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The 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize

On Tuesday 4 November, the winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction was announced at RIBA, at a celebratory dinner with around 150 members of the publishing world and media.

Judges Alan Johnson MP, Lorien Kite, Ray Monk and Ruth Scurr spoke about each of the six shortlisted books, before chair Claire Tomalin announced Helen Macdonald as winner for her memoir H is for Hawk, her story of training a goshawk in the wake of the sudden death of her father.

The next day, the winner announcement was covered across the national broadsheets, in The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and the Financial Times. The BBC News Channel attended the announcement and interviewed Helen straight after her win, and on the following day Helen was interviewed live on BBC Radio 4’ s Today programme and by The Guardian.

In the lead-up to the announcement interviews with the six authors were broadcast in a series on BBC Radio 4 World at One and in a BBC 4 special about the prize. The shortlisted authors also spoke at the RSA on the eve of the prize in an event chaired by Tom Sutcliffe. 

If you’re looking for a book to read, head straight for the shortlist at

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