Sadie created her own fashion label with long term friend Jemima French Frostfrench, which now has two labels for designers at Debenhams Floozie and iris & edie .

Sadie now works extensively in film. She currently co-owns the production company Blonde to Black Pictures, which has recently produced two features and has many more in development.

Jane Thynne is the author of the Clara Vine series, about an Anglo-German actress and spy in pre-war Berlin. Her third novel, A War of Flowers, features Coco Chanel and the love of perfume among the 1930s elite.

She was born in Venezuela, educated in London and Oxford, and joined the BBC as a production trainee, before moving to Fleet Street. She has worked at The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, as well as numerous magazines. She also appears regularly on Radio 4 and Sky News. She has a passion for historical fiction and the research that involves. Her novels are published in the UK, America, Canada, and several territories throughout Europe.  She has taught at the Arvon Foundation, sat on the broadcasting committee of the Society of Authors and is a patron of the Wimbledon Bookfest. She has three children and lives in London.

Melanie Rickey has spent two decades covering fashion for Britain s best newspapers and magazines.  She started at the Independent, followed by fashion features editor roles at The Telegraph, Sunday Times Style and Nova. In 2006 Melanie joined Grazia as the founding fashion features editor, a role she relished for six years. In 2008, she joined the British Fashion Council NewGen panel, and in 2010 founded her website Fashion Editor at Large, and now operates as a journalist, editor and consultant covering fashion and working with fashion brands to find their voice. In 2015 she authored Inferno, a book about Alexander McQueen. In 2016 Melanie co-founded Future British a young talent initiative in October Melanie joined Liberty as consulting editorial director.

Joanna Rogers joined Boots as VP, Commercial Director for Beauty & Gifting at Boots in January 2016, with a tremendous track record in the UK and internationally.

Previously Joanna has been Managing Director, Personal Health UK&I for 5 years where she delivered business turn around taking UKI from a loss leader to fastest growing Philips subsidiary within Europe.

Before joining Philips, Joanna led B2B and B2C marketing and business development teams at Sage, Jackel International and Coty S.A.

Naturally curious leader with a strong passion for people and results and a love for beauty industry. Motivated by building strong relationships and delivering the best out of people, with inspiration, vision and team work. 

Veronica Henry went to the Royal School Bath and studied Latin at Bristol University.  She began her career as a production secretary on The Archers, typing out scripts and tracking down sound effects.  She then moved to Central Television, and worked as a script editor as well as developing ideas for new drama series.
When she started a family she jumped over the fence and became a script writer, fondly imaging the baby would sleep in a Moses basket at her feet while she wrote ....  She contributed to some of our best-loved dramas, including Heartbeat and Holby City.
In 2000 she got her first publishing deal with Penguin Books, and has written fifteen bestselling novels, including The Beach Hut and The Long Weekend.  In 2012 she was writer in residence on the Venice Simplon Orient Express, and her novel A Night on the Orient Express won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2014. She also writes features for women s magazines including Red, Good Housekeeping and Woman and Home. Her latest novel, How to Find Love in a Bookshop, is published by Orion.

Veronica lives by the sea in North Devon with her sons and miniature Schnauzer, Zelda.  She always choses a signature scent for her main characters, and wears them for inspiration whilst writing.  

Laura Pradelska is an award winning German actress. After several years in Los Angeles, she relocated to London in 2005 to join the Drama Centre London. Since graduating in 2008 with double masters she has had several notable roles as an actor and voice- over artist. To date she has been in more than 20 theatre productions in London s West End and voiced everything from high end luxury brands to BBC productions.

Her most notable role in TV is the fan favourite recurring role as Quaithe in HBO s Game of Thrones. For 2016/17 Laura has two feature films for release (Love in the age of Fear and The Habit of Beauty) as well as starring in the US TV show 50 Ways to Kill Your Lover as the character Karen Kaehler. In addition to acting, Laura has published several articles in magazines including Vogue UK and US. Furthermore Laura is a brand ambassador for Lulu Guinness.  

Laura is also an ambassador for the following charities: Anti- bullying pro, You-You mentoring and The Sheba Medical Centre. 
She is signed by the prestigious Elite Models as well as Diamond Management, Soho Voices and William Morris Endeavor.