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(Left to Right: Cathy Newman, Helen Dunmore, Shami Chakrabarti, Laura Bates and Grace Dent)

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has today announced its 2015 judging panel.The panel will  be chaired by Director of Liberty – and author of the bestselling On Liberty – Shami Chakrabarti. Her fellow judges are writer and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates; the broadcaster, writer and columnist for ES Magazine, Grace Dent; the award-winning poet and novelist (and winner of the first ever Women’s Prize for Fiction in 1996) Helen Dunmore; and Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman.

Shami Chakrabarti says of chairing this year’s panel: “Women writers continue to enthral, educate and entertain so to chair the judges of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is going to be great reading and great fun.”

Between them, the judges will be reading more than 150 books – outstanding novels written by women from all over the world – over the next six months as they choose their longlist of twenty titles, then shortlist of six, then the winner of the 2015 Baileys WPfF. Previous winners of the prize include Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2014), ChimamandaNgoziAdichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007) and Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006).

Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible for a full length novel written in English between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015.

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

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015 will be awarded on June 3rd 2015 at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.