New status will enable prize to be 'even more ambitious'
The Women's Prize for Fiction has achieved charitable status. Its charitable body, the Women's Prize Trust, has a brief to promote "the widest range of women's voices and stories from all over the world and... to broaden the reach and engagement of readers with extraordinary writing by women". Since its foundation in 1996, the prize has set an example for others in outreach initiatives.
Joanna Prior, chair of the Women's Prize board, said: "After 24 years of shining the spotlight on remarkable fiction, it is important to create a sustainable and diversified funding model for the prize, which allows individuals to get involved in supporting the prize alongside our corporate sponsors, as well as trusts and foundations."
Kate Mosse, co-founder, said: "The Women's Prize for Fiction was founded both to celebrate and to honour the best fiction writing by women, and to fund a range of educational, charitable and philanthropic initiatives to benefit readers. We're passionate about putting exceptional quality literature from all over the world into the hands of male and female readers of all ages; and to invest, support and engage with readers in order to more widely promote and foster writing of excellence. This new charitable status will enable us to do more, and be even more ambitious."
The prize was known as the Orange Prize for Fiction between 1996 and 2012, and then as the Baileys Prize for Fiction (2014-2017). Its current sponsors are Fremantle, Baileys and NatWest. The 2019 winner, who will receive £30,000, will be announced on 5 June.
The trust offers two packages for patrons, at £1,000 and £5,000 a year.