Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2019 shortlist

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


Womens Prize for Fiction 2019

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

The shortlist, which features a diverse range of voices and nationalities, is:

  • The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Milkman by Anna Burns

  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans

  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

  • Circe by Madeline Miller

This year’s list features one debut author (Oyinkan Braithwaite), as well as 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) and one previously shortlisted author (Anna Burns, for No Bones).

Womens Prize for Fiction 2019

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

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. 

Shortlist for Womens Prize for Fiction

The 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction 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.