Books

Women's Prize for Fiction postpones 2020 winner announcement

British writers Bernardine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel and American journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner are among the 16 authors longlisted for the 2020 prize.
Eimear McBride holds the Women's Prize for Fiction trophy on stage after winning in 2014. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press)

The Women's Prize for Fiction is postponing the announcement of this year's winner until Sept. 9, 2020.

For the first time since its inception 25 years ago, the awards ceremony, which honours outstanding fiction written by women around the world, will not take place in the summer.

The decision to postpone was made in light of growing concern over the spread of COVID-19.

The £30,000 (approx. $51,335 Cdn) prize recognizes the year's best novel written by a woman in English. 

British writers Bernardine Evaristo, Hilary Mantel and American journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner are among the 16 authors longlisted for the 2020 prize, for their novels Girl, Woman, Other, The Mirror and the Light and Fleishman is in Trouble, respectively. 

There are no Canadians on the longlist this year.

The full longlist, which was announced on March 3, is:

While the shortlist of six novels will be revealed on April 22, 2020, as planned, the annual shortlist readings event has also been rescheduled for September.

The 2021 prize will not be affected. The call for submissions from publishers still scheduled for this September.

American novelist Tayari Jones won the 2019 award for An American Marriage.

Other past winners include Kamila Shamsie, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith.

Canadians who have won the award include Toronto's Anne Michaels (for her 1996 novel Fugitive Pieces) and Winnipeg's Carol Shields (for her 1997 novel Larry's Party).

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