The Society of Authors (SoA) has taken over the administration of The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction from charity BookTrust.
The change of administration also coincides with a reduction in number of titles which will be longlisted for the prize, from 20 to 12. However, the shortlist of six titles will remain unchanged.
BookTrust has administered the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction since its inception in 1996. The SoA, which already administers a wide range of grants and prizes for writers including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translation and drama, will take over with immediate effect.
Paula Johnson, awards secretary at the SoA, said: “We are proud and excited to be the new administrators of the prestigious Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. This exceptional award, celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women, is a wonderful addition to our existing portfolio of prizes and we greatly look forward to our involvement in running and supporting it.”
Speaking about the reason for the reduction in the number of titles which will appear on the prize’s longlist, its managing director, Harriet Hastings, said: “Having taken soundings from the trade, the board decided we could give greater focus and increased marketing support to a smaller number of titles and enhance the visibility of the list as a whole.”
The Society of Authors will be contacting publishers and inviting entries for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction from this Wednesday (7th September), with the deadline for submissions 5pm Friday 23rd September 2016. Novels published in the UK between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017 are eligible.
This year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will be awarded on June 7th 2017. Last year's winenr was Lisa McInerney for her debut The Glorious Heresies (John Murray).