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Women’s Prize for Fiction Announces 2022 Shortlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – the greatest international celebration of women’s creativity – today announces it’s 2022 shortlist. Now in its 27th year, the Prize shines a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world. This year’s shortlist incorporates a range of themes including belonging and identity; the power of nature; the burden of history; personal freedom; sisterhood; mental illness; ghosts; gender violence; and the opportunity for renewal. The novels also offer globe-spanning settings, from Antarctica to Montana, Cyprus to Trinidad.

The shortlist

The judges

This year’s shortlist has been selected by the Chair of Judges Mary Ann Sieghart and her judging panel: Lorraine Candy, award-winning journalist and editor; Dorothy Koomson, global bestselling novelist, journalist and podcaster; Anita Sethi, award-winning author and literary journalist; and Pandora Sykes, journalist, broadcaster and author.

Chair of judges and author Mary Ann Sieghart, says:

‘We were blessed with an extraordinarily high quality of submissions this year, which made whittling down the longlist from 16 to six particularly difficult. But the shortlist contains a wonderfully diverse range of stories, subjects, settings and authors, from the experience of a Native American woman in a haunted bookshop to an early female aviator in the Antarctic. One novel is narrated by a tree; another by a book. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, others tearful, and sometimes the two are combined in the same book. We judges have loved reading them all and we commend them to you as the best fiction written by women and published in the past year. Our only problem now will be to identify the winner out of these six brilliant novels.’

The winner of the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Wednesday 15 June 2022 at an evening awards ceremony in central London. The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. More information can be found on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website here.

Get involved

Men Reading Women
Did you know that most men simply don’t read books by women?

This was the surprising fact discovers by Chair of Judges Mary Ann Sieghart in her bestselling book, The Authority Gap. Her research was based on the top ten bestselling female fiction authors including the likes of Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood and Agatha Christie – only 19% of their readers are men and 81% women. But for the top ten bestselling male authors, the split in readers is much more even: 55% men and 45% women.

Put simply, women are prepared to read novels by men, but men are much more reluctant to pick up novels by women. The Women’s Prize would like to change that.

They are running a campaign, spearheaded by Mary Ann, to get more men reading books by women. They are asking their past judges, podcast guests and friends of the prize – men and women alike – to recommend one brilliant novel written by a woman, with a view to creating an essential reading list for men. The list of 60 novels will be put to a public vote to whittle down to just 10 vital reads for men. Vote for your top choices on the Women’s Prize for Fiction website.

Women’s Prize Public Festival
Takin place throughout the day on Tuesday 14 June in the beautiful Bedford Square Gardens, home to the Women’s Prize for Ficition, the Women’s Prize Public Festival is a great way to celebrate top fiction written by women. The day will kick off with a live podcast recording with host Vick Hope in conversation with Hollywood royalty Minnie Driver, then a Mistressclass creative writing workshop with Kate Mosse and Jojo Moyes. The festival will end with their Shortlist Readings, where the shortlisted authors will gather in Bedford Square Gardens on the eve of the winner announcement to give reading from their novels and take questions from chair of judges Mary Ann Sieghart.

Other Ways to Get Involved
Six reading groups will be shadowing the shortlist of the Prize, and we will be sharing their thoughts on the six picks ahead of the winner announcement in June.

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the shortlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop.

The Women’s Prize Trust, in partnership with Curtis Brown literary agency, the Curtis Brown Creative writing school (both part of The Curtis Brown Group) and Audible have now also announced the Discoveries 2022 longlist. The Discoveries programme aims to find inspiring female writing talent from across the UK and Ireland. Find out more about the longlisted authors.

What do you think of the 2022 shortlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.

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