The Women’s Prize for Fiction reveals 2018 shortlist


London, 23 April 2018: The Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the biggest international celebrations of women’s creativity in the world – today announces the 2018 shortlist. Now in its 23rd* year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.


The shortlist is as follows:

Elif Batuman, The Idiot
Imogen Hermes Gowar, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
Jessie Greengrass, Sight
Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing


The judges for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction are:

Sarah Sands, (Chair), Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme

Anita Anand, Radio and Television Journalist

Katy Brand, Writer, Comedian and Actor

Catherine Mayer, Journalist, Author and Co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party

Imogen Stubbs, Actress


This year’s shortlist features one previously shortlisted author and three debut novels.


“The shortlist was chosen without fear or favour. We lost some big names, with regret, but narrowed down the list to the books which spoke most directly and truthfully to the judges,” said Sarah Sands, Chair of Judges. “The themes of the shortlist have both contemporary and lasting resonance encompassing the birth of the internet, race, sexual violence, grief, oh and mermaids. Some of the authors are young, half by Brits and all are blazingly good and brave writers.”


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 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 2018 Prize is supported by three partners. They are:


  • Baileys; the world’s bestselling cream liqueur, which held the title sponsorship of the Prize from 2013 – 2017
  • Deloitte; a leading professional services firm, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services
  • NatWest; one of the UK’s leading personal, private and business banks


The 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on June 6th 2018 at an awards ceremony in central London. 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.

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