A group of female donors including Cherie Blair, Martha Lane Fox and the novelist Joanna Trollope have come in at the last minute to keep the Orange Prize for women’s fiction in existence. The prize will now be known at the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The committee is hoping to have a new headline sponsor in place for 2014.
The prize was in danger of being discontinued because after 17 years Orange said it wouldn’t cover the overhead any longer. The actual prize amount of 30,000 pounds comes from an endowment.
The goal of the prize is to “celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from around the world. The award is given annually to the best book by a woman written in English.” Winners have included Zadie Smith and Barbara Kingsolver.
For the upcoming year the prize will be chaired by actress Miranda Richardson. The other judges are journalist Razia Iqbal, writer and editor Rachel Johnson, author JoJo Moyes and feminist writer Natasha Walter.
The winner will be announced on June 5.
Orange Prize for Fiction to be renamed (The Telegraph)