The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2016 longlist. Now in its twenty first* year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world. The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day 2016.
“We had a hugely enjoyable and stimulating meeting, as there were a great many strong novels in contention,” commented Margaret Mountford, Chair of Judges. “We are delighted with the quality, the imaginative scope and the ambition of our chosen books, a longlist which reflects the judges’ interests and tastes. We hope readers will enjoy the variety of outstanding work on offer.”
Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Baileys 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 2015 and 31 March 2016. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.
This year’s longlist honours both new and well-established writers; over half the longlist is occupied by first novels alongside four previously shortlisted authors. Seven nationalities are represented including the first Zimbabwean author to be longlisted for the Prize.
The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held in The Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on 8th June 2016.