Skip to content

Women’s Prize for Fiction Announces 2023 Longlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – the greatest international celebration of women’s creativity – today announces the 2023 longlist. Now in its 28th year, the Prize shines a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world.

The longlist

The 2023 longlist features both debut and bestselling, prize-winning writers. Two of the authors – Maggie O’Farrell and Barbara Kingsolver – are former winners of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, whilst three others – Natalie Haynes, Laline Paull and Elizabeth McKenzie – have previously been shortlisted. Three of the books are retellings – Demon Copperhead is inspired by Dickens’s David Copperfield; Stone Blind is an exploration of the Greek myth of Medusa; and The Marriage Portrait is a historical depiction of Lucrezia, the daughter of Cosimo de’ Medici, a young woman omitted from history.

Two novels on the longlist are told from the unusual perspective of animals – sea creatures in Pod and a chorus of animals in Glory. Other notable themes across the sixteen books include the power of stories, art and music to heal; social media and obsession; how the political invades the personal; poverty and violence; power and tyranny; and sisterhood. The list also features darkly comic novels about women journeying to rediscover themselves or plotting revenge against oppressive patriarchal structures. Globe-spanning locations range from Renaissance Italy, rural India, the Siege of Sarajevo, Northern Ireland during The Troubles and opioid-infested Virginia, to an imaginary kingdom ruled by animals, a hallucinatory old cinema and an underwater world with extraordinary creatures.

Out of the sixteen authors, there are seven British authors, five Americans, one Irish, one Canadian, one Zimbabwean/American, and one French. Nine of the 2023 longlist are debuts (Jennifer Croft, Jacqueline Crooks, Camilla Grudova, Louise Kennedy, Priscilla Morris, Sheena Patel, Cecile Pin, Parini Shroff and Tara M Stringfellow) and independent publishers make a strong showing this year, representing a quarter of the list. Three of the small independents – Charco Press, Duckworth Books and Rough Trade Books – are involved with the Prize for the first time.

The judges

After months of dedicated reading, this year’s panel of judges have selected 16 truly distinctive novels, and we can’t wait for readers everywhere to discover them.

Chair of judges Louise Minchin says:

‘This year’s longlist is a glorious celebration of the boundless imagination and creative ambition of women writers over the past year. Every one of these 16 books is excellent and original in its own individual way; they all offer fresh perspectives on history and humanity, exploring hard truths with empathy, sensitivity, directness, and sometimes infectious humour. There is something here for all readers! It has truly been a life-enhancing experience to judge the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist this year, and we are looking forward to celebrating these voices that need to be heard.’

Louise Minchin is joined on the judging panel by novelist Rachel Joyce; journalist, podcaster and writer Bella Mackie; novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie; and Tulip Siddiq, Member of Parliament. Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible. The judges will narrow down this longlist of 16 books to a shortlist of six, which will be announced on Wednesday 26 April 2023. The 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on Wednesday 14 June 2023 at the Women’s Prize Trust’s summer party 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

We have the exciting opportunity for six reading groups to shadow the shortlist of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023. If your group would like to take part, please fill out the questions below by 20 April 2023. Groups will be selected and books will be sent following the shortlist announcement on 27 April 2023. Find out more and apply now.

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

What do you think of the 2023 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.

Want to make sure you never miss the latest reading group news? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter.


Log in or Sign up to add a comment


Radio 2 Book Club - Winter titles

The Winter season of the Radio 2 Book Club is out now, with brilliant brand-new fiction titles to discover. The BBC Radio 2 Book Club is on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. It features a wide range of titles and authors, recommending great reads from both new and much-loved writers, encouraging listeners to perhaps try out a genre they might not have read before, and share their opinions and insights on the titles and great reads they’re enjoying right now.


How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started. You can also download icebreaker questions to help get your discussion started, and a social media guide to show how you can share your reading with others online.


UK’s Best Book Festivals of 2024

The UK is full of book festivals, and as we head into the summer, they’re popping up all over the country and are perfect for your book club to have a day, weekend or even week out. Book festivals are a brilliant opportunity to hear from your favourite writers, discover new ones, and meet other like-minded booklovers. You’ll be sure to walk away with a bag full of new books to enjoy! We’ve put together a list of some of our team’s favourite festivals. Can’t see one near you? You can watch...

View our other programmes