We are delighted to introduce our reading groups, who will each be reading and reviewing one of the six shortlisted books for 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction. With members ranging from 25 to 90 years old, from the Southwest of England to Scotland, these groups are united by their love of reading. These groups not only provide a forum for discussing great books but create communities across generations and nurture safe spaces for members who come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Hailing from West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, the Page Turners formed to combat loneliness and isolation, and to meet like-minded women. What started as a wellbeing project by Healthy Pathways has become a tight-knit collective of lifelong friendships. The group has created a space where “there are no judgements made and everyone is free to be themselves. We have built long lasting relationships and friendships.”

The Geordie Book Club was founded in 2016 and has had a book meeting every month since (with only one exception!). The community-based group prides itself on its openness, welcoming a range of ages, backgrounds and readers. They regularly read Women’s Prize-nominated books and every year, they use the Women’s Prize for Fiction winner announcement as an excuse for their annual social.

Set up by a husband-and-wife team, the Stirchley Book Club is an active and passionate group whose members reflect the diversity of its wider community in southwest Birmingham. The club explores a wide range of fiction, ranging from Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol so participating in our shadowing programme will be their first foray into non-fiction as a group.

Our smallest book group, the Heritage Book Club comprises four friends, who came together to bond not only over their love of literature but their diverse nationalities and backgrounds. “As a collective of women immigrants and refugees, we resonate deeply with stories that traverse borders, challenge narratives, and celebrate the diversity of the human experience.”

Read with Yeovil are a reading group based in Southwest England. Mostly over 60, this group of male and female readers engage in lively discussion about new fiction and non-fiction. The group also supports a network of local authors through author talks and open meetings, and regularly attend their local Fresh Fiction events to discover new writers.

Finally, the Eaton Rise Book Club was founded over 12 years ago as a reading group for residents of the same housing estate in Norwich. Over the years, new residents have joined and many of its founding members are still in attendance to discuss books sourced from their local libraries. “One of the best things about the group is the diversity of experience and background we have.”

The six book groups are each reading one book on the 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction shortlist, and will report back near the winner announcement in June.