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Women's Prize for Fiction Announces 2021 Shortlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the biggest annual, international celebrations of women’s creativity – has announced its 2021 shortlist. Now in its 26th year, the Prize honours outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world.

The shortlist

This year’s shortlist has been selected by the chair of judges Bernardine Evaristo and her judging panel, author and journalist Elizabeth Day; TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.

Chair of judges and novelist Bernardine Evaristo says:

“Coming up with a longlist of sixteen books for this prize was relatively easy compared to whittling the selection down to six novels, why by necessity demands more consensus. Sadly. we had to lose so many exceptional books that we loved. However, with this shortlist, we are excited to present a gloriously varied and thematically rich exploration of women’s fiction at its finest. These novels will take the reader from a rural Britain left behind to the underbelly of a community in Barbados; from inside the hectic performance of social media to inside a family best by addition and oppression; from a tale of racial hierarchy in America to a mind-expanding tale of altered perceptions. Fiction by women defies easy categorisation or stereotyping, and all of these novels grapple with society’s big issues expressed through thrilling storytelling. We feel passionate about them, and we hope readers do too.”

The winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Wednesday 8 September 2021.

On Tuesday 7 September, the Women’s Prize Trust is opening up Bedford Square Garden to the public for the first time ever, with three very special events the day before of the announcement of the 2021 winner:

  • 1pm – Bernardine Evaristo in conversation with Pandora Sykes (with a signing afterwards)
  • 3-5pm – Maggie O’Farrell + Kate Mosse writing ‘mistressclass’. There are just a couple of spots left, and the Women’s Prize Trust is sponsoring one place for a woman on low income.
  • 7-9pm – Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 Shortlist Readings

Waterstones will run a pop-up bookshop where you can buy all of this year’s books, and brand new Women’s Prize Trust merchandise will be on sale from theon-site shop, plus drinks will be served all day and into the evening from thepop-up bar.

Book at

Get involved

See the 2021 Prize longlist.

What do you think of the 2021 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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