The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 Shortlist

The Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist was announced very early this morning on BBC Radio 4 after the list was leaked. On it are three debut novels, although only The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a first book. Elif Batuman previously published a non-fiction book The Possessed and Jessie Greengrass published an excellent short story collection, An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It, which won The Edge Hill Prize and was shortlisted for Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer Award (winning the shadow panel prize for which I was a judge).

Those of you who read the blog regularly will know that I am a huge fan of Meena Kandasamy and her second novel When I Hit You in particular. It was my book of the year last year and my favourite to win the prize.

The more established novelists who complete the shortlist are Kamila Shamsie for Home Fire and Jesmyn Ward for Sing, Unburied, Sing which has already taken the National Book Award in the USA. I loved Home Fire, it’s gripping, nuanced and utterly relevant. Sing, Unburied, Sing is beautifully told and completely heart-breaking. I sobbed through the last three chapters.

The list shares four titles with our shadow panel shortlist and four with my own personal list. The title missing that the shadow panel and I expected to see is Elmet. I hope it’s inclusion on a number of prize lists in the past few months means that people do read it.

The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 will be announced on June 6th.

The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award Shadow Panel 2016


I’m delighted to announce that the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser Dunlop Writer of the Year Award has decided to have a group of bloggers acting as an official shadow panel this year and I’m on the panel.

The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award of £5,000 is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author of 35 years or under. There are three prizes of £500 each for runners-up. The winning book will be a work of outstanding literary merit.

In 2015, the prize was awarded to Sara Howe for her debut collection Loop of Jade.

Not only am I thrilled to have been asked but also to be working alongside some of my favourite bloggers. They are:

Eric Anderson: Lonesome Reader (@lonesomereader)
Kim Forrester: Reading Matters (@kimbofo)
Charlie Place: The Worm Hole (@CarnelianValley)
Simon Savidge: Savidge Reads (@SavidgeReads)

If you don’t already read their blogs/follow them on Twitter, then I highly recommend them to you. You can read more about all of us on the prize website.

The shortlist for this year’s prize is announced on Sunday 6th November in The Sunday Times and via all the usual social media channels. Once the announcement’s been made, we’ll start reading and reviewing the shortlisted books as well as featuring some special content on our blogs. We’re hoping you’ll follow us and join the discussion.