In England: The Women’s Prize for Fiction Names Its 2023 Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

The Women’s Prize 2023 shortlisted books are called by the jury ‘ambitious, diverse, thoughtful, hard-hitting and emotionally engaging.’

Image: Women’s Prize for Fiction

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Minchin: ‘A Glittering Showcase’
In the six-title shortlist released this morning (April 26) in London, the Women’s Prize for Fiction features three debut novelists: Louise Kennedy, Jacquieline Crooks, and Priscilla Morris.

What’s more, there are two writers—Barbara Kingsolver and Maggie O’Farrell—who have won the competition before. And Laline Paull is on her second shortlisting this time.

Among the six, one writer is American, one is Irish, and four are British. Any woman writing in English, regardless of nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter, is eligible to win this prize created in 1996 for a full-length novel published in the United Kingdom between April 1, 2022 and March 31. The date on which the winner is to be named is June 14.

The winner of this award regime receives £30,000 (US$37,527) and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as the “Bessie,” a piece created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

Louise Minchin

Jury chair Louise Minchin, in making the announcement, is quoted, saying, “This is an exquisite set of ambitious, diverse, thoughtful, hard-hitting and emotionally engaging novels.

“A glittering showcase of the power of women’s writing.

“My fellow judges and I feel it has been a huge privilege to read these novels, and we are delighted to be part of their journey, bringing them to the attention of more readers from across the world.”

Minchin’s sisters on the panel included Rachel Joycee, Bella Mackie, Irenosen Okojie, and Tulip Siddiq.

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 Shortlist

Jurors pictured for the shortlist announcement are, from left, Tulip Siddiq; Irenosen Okojie; chair Louise Minchin, and Rachel Joyce. Image: Women’s Prize for Fiction

Name of Author Title of Novel Publishing Imprint Nationality
Jacqueline Crooks Fire Rush Penguin Random House / Jonathan Cape British
Louise Kennedy Trespasses Bloomsbury Circus Irish
Barbara Kingsolver Demon Copperhead Faber & Faber American
Priscilla Morris Black Butterflies Duckworth Books British
Maggie O’Farrell The Marriage Portrait Hachette UK / Tinder Press British
Laline Paull Pod Corsair British

Among publishers, the independent house—one of the United Kingdom’s oldest publishing imprints—Duckworth Books, has a book (Black Butterflies) on the shortlist for the first time.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction was launched 28 years ago by its founding director, Kate Mosse.

More from Publishing Perspectives on international book and publishing awards programs is here. More from us on the Women’s Prize for Fiction is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s awards-heavy book and publishing market is here. More on International Women’s Day is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson 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 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.