Women’s Prize for Fiction, Formerly the Baileys, Announces Trio of Sponsors

In News by Porter Anderson

Implementing the change announced last year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction names Deloitte and NatWest as sponsors with Baileys, no one of them a title sponsor as Baileys and Orange have been in the past.

Baileys is back as a sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018, but as one of three companies, none of which is a title sponsor: the prize goes by its own name

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Women’s Prize for Fiction: Now With Three Sponsors

You may have known this UK award program by one of its former sponsors: Orange was the title sponsor of the prize between 1996 and 2012, and Baileys was the program’s title sponsor from 2013 to 2017.

The prize itself is the Women’s Prize for Fiction, now operating under its own name with a trio of sponsors, one of them still Baileys.

It has been announced on Thursday (March 1), that Baileys will be joined for this year’s awards cycle by Deloitte, the financial services corporation, and by NatWest, a UK banking firm. This is a reflection of what the prize determined in May 2017 would be a change in its sponsorship model, from the title-sponsor approach to what the organization calls “a family of sponsors.”

In a prepared statement, the chair of the prize board, Joanna Prior, is quoted saying that she’s glad the program “brings together the teams at Deloitte and NatWest who—together with our former headline sponsor, Baileys—each share our ambition to celebrate women’s voices and creativity.

In a prepared statement, Syl Saller of Diageo, parent company of Baileys, is quoted, saying: “Diageo believes in the power of celebrating female talent as a way of encouraging gender equality. Baileys, as a brand that resonates with so many women, is proud to be sponsoring the prize and encouraging that deliciously indulgent combination of a Baileys and good book.”

“Working together in this collective way will give the prize a secure platform to showcase and celebrate fiction by women and take books written by women to wider audiences than ever before.”

From Emma Codd for Deloitte: “It’s a privilege to celebrate the female authors nominated and support their creativity. The active participation of women in fiction and the success they are clearly achieving echoes our own agenda to increase diversity of thought and gender equality.”

“Working together in this collective way will give the prize a secure platform to showcase and celebrate fiction by women and take books written by women to wider audiences than ever before.”Joanna Prior

And from Alison Rose at NatWest: “NatWest will be giving women the chance to let their creativity shine and their voices be heard. At NatWest we are committed to ensuring women thrive in business and I am excited that we will now be helping them thrive in the literary world. We can’t wait to showcase and celebrate the hugely talented female novelists who are nominated for the 2018 prize.”

Here are the dates to note for the next moves in the Women’s Prize for Fiction with its trio of sponsors:

  • Longlist announcement: March 8
  • Shortlist announcement: April 23
  • Awards ceremony: June 6

The winner receives an anonymously endowed cash award of £30,000 (US$41,300) and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a “Bessie,” created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

The jury for the 2018 award cycle comprises Sarah Sands, Anita Anand, Katy Brand, Catherine Mayer, and Imogen Stubbs.

Established in 1996, to celebrate and promote international fiction written by women in English, the prize is meant to honor 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.

This is the prize program’s 23rd year of operation.

More coverage from Publishing Perspectives of book awards is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.