Women’s Prize for Fiction judging panel announced


The judges for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction – the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction by women, sponsored by Fremantle – have been announced.

The Chair of Judges for 2020 will be businesswoman, philanthropist and public servant Martha Lane Fox, who will be joined by writer and activist Scarlett Curtis; Melanie Eusebe, co-founder of the Black British Business Awards; Viv Groskop, author and comedian; and international bestselling author Paula Hawkins.

“I am honoured to be chairing the judging panel for this wonderful prize, alongside such an inspiring group of women,” commented Chair of Judges, Martha Lane Fox. “I remember being mesmerised by the books on the first Women’s Prize shortlist, 25 years ago and I will always be grateful to the Prize for exposing me to the awesome breadth of female writing talent.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for women’s writing, with amazing authors opening our minds to new perspectives and the endless possibilities of fiction. Our society needs their voices more than ever, and we’re all proud to be part of a Prize that, a quarter of a century later, continues to champion female writers. I’m very much looking forward to many passionate discussions about the nominated works.”

Fellow judge Scarlett Curtis, who will herself turn 25 in June 2020, added:“Each year the longlisted books ignite conversations around important issues and help women, and men, discover exciting new works of fiction. I’ve grown up with this amazing Prize and have seen how it’s always championed a diverse range of voices, opinions and perspectives so it’s a real privilege to be a part of this cultural movement during its very special 25thanniversary year.”

2020 marks the 25thanniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – the UK’s only annual book award for writing by women. Celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility, the Prize was established in 1996, to celebrate and promote fiction by female authors written in English to the widest range of readers possible. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

The 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on 3rdJune 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.

Earlier this year, the Prize announced that the organisation had been awarded charitable status, to become the Women’s Prize Trust. As part of its mission, the Trust is growing its talent development programme to provide a year-round platform for women’s voices and encourage a future generation of women writers.

Key dates for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction:

  • 3rdMarch – longlist announcement
  • 22ndApril – shortlist announcement
  • 2ndJune – shortlist readings event
  • 3rdJune – winner announcement and awards ceremony

For the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, novels must be published in the UK between 1stApril 2019 and 31stMarch 2020.