This year is the twentieth year of the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction and the year has been marked by several big events. Originally called the Orange Prize, Bailey’s took over in 2014 keeping the important award for women’s writers alive.
Last night the 2017 winner, the twentieth winner of the prize was announced as British author Naomi Alderman for her fourth novel The Power. The decision was announced at an awards ceremony at Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre, London where the author was presented with her £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.
The shortlisted books were announced back in early April, and are receiving rave reviews from readers. It’s from this shortlist that the winner is chosen.
It’s the second time Naomi Alderman has won the coveted prize. In 2006, the authors debut novel collected the Orange Prize for New Writers.
The Power is Alderman’s fourth novel , a sci-fi novel that sees a power twist in society. Suddenly teenage girls find they can inflict pain and death with a flick of their fingers and what follows has been described as The Handmaid’s Tale for the Gone Girl generation. Margaret Atwood herself called the novel ‘electrifying’, and what is now certain is that it’ll be a bestseller.
The hall of fame for sci-fi and fantasy has been going since 1996 and Lee will be the first comic book writer to be included. Both he and Rowling have made a significant impact on the world of pop culture this past decade, with a stream of books and movies and an ever-expanding universe for both Marvel and the Potter fandom.
The scandal continued with many members resigning in protest, leaving the Academy in crisis due to its own rules. It looked as though the entire Nobel Prize Academy might have been disbanded forever but it was ultimately saved, although 2018 will be the first year in 69 years that the awards have not been given.
Tim Waterstone, founder of the eponymous book shop chain has been recognised with a knighthood for services to bookselling and charity. Author Kazuo Ishiguro has also received a knighthood for services to literature.
500 Words 2018 has set another record for entries: this year saw over 135,000 people enter with their stories. The stories were read by a team of 5000 volunteers- librarians and teachers from around the UK- before being pared down to the Top 50 by The Reading Agency. The panel of judges, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman and Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, had the gruelling task then of selecting three winners from two age categories (5-9 years and 10-13 years).
The final was presented by BBC’s Chris Evans, and was an exciting and glamorous day of live music and story-telling. The six winners were announced on BBC Radio 2 by British and Irish funnymen, David Walliams and Dara O’Briain. There was also music from John Newman, Alexandra Burke and Bastille to round off the celebrations.
The 16 original books were read and discussed by the panel of judges- Sarah Sands, Katy Brand, Anita Anand, Catherine Mayer, and Imogen Stubbs- and whittled down to a final fantastic 6. After much deliberation those 6 were discussed and debated until one winner was decided upon.
Congratulations to the winner- Kamila Shamsie with Home Fire.