Judging

Every year, a panel of five women, all passionate readers and at the top of their respective professions, choose the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The whole process starts in the summer of the previous year. We approach potential judges and invite UK publishers to submit eligible books.

Judges plunge immediately into reading their allotted books, before meeting to decide the longlist, the shortlist and — shortly before the Award Ceremony — the winner.

The judges are given the key criteria for the Prize — accessibility, originality and excellence in writing by women. They are asked to forget about reviews, publicity spends, an author’s previous reputation, the sense of ‘who deserves it’ and choose simply on the basis of novels that inspire them, move them, make them think – and that they admire and enjoy!

Our 2022 judges are Mary Ann Sieghart (Chair), Lorraine Candy, Dorothy Koomson, Anita Sethi and Pandora Sykes. Read more about them here.

You can find all of our previous judges here.