20 Years of the Prize

We marked the 20 year anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction with ‘Best of the Best’ – a celebration of our second decade.

Novelist Kate Mosse, Co-Founder and Chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Board said, “For twenty years, the Prize has championed and celebrated outstanding fiction written by women from all over the world, and put passionate, ambitious, fearless, powerful, engaging, thought provoking, entertaining novels into the hands of readers. In 2005, we celebrated our first decade with a ‘Best of the Best’ campaign with Woman’s Hour. So as part of our twenty year celebrations, what better way to honour our second decade of winners than to put all ten winning novels back in the spotlight and introduce a new generation of readers to these exceptional works.”

20th Anniversary Winner

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named the ‘Best of the Best’ of the winners of the second decade of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, as chosen by the Chairs of judges of the past ten years.

Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2007 and as ‘Best of the Best’ of the second decade of winners, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will receive a special-edition Bessie statuette, cast in manganese bronze.

Here is Chimamanda, interviewed on receiving the Best of the Best accolade:


10th Anniversary Winner

Adichie follows in the footsteps of Andrea Levy who was named winner of ‘Best of the Best’ of the Prize’s first decade for her novel Small Island, which won the Women’s Prize in 2004.


Two weeks of BBC Woman’s Hour Programming

Our 20th anniversary celebrations included an exciting collaboration with BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. Each of the ten Chairs of Judges from 2006 – 2015 were interviewed individually about ‘their’ winning novel.

Hear about the winning books on Woman’s Hour here and listen to each Chair’s podcast from the first 20 years of the Prize below:


Read any of the winners of the last 20 years? Tell us what you think on Twitter @WomensPrize and Facebook.

The Reading Guide


To celebrate 20 brilliant years of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, we put together a guide to help you on your reading journey through the winning books of the last decade. With features and comment from leading writers including Jenni Murray and Kate Mosse, plus reading notes for the Women’s Prize for Fiction winning books of the last 10 years with contributions from the winning authors, this guide is for everyone who loves sharing, reading and discussing books that are the ‘Best of the Best.’

Download or read below.