The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shadow Panel Winner 2017

On Sunday morning, our Baileys Prize Shadow Panel met in central London to decide our winner. As Antonia tweeted on Sunday morning, meeting regardless of Saturday night’s attack to discuss books was our rebellion. And a cracking discussion it was too.

Before I reveal our winner, I want to give an honourable mention to a book which didn’t make our shortlist. When you shadow a prize such as the Baileys, which has a particularly long longlist, you read and judge the books in a short period of time. The process doesn’t allow for books to settle and, as you’ll know, some books lose their impact over time, others grow. We felt we’d done one particularly book a disservice by leaving it off the shortlist as, during the intervening weeks, it has grown in stature for us due to it’s ambition. That book is Barkskins by Annie Proulx. We recommend it heartily to you now and hope it will find a larger readership.

L-R: Antonia Honeywell, Eric Karl Anderson, Meera Betab, Naomi Frisby, Eleanor Franzen

Our winner then… a completely unanimous decision for it’s style, beautiful writing, engrossing storyline, political history and the way it deals with such complex issues in a thoughtful way without sacrificing story…

Click on the cover to read my review.

A huge thank you to Antonia, Eric, Meera and Eleanor, it’s been a pleasure to read and discuss the books with them.

The winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 is announced on the evening of Wednesday 7th June.

9 thoughts on “The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shadow Panel Winner 2017

    • A shadow panel is when a group of people read the longlist the official judges have chosen, select their own shortlist and then their own winner. It’s interesting and fun to read the chosen books and discuss what you think about them. It’s also interesting to see how your choices line up against the official ones.

      Madeleine Thien’s novel is our chosen winner, the official winner is announced tomorrow evening.


  1. Interesting to see what you all chose and that it was unanimous. I’ve only read The Power so far but don’t think it’ll win. This one’s up next month for book group, so it’s higher up the TBR than some others on the shortlist, and is one I’m looking forward to reading.


    • That’s funny, Kath, as The Power is the one I actually think will win the real thing! Hope you enjoy the Thien.


      • Ah, that is funny. I enjoyed it but it didn’t hang together well enough for me and I didn’t think it was strong enough to win. But what do I know? It was shortlisted, after all, and I don’t think I’ve ever picked a winner yet.


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