On Monday 13th April, the final 6 authors for this year’s Baileys Women Prize for fiction were finally announced. This year’s shortlist includes Rachel Cusk – ‘Outline‘, Laline Paull – ‘The Bees‘, Kamila Shamsie –’ A God in Every Stone‘, Ali Smith – ‘How To Be Both’, Anne Tyler – ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’, Sarah Waters – ‘The Paying Guests‘.
The awards are the only annual literary recognition for female authors ‘celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world’. The winner takes home a nifty £30, 000 cheque as well as a trophy called ‘Bessie’, both of which are anonymously donated. Last year’s nominees included Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her book ‘Americanah‘.
This year’s judges are writer and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates, columnist and broadcaster, Grace Dent, novelist and poet Helen Dunmore, Channel 4 presenter, Cathy Newman, and Chair judge, Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, who’ve had the enviable job of whittling down the initial 160 books to 20 and then 6 in the past few weeks.
This year’s Chair of judges, Shami Chakrabarti compared her role to that of presiding over ‘fantasy football.’ “You’ve heard of fantasy football? Well, short-listing for the 2015 Baileys Prize was the fantasy book club of a lifetime.”
“The novels we shared and the shortlist we ultimately honour form a body of great women’s writing to entertain and inspire for many years to come.”
The judges’ will now have to choose a winner from the shortlist, which will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Wednesday 3rd June 2015.
To read the profile for each author, check out the Baileys Prize for fiction website.