Our work

The Women’s Prize Trust champions women writers to readers on a global stage.

We showcase the very best writing by women for everyone through the annual Women’s Prize for Fiction, the largest celebration of women’s creativity in the world. The Prize was founded in 1996 with a dual purpose: to both celebrate and honour the best of fiction writing by women, and to fund a range of charitable and educational initiatives to benefit readers. 

Here is how we do it:

Readers 

We put exceptional quality literature from all over the world into the hands of male and female readers of all ages, and we engage with and invest in readers to widely promote and foster excellent writing by women. 

We run a wide range of events for readers throughout the year, including our shortlist festival, platform events, readers’ days and panel events at literary, arts and family festivals.

In order to increase reader engagement and to connect male and female readers with Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted authors, we regularly run Reading Group support programmes, providing free materials, copies of shortlisted titles and interactions with authors to specific demographics. Recently, we have supported groups particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 including key workers and students, workplace reading groups and groups with new parents. 2021 sees us working with groups where loneliness and isolation has particularly affected members. 

Groups regularly shadow the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist and choose their own winners, hosting award ceremony parties as well as their regular meetings discussing and debating the titles in contention. Reading groups are often invited to the award ceremony, barring one year when the winning group was from a men’s prison so we sent an author to them instead, for an in-prison event about the shortlisted books and the value of reading.

Libraries play an important role in the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s work in ensuring that every reader can engage with the best contemporary fiction by women regardless of where they live or their socio-economic background. In the past 25 years, library initiatives have included funding shortlist parties; supporting shadow judging parties held in libraries; live streaming events to libraries; and providing free downloadable promotional materials and resources. 

The Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast brings inspirational guests such as Kim Cattrall, Stanley Tucci and Dolly Alderton into the ears, hearts and minds of readers, as they discuss and celebrate the best fiction written by women. Authors and influencers discuss the diverse back-catalogue of prize winning books spanning a generation, explore the life-changing books that sit on women’s bookshelves, discuss what the future holds for women writing today and give you unique access to the Prize behind the scenes. 

Our digital channels provide a year-round platform for our community of readers and writers, connecting them with a wide range of like-minded individuals, literary initiatives and events. Populated daily, our Twitter account can be found here, our Facebook community here and Instagram here.

We donate books via other charities to readers most in need, including those in refuges, prisons and schools. Organisations we have recently partnered with are the Royal National Institute of the Blind, Solace Women’s Aid, Give a Book and Hounslow Action for Youth.

We also host a range of resources for readers on our website including our bespoke reading guides, commissioned for every shortlist and for every winner as part of the ReadingWomen campaign, interviews with authors and blog pieces.

Writers

Everything we do is about platforming the widest range of women’s voices.

Discoveries is our ambitious writers’ development programme offering aspiring female writers of all ages and backgrounds encouragement and support at the beginning of their creative journeys. Designed to support the authors of tomorrow on the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the programme requires writers to have  written only the opening three chapters or up to 10,000 words – and it is free to enter. 

Powered by NatWest and Curtis Brown, all longlisted and shortlisted authors are offered personalised mentorship packages from a Curtis Brown agent or industry expert tailored to their needs, free or discounted places on Curtis Brown Creative’s creative writing courses and access to NatWest’s business builder initiative, with the winner offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction x Grazia First Chapter competition has been running for eleven years, with authors including Paula Hawkins, Marian Keyes and Gail Honeyman writing a first paragraph for budding writers to complete the first chapter. Winners are mentored by the author, an agent and publisher. Several winners and runners-up have gone on to professional writing careers, such as Sue Wallman and Luan Goldie.

We programme and host virtual and real-life events for writers at different stages of their creative journeys, including our ‘mistressclass’ writing workshop format run at literary, arts and family festivals, and interviewing writers, editors and agents in order to help aspiring writers navigate to the publishing industry.

We create and commission a wide range of resources for writers, including tips and advice, creative prompts, interviews and features on craft.