Baileys renews Women’s Prize for Fiction sponsorship

Baileys renews Women’s Prize for Fiction sponsorship

Baileys has confirmed sponsorship for 2017 for the Women's Prize for Fiction following an initial three-year partnership.

The sponsorship will now be renewed on an annual rolling basis.

Known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Women's Prize for Fiction was privately supported in 2013. In June 2013, the prize announced a three-year partnership (from 2014 to 2016) with Baileys, and from 2014 has been known as the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Novelist and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction co-founder, Kate Mosse, said: “The extension of our partnership with Baileys is fantastic news, especially at these times where arts sponsorship is increasingly under pressure. This new sponsorship arrangement is a sign of our shared commitment to taking outstanding novels from all over the world out to an even wider range of readers - in bookshops and libraries, at live events in theatres and bars, in the virtual world, on high streets.  As we go into our 21st year of celebrating exceptional fiction by women, it is also a great tribute to everyone's hard work and enthusiasm in building this vibrant, forward-looking and innovative partnership.”

Established in 1996 to “celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible”, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman. Any woman writing in English – regardless of nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

Mosse has stepped down from her position as chair of the board for this year's prize, with Joanna Prior succeeding her immediately. Literary agent Felicity Blunt, meanwhile, has been appointed company secretary, taking over from prize co-founder and former company secretary Jane Gregory.  Harriet Hastings continues in her role as managing director and Mosse continues in her capacity as spokesperson for the prize.

The award has also made new appointments to its board. Annie Coleman, global head of culture and client marketing for UBS Investment Bank, Hannah Griffiths, Faber and Faber publishing director, Louise Jury, former Evening Standard chief arts correspondent and now director of communications and strategy for the Creative Industries Federation; and Arzu Tahsin, publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, have joined the Prize Board with immediate effect.

They join existing members Blunt, Hastings, businesswoman Karen Jones, philanthropist businesswoman and member of the House of Lords Martha Lane Fox, vice-president EMEA for Facebook, Nicola Mendelsohn and Prior, managing director of Penguin General Books.

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 will be awarded on 8th June 2016. 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.

Last year's winner was Ali Smith for How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton).