Women’s Prize Trust to launch award for non-fiction female writers

The Women’s Prize Trust is set to launch a non-fiction award alongside its long-running fiction award. 

This is reportedly in the wake of research which discovered that female non-fiction writers are less likely to be reviewed or win prizes than their male counterparts.

The new book prize, the award for non-fiction books by the Women’s Prize, will be awarded annually and is open to all female writers all around the world who are published in the United Kingdom and write in English, according to shethepeople.tv

A prize money of £30,000 and a statuette named “The Charlotte” will be awarded to the winner. The statuette has been given by the Charlotte Aitken Trust, a charity set up by the former literary agent Gillon Aitken on behalf of his late daughter.

Kate Mosse, the Women’s Prize’s founder and director, stated that the prize was not intended to take away the spotlight from brilliant male writers but rather to include women. She went on to say that she hoped it would highlight everyone who is doing something extraordinary, allowing readers to make their own decisions.

“In nonfiction, there is this idea of a neutral voice, which is even stronger, the idea of the expert. But, actually, the expert, the default voice, is male, whereas there’s a huge amount of amazing narrative non-fiction being written by women that is simply not getting any attention at all. It matters because readers are missing out,” said Mosse. 

The Women’s Prize Trust is aiming to award the new prize for the first time in 2024 and is currently searching for sponsorship.

Authors including Kate Williams, Afua Hirsch, Anita Anand, Hallie Rubenhold, Mary Ann Sieghart, and Charlotte Atiken Trust are supporting the new Women’s Nonfiction Prize.

The prize will include all genres of non-fiction, from history to memoir, music to nature, writing to science, and philosophy to biography. The winner will be decided by a panel of five judges, like the Women’s Prize award for fiction.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction was launched in 1996 in response to a lack of women on the shortlists of major prizes. The award was won by Ruth Ozeki in 2022 for her book, The Book of Form and Emptiness.


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