The Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction: Judges Announced

baileys women's prize for fiction judges

by Ellie Wiseman |

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by women. 2017 will be its 22nd year, and the judging panel has now been announced.

Chairing the panel is Tessa Ross, the CEO of House Productions, and she will be joined by broadcaster and presenter, Katie Derham; novelist and essayist, Aminatta Forna; journalist and co-founder of The Pool, Sam Baker and comic and author, Sara Pascoe.

Tessa Ross expressed her excitement at being a part of the judging panel this year: 'I’m honoured to be chairing this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. As well as the great pleasure of spending time with four very talented judges, I’m thrilled to be part of this celebration of great writing and very much look forward to it'.

‘We want women to be noticed, supported and celebrated for their work and their perspectives, and for their voices to be heard’ commented Tessa Ross in the video announcement.

When asked what they will be looking for in the winning book, Katie Derham says she wants to be ‘transported’, and Aminatta Forna wants a book ‘that is going to live with you for the rest of your life’. Journalist Sam Baker said she is looking for a book that you should want to ‘push into the hands of everybody you meet’.

Last year’s winner was Lisa McInerney for her book The Glorious Heresies (2016), and before her was Ali Smith’s How To Be Both (2015).

The award was established in 1996 and set out to celebrate and support women writing fiction. Any woman can enter whatever her nationality, country of residence or age, and any subject matter is welcomed. The winner will receive a cheque of £30,000 and a bronze figurine called ‘Bessie’, created by artist Grizel Niven.

To be eligible for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017, novels must be published in the UK between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017.

The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on June 7th 2017 in London.

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