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Women's Prize for Fiction Announces 2020 Longlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction by women, has announced its 2020 longlist. Now in its 25th anniversary year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from across the world.

The longlist

The judges of 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction are:

Martha Lane Fox (Chair), businesswoman, philanthropist and public servant
Scarlett Curtis, writer and activist
Melanie Eusebe, co-founder of the Black British Business Awards
Viv Groskop, author and comedian
Paula Hawkins, international bestselling author

“Ahead of the longlist meeting I was anxious that the negotiations between judges might be as arduous as Brexit, but it was an absolute delight to pick our final 16 books. Entries for the Prize’s 25th year have been spectacular and we revelled in the variety, depth, humanity and joy of the writing – we hope everyone else will too.”

This year’s longlist honours both new and well-established writers and a range of genres. There are six debut authors on the list, including Luan Goldie, who was a runner-up of the 2012 First Chapter Competition for young writers, established by the Women’s Prize in partnership with Grazia. The list also features a previous winner (Ann Patchett, for Bel Canto) and three previously shortlisted authors (Ann Patchett, for The Magician’s Assistant and State of Wonder; Anne Enright, for The Forgotten Waltz and The Green Road and Hilary Mantel, for Beyond Black, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies). Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots won the Orange Prize Youth Panel award in 2009.

Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded to the best full-length novel of the year, written by a woman and published in the UK between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

25th anniversary celebrations

2020 marks the Women’s Prize for Fiction 25th anniversary and the Prize is celebrating the milestone with a number of flagship events and campaigns. The Prize has recently launched a new series of its acclaimed podcast, with high profile guests discussing the previous winners of the Prize and shedding light on the life-changing books on their bookshelves.

To celebrate the 24 previous winners, throughout 2020 the Prize is also running the #ReadingWomen campaign – a digital bookclub, encouraging readers to take on the challenge of reading each of the Women’s Prize winning novels. The campaign will culminate in autumn, when the ‘Winner of Winners’ will be chosen in a public vote.

The 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist will be announced on 22 April 2020 and the winner will be awarded on 9 September 2020 at an 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.

Get involved

What do you think of the 2020 longlisted 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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