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Shadow the Women’s Prize shortlist!

We all respond to books differently – that’s one of the joys of a reading group – and here at the Women’s Prize there really is nothing we love more than seeing readers discover, delight in and debate wildly over the longlisted and shortlisted novels each year. Once again we’re thrilled to be inviting reading groups to apply to shadow the 2022 Women’s Prize shortlist. 

We’ll be selecting six reading groups to spotlight: each group will receive copies of one shortlisted title in the format of their choice, which they will be asked to read and review before the winner is announced on 15 June. Participants will also be encouraged to document and share their experience on social media.  

If your group would like to take part, please apply via The Reading Agency by 12pm on Wednesday 20 April, telling us about your group and why you would like to be involved in the opportunity. Groups will be selected and books will be sent following the shortlist announcement on 27 April. Your completed questionnaires will then need to be returned by 8 June, before the winner announcement on 15 June. 

All groups are very welcome to apply! As part of our campaign to get more men picking up books by women, this year we are particularly keen to encourage men to get involved. Our chair of judges Mary Ann Sieghart investigated UK reading habits and discovered that men are disproportionately less likely to open a book by a woman, making up only 19% of readers of novels by women – and we want to change that! So if your reading group includes men – or if you’d consider inviting male friends, partners, family members to a take up a guest spot – we would especially like to hear from you. 

Whether your reading group is a regular staple, or you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to form one, we can’t wait to receive your applications. Head over to the The Reading Agency website to get your applications in, or email Kimberley.Sheehan@readingagency.org.uk for further details. 

If your reading group is looking for some inspiration, don’t forget we have reading group guides available for all 26 winning novels here. And keep an eye out for this year’s shortlist guides coming soon.

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