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Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2019 longlist

Baileys is proud to be one of three sponsors of The Women’s Prize for Fiction.


Ahead of International Women’s Day, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has today announced the 2019 longlist. Now in its 24th year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.

The longlist of 16 novels follow in alphabetical order by author’s surname:

  • The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
  • Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Pisces by Melissa Broder
  • Milkman by Anna Burns
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans
  • Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lilian Li
  • Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • Praise Songs for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
  • Normal People by Sally Roone

The judges for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction are:

  • Professor Kate Williams (Chair), author, historian and Professor of History at the University of Reading
  • Arifa Akbar, journalist and critic
  • Dolly Alderton, columnist, broadcaster and author
  • Leyla Hussein, campaigner and psychotherapist
  • Sarah Wood, digital entrepreneur

“The discussion amongst the judges was passionate and there were some really tough choices to make. I am thrilled to share this longlist – sixteen incredible books by a diverse group of women, from the UK and countries across the world, all brilliant stories that sweep you into another world. Each of them have been a privilege to read, and they have taken us into places a million miles from each other, exploring the lives of women and men in so many different but utterly compelling ways.”

Professor Kate Williams

Chair of Judges

This year’s longlist honours both new and well-established writers and a range of genres. There are seven debut novels on the list. The list features a previous winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction (Madeline Miller, for The Song of Achilles), a winner of Orange Award for New Writers (Diana Evans, for 26a) as well as one previously shortlisted author (Anna Burns, for No Bones).

Set up in 1996, to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year, written by a woman and published in the UK between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

Last month the Prize announced it had achieved charitable status as the Women’s Prize Trust. As part of the mission to provide a platform for women’s voices, the Trust will work to grow the educational, research and engagement initiatives on offer. Individual supporters will have the opportunity to contribute to the important work of ensuring as diverse a range of women’s voices as possible is heard, and celebrated by everyone, through the Patron and Prize Circle Patron schemes. 

The 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist will be announced on 29th April 2019 and the winner will be awarded on June 5th 2019 at an awards ceremony in central London. The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

Baileys was the title sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction from 2013 – 2017. In May 2017, the Prize announced that it would be adopting a new sponsorship model.  From 2018, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has been supported by a family of sponsors, a group of leading brands and businesses. The sponsors of the 2019 Prize are Baileys, Freemantle and Natwest. Syl Saller, CMO of Diageo sits on The Prize board.