The Women’s Prize for Fiction has announced a new partnership with Baileys, the cream liqueur beverage. From 2014, the competition will be known as the ‘Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction’ as part of a three-year partnership announced today.
The competition's previous sponsor, Orange, ended the partnership in May 2012. Having sponsored the prize since it began in 1996, the mobile services company reportedly chose to focus on the film industry.
Kate Mosse, Chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, said, “We were delighted by the range of interest [in sponsorship] – and enjoyed meeting brands in various sectors – but in the end, the Women’s Prize for Fiction Board felt Baileys was the ideal choice as our new partners.
"We were impressed not only by the scale of their ambition, but also their passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women and willingness to help in bringing the prize to ever wider audiences.”
The Women's Prize for Fiction was set up to promote international fiction by women throughout the world, previous winners include Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles (2012) and Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005).
The public will be able to watch the ceremony streamed live from The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, including the announcement of the 2013 winner on Wednesday 5th June at 6.45pm.
This year's shortlist makes history, for the first time two previous winners of the Orange Prize will battle it out for ‘the Bessie’ award and cash prize of £30,000.
American author Barbara Kingsolver won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 for The Lacuna, and British writer Zadie Smith won in 2006 for On Beauty. Kingslover's 2013 shortlisted novel Flight Behaviour tells the story of the discovery of a bizarre lake of fire and Smith explores the cheek-by-jowl relationships of neighbours in north-west London in her novel NW.
Other contenders include Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, May We Be Forgiven by A.M Homes and Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Shortlisted author Hilary Mantel made headlines this year when she scooped the 2012 Man Booker Prize with Bring Up the Bodies, making her the only UK author ever to have won it twice.
Book covers of the Women's Prize For Fiction 2013 Shortlist
The judging panel for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction is chaired by the actor Miranda Richardson, alongside fellow judges Razia Iqbal, Rachel Johnson, JoJo Moyes and Natasha Walter.
The Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 judging panel (l-r) JoJo Moyes, Natasha Walter, Miranda Richardson, Razia Iqbal and Rachel Johnson
Richardson said: “The shortlist for 2013 represents six tremendous writers at the top of their game.
"Their individual novels are flawlessly presented, they contain a heady mix of ideas and without exception take the reader on a unique and deeply satisfying journey.”
Read our interview with Kate Mosse on the importance of arts partnerships, the future of digital publishing and drinking Baileys.