British author Ali Smith has won the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel How to Be Both. At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, London, hosted by broadcaster, author and DJ, Lauren Laverne, the 2015 Chair of Judges, Shami Chakrabarti, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the 'Bessie', a limited edition bronze figurine, both donated anonymously.
Shami said: "Ancient and modern meet and speak to each other in this tender, brilliant and witty novel of grief, love, sexuality and shape-shifting identity.
Novelist and co-founder of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse, said: "In this, our twentieth year, it is wonderful to see our partnership with Baileys going from strength to strength. Our retail and media partnerships in 2015 have been hugely successful in promoting outstanding fiction by women to an even wider range of readers, both in the UK and throughout the world."
"Congratulations to Ali Smith whose winning novel How to Be Both reflects the brilliance and originality that the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction proudly celebrates," commented Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo, continuing, "This year's shortlist showcased an outstanding variety of female talent."
The prize - now in its twentieth year and the second with new headline sponsor, Baileys, is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman. Any woman writing in English - whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter - is eligible.
- Outline by Rachel Cusk (Faber and Faber)
- The Bees by Laline Paull (Fourth Estate)
- A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)
- How to be Both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus)
- The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (Virago)
Shami Chakrabarti, (Chair), Director, Liberty
Laura Bates, Writer and Founder of The Everyday Sexism Project
Grace Dent, Columnist and Broadcaster
Helen Dunmore, Novelist, Poet and Winner of the Inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction
Cathy Newman, Presenter, Channel 4 News
We've selected 12 reading groups to shadow the prize - visit Reading Groups for Everyone to find out what they thought about the shortlisted titles.
For more information, including a list of all the previous winners, visit the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction website.
Have you read any of the titles on the shortlist? Was How to Be Both your choice for the Prize? Let us know what you think via twitter and facebook.