The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of six books on the 26th of April, 2023, and the winner will be announced on the 14th of June, 2023.
By Hope Ibiale
African writers, NoViolet Bulawayo, Jacqueline Crooks, and Tara M. Stringfellow, have been announced as some of the writers longlisted for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction. This year, more than half of the longlisted books are debuts, some of which include Trespasses by Louise Kennedy, I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel, Tara M. Stringfellow’s Memphis, and many more. The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of six books on the 26th of April, 2023, and the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on the 14th of June, 2023.
The longlist for the prize was announced this month, with the Chair of the judges, Louise Minchin saying, “This year’s longlist is a glorious celebration of the boundless imagination and creative ambition of women writers over the past year. Every one of these 16 books is excellent and original in its own individual way; they all offer fresh perspectives on history and humanity, exploring hard truths with empathy, sensitivity, directness, and sometimes infectious humour. There is something here for all readers! It has truly been a life-enhancing experience to judge the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist this year, and we are looking forward to celebrating these voices that need to be heard.”
Some of the longlisted books include Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks, Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow, Homesick by Jennifer Croft, Stone blind by Natalie Haynes, Children of Paradise by Camilla Grudova, Pod by Laline Paull, Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris, and many others.
NoViolet Bulawayo, whose real name is Elizabeth Zandile Tshele, is a Zimbabwean author who won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2011 for her short story Hitting Budapest. She is also the first black African woman to appear on the Booker Prize list twice.
Jacqueline Crooks is a Jamaican-born British writer. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award. Her story collection, The Ice Migration, was longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. Fire Rush is her debut novel. While announcing being longlisted for the prize, Jacqueline Crooks said, “Sixteen years in the writing, launched six days ago, Fire Rush has been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023. What a journey. Grateful to the readers, reviewers, and The Massive for bigging up my debut riddim novel! Congratulations to the amazing longlisted authors.”
Tara M. Stringfellow, is a poet, novelist, and former attorney. Some of her poetry collections have been published in Third Word Press, Minerva Rising, Women’s Arts Quarterly, and many others. Memphis is her first novel.
The Women’s Prize for Fiction was founded in 1996, after the Booker prize failed to shortlist any women five years earlier. The Women’s prize aims “to celebrate and promote fiction by women to the widest range of readers possible.” The prize is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the previous year. Earlier this year, the prize announced a sister prize for women’s non-fiction, which plans to award its first winner in 2024.
Author and journalist Louise Minchin, Bella Mackie, Rachel Joyce, Irenosen Okojie, and Tulip Siddiq will judge this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.