Women’s Prize for Fiction Announces 2013 Shortlist

Women’s Prize for Fiction Awards Ceremony at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre: 5 June 2013


London, 9.30am, 16 April 2013: The Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2013 shortlist. Now in its eighteenth year – and known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction – the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women from throughout the world.


Kate Atkinson Life After Life Doubleday British

8th Novel

A.M Homes May We Be Forgiven Granta American

6th Novel

Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behaviour Faber & Faber American

8th Novel

Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies Fourth Estate British

11th Novel

Maria Semple Where’d You Go, Bernadette Weidenfeld & Nicolson American

2nd Novel

Zadie Smith NW Hamish Hamilton British

4th Novel


The judges for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction are:


Miranda Richardson, (Chair), Actor

Razia Iqbal, BBC Broadcaster and Journalist

Rachel Johnson, Author, Editor and Journalist

JoJo Moyes, Author

Natasha Walter, Feminist Writer and Human Rights Activist


For the first time, this year’s shortlist includes two previous winners of the Orange Prize; Barbara Kingsolver who won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 for The Lacuna, and Zadie Smith who won in 2006 for On Beauty.


“After an exhilarating meeting, all the judges were in agreement that this is an exceptional year for women’s fiction,” commented Miranda Richardson, Chair of judges. “The shortlist for 2013 represents six tremendous writers at the top of their game. Their individual novels are flawlessly presented, they contain a heady mix of ideas and without exception take the reader on a unique and deeply satisfying journey.”


Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman.  Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.


The winner will be presented with a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as ‘the Bessie’, created by artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.


The award ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 5 June 2013.


The 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction has been privately funded through the generosity of individual donors and companies. An announcement confirming the new headline sponsor of the Prize for 2014 and beyond will be made in advance of the awards ceremony in June.


Known as the Orange Prize for Fiction between 1996 and 2012, previous winners include Madeline Miller for The Song of Achilles (2012),  Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife (2011), Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006),  Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.