The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner 2017

And the winner is… The Power by Naomi Alderman. Good choice and very fitting for this prize, I think. I loved Alderman’s comment that the women’s movement meant more to her than electricity.

If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly recommend it – I bought several copies as Christmas presents, which isn’t something I do often. If you want to know more, I interviewed Alderman in October.

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.

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 Shadow Panel


Shadowing the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is always one of my highlights of the reading year. Being introduced to new authors, championing brilliant books, having a tantrum when my favourite doesn’t make the shortlist/win; I love it all.

For the third year, I’m being joined by a panel of four fantastic book lovers. If you’ve followed us in previous years, you’ll be familiar with Eric Karl Anderson and Antonia Honeywell. Joining us this year are Meera Betab and Eleanor Franzen. You can find out more about all of us below.

Please do follow the conversation on Twitter and our blogs. If you’re reading along, we’d love to hear your thoughts. The longlist is announced on Wednesday 8th March, International Women’s Day.


Naomi Frisby runs The Writes of Woman, a celebration of female writers and their work. Her short stories have been shortlisted for The White Review Prize and longlisted for Manchester Fiction Prize. She enjoys interviewing writers both for the blog and at bookshops and literary festivals. She is working towards a PhD in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter @Frizbot.

Eric Karl Anderson is an American-born writer who has lived in London for over a decade and runs the book blog He’s author of the novel ENOUGH and was a judge of the 2015 Green Carnation Prize. He’s also keen on baking and watching disaster movies. Find him on Twitter @LonesomeReader.


Meera Betab is a welfare rights lawyer, writer and lover of books from West London. She appears in Dividing Lines, an anthology of short stories on the theme of Borders, Boundaries and Belonging, published by Dahlia Publishing in Spring 2017. Find her on Twitter @MeeraBetab.


Eleanor Franzén is a bookseller at Heywood Hill in Mayfair, and blogs about books at She is writing her first novel, lives in South London, and has more books than clothes. Find her on Twitter @EleanorFranzen.

Antonia Honeywell copyright Chris Honeywell

Antonia Honeywell is a teacher, a writer and an avid and promiscuous reader. Her debut novel, The Ship, a haunting dystopian fable for our times, is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. She enjoys supporting aspiring writers through her work with Find her on Twitter @antonia_writes.

My Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 Wishlist


It’s almost that time of year again; The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist is announced on International Women’s Day, Wednesday 8th March. Once again, I’ll be charing a shadow panel, the other members of which I’ll introduce on Friday. Before both of those things though, I’m going to have a stab in the dark at what might be on the longlist. My success rate is why I refer to this post as my wishlist as opposed to a prediction.

This year the longlist has been reduced from 20 to 12 titles, making it easier to read along and debate what might make the shortlist. Eligible titles are those published between the 1st April 2016 and the 31st March 2017 and written in English.

I’ve reviewed all of the titles I’ve chosen except Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò, which I’ll review this week, and Autumn by Ali Smith (which I’ve read but not yet reviewed); click on the covers of the other books to read my reviews.