Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2015 judging panel



  • Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2015 judging panel
  • Panel will be chaired by Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti and includes inaugural winner of the Prize – Helen Dunmore
  • 2015 marks 20th anniversary of the Prize


London, Thursday 27th November 2014: Today, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction announces the 2015 judging panel.


The panel features Laura Bates, writer and Founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, Broadcaster, Writer and Columnist for ES Magazine, Grace Dent, Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman and inaugural winner of the 1996 Orange Prize, novelist and poet Helen Dunmore.


The panel will be chaired by Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti.


“Women writers continue to enthral, educate and entertain, Shami Chakrabarti commented. “So to chair the judges of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is going to be great reading and great fun.”


Every year, a panel of five women, all passionate readers and highly successful and inspiring women, are selected to judge the prize.


The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman.  Now in its 20th year*, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was set up to celebrate excellence and originality in writing by women throughout the world.


Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo commented, “I’m thrilled to see such an eminent and inspirational judging panel announced for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.  Now in our second year of sponsorship, it’s always a great pleasure to see the level of dedication and passion the judges devote to their role and I’m sure this year’s panel will continue to build on the great legacy of judges before them”.


The judges between them will be reading an exact total of 166 books over the next six months as they look to crown the next winner. Previous winners of the prize include Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2014) and A.M. Homes for May We Be Forgiven (2013).


Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.


The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.


The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015 will be awarded on June 3rd 2015 at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.

For further press enquiries or high res images, please contact Tessa Annable at freuds:

Tel: 0203 003 6435




BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction

  • In June 2013, the prize announced a new three-year partnership with Baileys, the world’s first cream liqueur, and is now known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
  • The Prize’s patrons are; Dame Gillian Beer DBE, Professor Lisa Jardine CBE, Jude Kelly OBE, Helena Kennedy Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws QC FRSA, Sue MacGregor CBE, Dame Jenni Murray DBE, Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE, Rosie Boycott, Liz Calder, Fi Glover, Daisy Goodwin, Muriel Gray, Bettany Hughes, Paula Kahn, Martha Kearney, Kirsty Lang, Sheena McDonald, Penny Perrick, Dame Gail Rebuck DBE, Miranda Richardson, Gillian Shephard, Baroness Shephard of Northwold, Ahdaf Soueif, Sandi Toksvig, Polly Toynbee and Joanna Trollope OBE.
    • The Prize’s board comprises of Kate Mosse OBE (Chair), Clare Alexander, Felicity Blunt, Jane Gregory (Company Secretary), Harriet Hastings (Managing Director), Karen Jones, Martha Lane Fox CBE, Nicola Mendelsohn, Joanna Prior, Susan Sandon and Carole Welch.
  • *The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was known as the Orange Prize for Fiction between 1996 and 2012.




BAILEYS was the world’s first cream liqueur, a unique blend of smooth Irish cream with quality spirits and whiskey. It has won more medals than any of its competitors in the prestigious San Francisco world spirits awards and is the 2012 Gold Winner. It’s also the world’s biggest seller, with over 82 million bottles sold world wide each year. Every minute of every day over 2000 people around the world are enjoying a BAILEYS.


BAILEYS and the Prize share a mutual purpose, which is to inspire and enable women to shine and their shared ambition is to bring the best women’s writing and female storytellers to ever-wider audiences.


In November this year, BAILEYS launched their latest campaign designed to introduce a new generation of Millennial women to the brand.  In a celebration of the power of female friendship and the great things that happen when girls get together, the campaign sees the introduction of the brand’s new endline ‘Here’s to us’, which invites women to come together and raise a toast in celebration of all that they are to each other.


The BAILEYS word and associated logos are trademarks.


About Diageo:

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business. With its global vision, and local marketing focus, Diageo brings to consumers an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across the spirits, wine and beer categories including Smirnoff, Guinness, Johnnie Walker, BAILEYS, J&B, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo trades in some 180 countries around the world and is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at


Diageo is committed to responsible drinking through: setting world-class standards in responsible marketing, promotion and innovation; promoting a shared understanding of what responsible drinking means, and working with others to combat alcohol misuse.





Shami Chakrabarti has been Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) since September 2003.


Shami first joined Liberty as In-House Counsel on 10 September 2001. She became heavily involved in its engagement with the ‘War on Terror’ and with the defence and promotion of human rights values in Parliament, the Courts and wider society


A Barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 for Governments of both persuasions.


Since becoming Liberty’s Director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely on the importance of the post-WW2 human rights framework as an essential component of democratic society.


She was born in London and studied Law at the London School of Economics. Shami, who separated in 2012, lives in London with her son. She is Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford in addition to being a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple.


In 2011, Shami was invited to be one of six independent assessors advising Lord Justice Leveson in his Public Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the UK Press. She was also chosen as one of eight Olympic Flag carriers at the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. In February 2014, she was appointed as Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Manchester.


Shami’s first book, On Liberty, was published by Allen Lane on 2nd October 2014.



Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of over 80,000 people’s experiences of sexism, harassment, discrimination and abuse. She writes regularly for the Guardian, the Independent, and other news sources, and works with politicians, schools, businesses and police forces to combat gender inequality. She is also Contributor at Women Under Siege, a New York-based organisation working to combat the use of rape as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide.


Laura is Patron of Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS), a member of the Rape Crisis network. She was named a woman of the year by Cosmopolitan magazine and the Sunday Times Magazine in 2013 and by Red magazine in 2014, and was listed 9th on the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 2014 Game Changers Power List. Laura’s first book, Everyday Sexism, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2014.




Grace Dent is a columnist, author and broadcaster. Her restaurant column ‘Grace and Flavour’ appears every Friday in ES Magazine. She writes weekly opinion editorial and ‘Grace Dent on TV’ for The Independent. She is currently working on documentaries for Radio 4 on the work of Lorna Sage, plus a history of British radio comedy.


Grace has written 12 novels for children. Presently, ‘Diary of a Snob’ is being made for television by Nickelodeon.



Helen Dunmore is a novelist, poet, short-story and children’s writer.  She was the inaugural winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her work has received the McKitterick Prize and the Signal Award for Poetry, won the National Poetry Competition in 2010 and has been translated into more than thirty languages.  It has also been shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award, the T S Eliot Prize and the Orwell Prize.

She is a regular fiction reviewer and has written critical introductions to new editions of work by F Scott Fitzgerald, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Taylor, Tolstoy and Robert Louis Stevenson.




Cathy Newman presents Channel 4 News. She spent over a decade in Fleet Street, latterly with the Financial Times. Since joining Channel 4 News in 2006 she has broadcast a string of investigations and scoops, including harassment allegations against the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard. She also writes about politics for the Daily Telegraph.


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