Women’s Prize for Fiction Announces 2019 Shortlist

London, 29thApril 2019: The Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction by women, today announces the 2019 shortlist. Now in its 24th year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.


The shortlist, which features a diverse range of voices and nationalities, is as follows:


The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Milkman by Anna Burns

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Circe by Madeline Miller


The judges for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, who are all passionate about shining a light on writing by women, are as follows:


  • Professor Kate Williams (Chair),author, historian and Professor of History at the University of Reading
  • Arifa Akbar,journalist and critic
  • Dolly Alderton,columnist, broadcaster and author
  • Leyla Hussein, campaigner and psychotherapist
  • Sarah Wood,digital entrepreneur


Chair of the Judges,Professor Kate Williams, said: “It’s a fantastic shortlist; exciting, vibrant, adventurous. We fell totally in love with these books and the amazing worlds they created. These books are fiction at its best – brilliant, courageous and utterly captivating.”


This year’s list features one debut author (Oyinkan Braithwaite), as well as a previous winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction (Madeline Miller, for The Song of Achilles), a winner of Orange Award for New Writers (Diana Evans, for 26a) and one previously shortlisted author (Anna Burns, for No Bones).


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 full-length novel of the year, written by a woman and published in the UK between 1 April2018 and 31 March 2019. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.




The 2019 Prize is supported by three sponsors:


  • Baileys; the world’s bestselling cream liqueur, which held the title sponsorship of the Prize from 2013 – 2017
  • Fremantle; one the largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world, who came on board as a sponsor for the 2019 Prize
  • NatWest; one of the UK’s leading personal, private and business banks, part of the family of sponsors since 2018


This year, the Prize announced it had achieved charitable status as the Women’s Prize Trust. As part of the mission to provide a platform for women’s voices, the Trust will work to grow the educational, research and engagement initiatives on offer.


Individual supporters now have the opportunity to contribute to the important work of ensuring as diverse a range of women’s voices as possible is heard, and celebrated by everyone, through the Patron and Prize Circle Patron schemes.


The 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on June 5that 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.




Women’s Prize Trust Patron Scheme

There are two levels of involvement, Patrons at £1000 a year donation and Prize Circle Patrons for a £5000 a-year donation.

The Patron level requires a one-off or recurring donation of £1000 a year. The benefits include:

  • An invitation to a special Patrons event once a year, an opportunity to meet the judges and some of the longlisted authors
  • Free tickets to special live events, including the hugely popular shortlist readings
  • Signed copies of all of the shortlisted books
  • The opportunity to hear about the impact of the work you have helped to fund, and be ‘in the know’ with latest news and campaigns

The Prize Circle Patron level requires a one-off or recurring donation of £5000 a-year. You’ll get all of the benefits of the Patron’s level, plus some very special extras:

  • You’ll beinvited to Prize events throughout the year, plus a special Patrons event once a year, an opportunity to meet the judges and some of the longlisted authors
  • Be a guest at theglamorous annual awards party
  • Invitations to join novelist Kate Mosse, Prize Founder Director, Harriet Hastings, Prize Managing Director, Joanna Prior, Chair of the Prize and the Board for working lunches, sharing ideas and providing feedback on proposals to create a long, proud and independent future for the Prize
  • If you choose to, you’ll also be recognised for your contribution on the website


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