We are thrilled to announce the first sponsor for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction is Findmypast, the UK’s leading family tree company.
“Findmypast is a perfect launch partner for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction because they too believe in the value and transformative power of storytelling and information; they show us that we all have a way into our rich histories, which, when unlocked, can reframe the present and inform the future.” – Claire Shanahan, Executive Director of the Women’s Prize Trust.
Findmypast is a powerful online platform where millions of people around the world create family trees and uncover unique human stories, using Findmypast’s bank of 14 billion genealogical records. Through exploring family trees, national censuses from The National Archives, historical newspapers from the British Library, military records, passenger lists and much more, anyone can build a detailed picture of how people have experienced the world through time. Findmypast empowers everyone – from the novice to experienced researchers – to discover fresh narratives that illuminate both our histories and our lives in the world today.
The launch of the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction is born out of research released in February 2023, which demonstrated that female non-fiction writers are less likely to be reviewed in the UK national media and less likely to be shortlisted or win book prizes than their male counterparts. Female writers have not only received lower advances than men over the last five years, but they have also seen a sharper drop in their median earnings in this same period compared to male writers. This discrepancy in both remuneration and consumer visibility appears to have further impact on book sales, with only 30% of the top 500 bestselling non-fiction books in 2022 written by women.
Speaking about the partnership, Tamsin Todd, Findmypast CEO, said: “The Women’s Prize for Fiction has been a force for change, and we’re thrilled to play a part in launching the new non-fiction prize, which promises to be equally transformational. Illuminating under-represented stories is a passion for Findmypast, and as the exclusive publisher of some of the world’s largest historical data sets, such as the 1921 Census of England and Wales and the British Newspaper Archive, we are able to bring the experience of women through history into sight.”
Kate Mosse, writer and Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, added: “We were blown away by the support and enthusiasm for the idea of this new prize in February, and it has long been a goal of the Women’s Prize Trust to make a contribution to promoting, publicising and championing exceptional narrative non-fiction writing by women in English throughout the world and to make sure that wonderful, powerful works of non-fiction by women are given the attention they deserve.”
As with the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the new annual non-fiction prize will be open to all female writers from across the globe who are published in the UK and writing in English. The Prize will celebrate excellence in writing, robust research, original narrative voices and accessibility. The criteria will include all narrative non-fiction–from science, smart-thinking, politics, biography and history, to memoir, sport, music, nature writing, faith and philosophy–and celebrate books written by a single author. The prize will open for submissions via publishers later in summer 2023, with more information and Terms and Conditions of entry to be shared in due course.