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Women's Prize for Fiction

One of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world. The award is held annually and has seen some amazing full-length fiction introduced into the spotlight. 

The winner receives a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

2020 Women's Prize for Fiction Winner

Chair of the Judges, Martha Lane Fox

...Hamnet, while set long ago, like all truly great novels expresses something profound about the human experience that seems both extraordinarily current and at the same time, enduring. Read more »

Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell

Two extraordinary people. A love that draws them together. A loss that threatens to tear them apart.

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.



2020 Women's Prize Shortlist

Chair of the Judges, Martha Lane Fox

Choosing the shortlist was tough - we went slowly and carefully and passions ran high - just as you would want in such a process. But we are all so proud of these books - all readers will find solace if they pick one up. Read More »

A Thousand Ships

Natalie Haynes






Jenny (Y) Offill




Maggie O'Farrell