Louise Minchin: ‘Judging will change me forever’

We’re so excited to bring you an extra special episode of Bookshelfie, the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast with our award-winning broadcaster and our 2023 Chair of Judges, Louise Minchin in conversation with our stellar host, Vick Hope.

This episode was recorded live from a beautiful bar at Diageo HQ in Soho, home of our wonderful podcast sponsor, Baileys. Louise and Vick bond over travelling around Latin America and their mutual love for magical realism, dive into the hardest parts of being a journalist and how books offered Louise a one-of-a-kind perspective of motherhood. Listen to the episode in full here.

Louise has also just published her new book, Fearless, which charts the lives of 18 incredible women breaking down barriers. You can get your copy here.

The Island of Adventure

The Island of Adventure is the first thrilling instalment in the Adventure series by Enid Blyton, one of the best-loved children’s…

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‘It just gave me a love of reading and a love of adventure. And I didn’t like her other books, actually. The adventure stories were the ones for me, because it was just that, you know, the grown ups were out the room. And [the children] went and did this crazy things that they weren’t allowed to do. And for me, that was a little bit like how I wanted my childhood to be. To be on that boat going to the island and doing scary stuff.’

The House of the Spirits

As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own,…

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‘I just fell in love with the Latin American literature. I came back and was given this choice at uni, where if I wanted to keep studying Latin American literature I had to give up international relations. And because there was otherwise it was going to be semantics, and I was not, um, I want I want the magic realism. And I want all that colour and just excitement and wonderful ideas. So I gave up international relations to carry on with with Latin American literature, and I just, I just adored it.’


Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key….

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‘I think that’s the thing about Room. For me, there’s not another book, that is just a beautiful explanation of what maternal love is. It just made me very emotional, actually. But I had no idea when I read it.’

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle

When Madlyn and her younger brother Rollo arrive at crumbling Clawstone Castle, they can see that emergency action is needed…

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‘I read it to/with my daughter. She’s now 18, so we must have read it when she was about eight and it may have been a school thing, or maybe we just picked it up. We both have a slightly ghoulish imagination. Okay, we like the Gothic Gulag. We like a bit in our books, not in real life. We like a bit of darkness. And I just think we sort of bonded over this book and we were honestly we’re obsessed by it.’

The Salt Path

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of…

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‘It’s about love loss and landscape. I was given this book […] by my greatest friend. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. Because you could be like oh, it’s a walk, you know, and it is a walk, it’s the most beautiful walk by the way. And I just, I just fell in love with the pair of them actually’

Don’t forget, you can get your copy of Louise Minchin’s fabulous new book, Fearless, available in all good bookshops now and listen to this special episode in full here.

For more wonderfully bookish chats, check out our podcast archive with guests like Mary Portas and Cherry Healey.

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.