Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist, 2023
Even though I don’t follow literary prizes closely, I do enjoy watching booktubers organize their lives in order to read as many books on the longlist and shortlist respectively, before the official nominees are announced. I look forward to all of the related chatter-the reviews, discussions, and debates from passionate readers who feel strongly about who should be acknowledged and who should be ignored. It feels like the Oscars but for books.
This year, I don’t plan to read any of the nominated books on the shortlist before the winner is announced in June. Next year, however, I hope to do so with a reading buddy. In preparation, I’ve decided to look into what the Women’s Prize for Fiction is and how its nominees are chosen.
What is the Women’s Prize for Fiction?
Each year, a panel of judges consisting of literary experts is appointed to determine the winner of this prestigious honor. The prize recognizes excellence and originality in writing by women, and aims to shine a light on women writers and their works in a literary landscape that traditionally has been long dominated by male writers.
Books may be submitted by the author, the publisher, or an agent for consideration. To be eligible, a book must be written in English and published in the United Kingdom during the preceding year. First, the panel chooses the long list of 16 nominees, which is announced in March. Then, this list is then whittled down to the top 6 nominees, which is announced in April. In June, the winner is announced and celebrated. This honoree will receive a limited edition bronze figurine called the ‘Bessie’ and a £30,000 cash prize. Both are anonymously endowed.
Who won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2022?
Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness won last year.
Here is video of the award ceremony.