The Team

The Women’s Prize Trust is run by a small but mighty executive team. The team is responsible for the general management and day-to-day running of the charity and its work, and is united by a shared commitment to platforming women’s voices.

Claire Shanahan, Trust Director

Claire Shanahan re-joined the Women’s Prize team in 2018 to head up its outreach work, having worked on the Prize during her time as Head of Arts at BookTrust. In 2021, Claire became the Trust Director, responsible for the charity strategy, delivery of programmes and projects, and day-to-day operations. Named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2013, Claire began her career in publishing as an editor at Pearson and Hachette before moving to the charity sector. Claire has run the BBC Short Story Awards for over a decade and sits on the advisory board of Nesta’s Alternarratives programme. Claire is a passionate advocate of the transformative power of reading and writing, and the ongoing need to invest in and cheerlead women.

Kate Mosse, Founder Director

Co-founder, Prize Spokesperson and former Chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Board, Kate is the author of nine novels and short story collections, four of non-fiction, and four plays. Her number 1 bestselling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – has sold millions of copies throughout the world, as has her Gothic fiction including The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter, for which she is writing the film adaptations. Her plays include Syrinx and The Queen of Jerusalem. She is currently working on a new series of novels, The Burning Chambers Trilogy – set during the French Wars of Religion in the 16th century, the second of which was published by Macmillan in January 2021.

Kate has been the Deputy Chair of the National Theatre in London, is on the Executive Committee of Women of the World and is Patron of the Sussex-based early music ensemble, The Consort of Twelve. In 2012 Kate was awarded the ‘Spirit of Everywoman’ for her work promoting writing by women, was named in 2015 by The Bookseller as one of the fifty most influential people in publishing. In 2013, she was awarded an OBE for services to literature and to women.

Harriet Hastings, Commercial Director

Harriet Hastings has worked with the Women’s Prize for Fiction since its launch, originally directing the prize’s publicity and marketing before becoming Managing Director in 2006 and Commercial Director in 2021. She started her career in publishing – latterly as Marketing Director at Michael Joseph – and the next ten as consumer brands director of a top 20 UK PR agency. She founded her own retail business Biscuiteers in 2007. In 2014, she was awarded a Specsavers Everywoman Retail Ambassador award and the Investec Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year award, and in 2019 she was the winner of the NatWest Everywoman award.

Jennifer Acton, Digital Manager

Jen Acton is a marketing consultant and copywriter, specialising in all things digital. She has ten years of marketing experience in the book industry, working at Penguin Press, The Booksellers’ Association and Pushkin Press before going freelance full time in 2017. She joined the Women’s Prize for Fiction team in 2015, and since then, has built the Prize’s digital channels into a year-round platform dedicated to celebrating women’s voices, including producing the popular Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast

Christian Lewis, PR Manager

Christian Lewis is a communications consultant and PR Director specialising in books and the arts. She worked in publishing for over two decades, most latterly as Communications Director at Vintage (Penguin Random House), before launching her own PR company, Christian Lewis PR.  In 2020 she joined the Women’s Prize team on a freelance basis, providing year-round PR support for the Prize and the Trust. 

Lynsey Passmore, Digital Strategist

Lynsey Passmore worked in commercial publishing for over ten years across marketing and publicity. Named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2013, Lynsey went on to win a PPC Best Newcomer award and won the Futurebook Award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign for her work on Dead Good Books. In 2018 Lynsey set up her own marketing agency, Bazowie, with an audience-first focus. She is passionate about reaching and communicating with readers and finding new spaces to creatively talk about books across all digital platforms. 

Lilidh Kendrick, Administrator

Lilidh Kendrick is the Administrator for the Women’s Prize Trust, supporting the day-to-day running of the charity and its year-round programme. Lilidh studied Modern Languages at Edinburgh University and holds postgraduate degrees in Spanish Literature and Translation. She channelled her love of language into a career in the book world, starting out at literary festivals and events before moving into publishing. As Assistant Editor for Fiction at Bloomsbury, Lilidh worked closely with authors to help bring their books to life, and she continues to be a passionate champion of women’s stories as part of the WPT team.