6 incredible books announced for Women’s Prize 2020 shortlist

Reading has been the perfect form of escapism during these strange times. If you've powered through your TBR list already then why don't you delve into one of the incredible books short-listed for this year's Women’s Prize for Fiction. Six books have made the 2020 shortlist and readers are in for a true treat. 

  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
  • Weather by Jenny Offill

Now in its 25th year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world. The judges for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, all of whom are passionate about shining a light on writing by women, are Martha Lane Fox, Scarlett Curtis, Melanie Eusebe, Viv Groskop and Paula Hawkins.

Chair of the Judges, Martha Lane Fox, said: “We are all living in challenging, sad and complex times so incredible stories provide hope, a moment of escape and a point of connection now more than ever. Choosing the shortlist was tough – we went slowly and carefully and passions ran high – just as you would want in such a process. But we are all so proud of these books – all readers will find solace if they pick one up.”

This year’s list features one previously shortlisted author (Hilary Mantel, who has been shortlisted three times, for Beyond Black, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies). Bernardine Evaristo won the Orange Prize Youth Panel award in 2009, for her novel Blonde Roots. 

2020 chair of the judges Martha Lane Fox will be joined by Women’s Prize Founder Director Kate Mosse on 6th May, via Zoom, for a deep dive into the six shortlisted books and a behind-the-scenes look at the judging process. Audience members are invited to submit questions to Martha and Kate in advance through the Women’s Prize for Fiction social channels. For details, visit the Women’s Prize for Fiction website or @WomensPrize on Twitter or Instagram.

The 2020 Prize is supported by three sponsors:

  • Baileys; the world’s bestselling cream liqueur, a longstanding sponsor of the Prize since 2013
  • Fremantle; one the largest creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world, who came on board as a sponsor for the 2019 Prize
  • NatWest; one of the UK’s leading personal, private and business banks, part of the family of sponsors since 2018

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Shortlist Readings have been postponed and will now be held at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday 8th September 2020. Tickets can be purchased from the Southbank Centre website from 27th April.

The 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction Awards Ceremony and winner announcement has also been rescheduled and will take place on 9th September 2020, at an awards ceremony in central London. The winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000 and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.