Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

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Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Orange Prize for fiction logo-2.JPG
Awarded for Best full-length novel written in English by a woman of any nationality
Sponsor Baileys Irish Cream (2014-)
Private benefactors (2013)[1]
Orange (1996–2012)
Location United Kingdom
Presented by Women's Prize for Fiction
First awarded 1996
Official website Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (previously called Women's Prize for Fiction (2013), Orange Prize for Fiction (1996–2006 and 2009–12) and Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007–08)) is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes,[2][3][4] annually awarded 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 preceding year.[5]

History[edit]

The prize was established to recognise the contribution of female writers.[6][7] The winner of the prize receives £30,000, along with a bronze sculpture called the Bessie created by artist Grizel Niven, the sister of actor and writer David Niven.[8] Typically, a longlist of nominees is announced around March each year, followed by a shortlist in June; within days the winner is announced. The winner is selected by a board of "five leading women" each year.[9]

The prize has since spawned other awards including the Harper's Bazaar Broadband Short Story Competition, the Orange Award for New Writers, the Penguin/Orange Readers' Group Prize, and the Reading Book Group of the Year.[10][11]

In support of the 2004 award, the Orange Prize for Fiction published a list of 50 contemporary "essential reads". The books were chosen by a sample of 500 people attending the Guardian Hay Festival and represent the audience's "must have" books by living UK writers. The list is called the Orange Prize for Fiction's "50 Essential Reads by Contemporary Authors".[12]

The prize was originally sponsored by Orange, a telecommunications company. In May 2012, it was announced Orange would be ending its sponsorship of the prize.[13] There was no corporate sponsor for 2013; sponsorship was by "private benefactors", led by Cherie Blair and writers Joanna Trollope and Elizabeth Buchan.[1] Beginning in 2014, the prize was sponsored by the liquor brand Baileys Irish Cream.[14]

Criticism[edit]

The fact that the prize excludes male writers is not without controversy.[15] After the prize was founded, Auberon Waugh nicknamed it the "Lemon Prize" while Germaine Greer claimed there would soon be a prize for "writers with red hair".[16] The 1990 Man Booker Prize winner A. S. Byatt has called it a "sexist prize", claiming "such a prize was never needed".[17] In 2007, former editor of The Times Simon Jenkins called the prize "sexist".[18] In 2008, writer Tim Lott called the award "a sexist con-trick" and suggested "the Orange Prize is sexist and discriminatory, and it should be shunned".[19][20] On the other hand, London journalist Jean Hannah Edelstein explained in 2011 her own "wrong reasons" for newly supporting the prize. "Unfortunately, the evidence shows that the experiences of male and female writers after they set their pens down are often distinctively different. That's why I've changed my mind about the Orange prize. I still agree with Byatt that the idea of female-specific subject matter is spurious, but I don't think that's what the prize rewards."[21] Next year Cynthia Ozick, writing in The New York Times, said the Prize "was not born into an innocent republic of letters" when it comes to a history of women writers being discriminated against. She concluded, "For readers and writers, in sum, the more prizes the better, however they are structured, and philosophy be damned."[22]

There has been other negative criticism. In 1999 Lola Young, chair of the judges panel, claimed that British female literature fell into two categories, either "insular and parochial" or "domestic in a piddling kind of way".[23] Linda Grant suffered accusations of plagiarism following her award in 2000.[24] Next year a panel of male critics heavily criticised the shortlist and produced its own.[25] The 2007 shortlist was decried for being derived from "a lot of dross" by the chair of the judging panel Muriel Gray.[26]

Winners and shortlisted writers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robert McCrum (13 October 2012). "How prize that used to be Orange was saved – and rebranded". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Pryor, Fiona (28 December 2007). "Life after Orange Prize success". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Reynolds, Nigel (12 April 2008). "Small Island voted best Orange prize winner of past decade". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Forna, Aminatta (11 June 2005). "Stranger than fiction". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "Rules for entry". Orange prize for Fiction. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Orange Prize FAQs". Orange prize for Fiction. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  7. ^ Merritt, Stephanie (28 October 2007). "The model of a modern writer". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "About the Prize". Orange prize for Fiction. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  9. ^ "How the Prize is judged". Orange prize for Fiction. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  10. ^ Patrick O'Donnell (editor). The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, see "Awards and Prizes" by Richard Todd, pp. 19–22.
  11. ^ Andrew Maunder (editor). The Facts On File Companion to the British Short Story, see "Awards and Prizes" by Vana Avegerinou, pp. 22–24.
  12. ^ "Harry's 'must-read' snub", London Evening Standard, 7 June 2004.
  13. ^ Benedicte Page (22 May 2012). "Orange to cease sponsorship of Fiction Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Alison Flood (3 June 2013). "Baileys all round at Women's Prize for fiction". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Pressley, James (21 April 2009). "Robinson, Feldman Make Final Round in Orange Prize for Fiction". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  16. ^ Bedell, Geradline (6 March 2005). "Textual politics". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  17. ^ Alberge, Dalya (18 March 2008). "A. S. Byatt denounces 'sexist' Orange prize". The Times (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  18. ^ Reynolds, Nigel (18 April 2007). "Booker prize author joins Orange shortlist". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  19. ^ Guest, Katy (6 June 2008). "The Big Question: Has the time come to close the book on women-only literary prizes?". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  20. ^ Oakes, Keily (3 June 2003). "The fiction of women's writing". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  21. ^ Jean Hannah Edelstein (16 March 2011). "I'm an Orange prize convert – for all the wrong reasons". Books Blog. (theguardian.com). Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Prize or Prejudice". The New York Times. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra (10 May 1999). "'Piddling' British fiction loses out to Americans". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Kennedy, Maev (8 June 2000). "Orange prize winner rejects claims of plagiarism". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  25. ^ Gibbons, Flachra (19 May 2001). "Sexes clash on Orange prize". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  26. ^ Majendie, Paul (6 June 2007). "Nigerian author wins top women's fiction prize". Reuters. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 

External links[edit]