From the Women’s Prize Archives.

For the first time since the Women’s Prize was founded 25 years ago, we will not be gathering in the summer to celebrate the range, breadth and brilliance of women’s voices from all over the world. Though we will announce our shortlist of six outstanding, exhilarating, beautiful, important novels as planned on 22nd April, we have decided to postpone the announcement of the 25th winner of the WPFF until 9th September. Our ever-popular annual shortlist readings event will also now take place in September, with the 2021 Prize sticking to its traditional timetable of calling for submissions from publishers in September, too.

These are uncharted waters and everyone – wherever they are, whoever they are – finds themselves in a world turned upside down. Now we need stories more than ever. On the pages of a book, we can travel anywhere, we can stand in other people’s shoes, we can marvel at the resilience of the human spirit, we can feel and hope and wonder. We can be reminded that hope will come after the darkest hour. Novels are the bridge that join us together and, although reading is the most private of occupations, it’s also a wonderful way to connect with one another in these disjointed times. Over our 25 year history, the WPFF has shared hundreds of novels – through thousands of bookshops, libraries and schools – and put them into the hands of millions of readers throughout the world. These days will pass. And, when they do, the importance of celebrating women’s stories will be even more important. So, if you can, please keep supporting us and helping us to ensure that our voices continue to be heard. You can find more information on this on the website.

Our founding goal was – and it still is – to honour outstanding fiction written by women and to promote the classics of tomorrow, today. So now, when so many are looking to stories to comfort, engage, console and cheer, a reminder that our 2020 longlist is full of thought-provoking, clever, moving, timely, challenging, joyous novels.

Our weekly podcast will also continue to forge connections between generations of readers and writers, wherever they are.

Though we cannot be in the same physical spaces, we can feel connected through our shared reading.