Now in its eighteenth year, the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 was set up to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world.
Known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction, it is the UK's most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman and also provides a range of educational, literacy or research initiatives to support reading and writing.
The judges for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 have been confirmed as:
- Miranda Richardson, (Chair), Actor
- Razia Iqbal, BBC Broadcaster and Journalist
- Rachel Johnson, Author, Editor and Journalist
- JoJo Moyes, Author
- Natasha Walter, Feminist Writer and Human Rights Activist
"This is a new departure for me and I am honoured to be working with judges who combine fine minds with, I suspect, great good humour," commented Miranda Richardson.
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 2013 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.
The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine known as a 'Bessie', created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed. The Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 will be awarded on June 5th at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London following a series of public events.
For 2013, the Prize will be privately funded in the form of gifts from companies and individual donors. Supporters include: Bilbary, Cherie Blair, Christopher Foyle, Martha Lane Fox, Joanna Trollope and others who wish to remain anonymous.
Kate Mosse, Chair of the Women's Prize for Fiction board, said, "We were overwhelmed with interest from potential headline sponsors. However, it became clear sponsorship budgets for next year were already committed, so we took the decision to privately fund the Prize for 2013 while we finalized our arrangements for 2014 and beyond. We are delighted that such a wide range of people are supporting this exceptional year and thank them for their support."
The Prize will also be continuing its successful, long-term partnerships with Southbank Centre, Grazia magazine, The Reading Agency and Book Trust.