02/13/2013 12:13 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Margaret Atwood tapped for Giller Prize jury

CanLit icon Margaret Atwood leads a powerhouse trio of authors tapped to choose the winner of the 2013 Giller Prize.

Organizers of the annual $50,000 literary prize celebrating Canadian fiction announced this year's three-member panel on Wednesday.

Toronto-based Atwood is one of two past winners among this year's judges. She is joined by Victoria, B.C., writer Esi Edugyan. Atwood triumphed at the Gillers in 1996 for her novel Alias Grace, while Edugyan captured the prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues.

Rounding out the judging panel is U.S. author Jonathan Lethem, best known for novels like Chronic City, The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn.

Established in 1994 by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in memory of his late, literary journalist wife Doris Giller, the award celebrates novels and short fiction published in the past year. The prize has become one of Canada's most prestigious literary honours, with past recipients including Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Rohinton Mistry and, most recently, Will Ferguson.

The long list of Giller semi-finalists for 2013 will be unveiled on Sept. 16. Atwood, Edugyan and Lethem will then whittle the contenders down to a short list, which will be announced about a month later.

The 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded at a gala on Nov. 5.