Judging

Every June, a panel of five women, all passionate readers and at the top of their respective professions, choose the winner of the BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The whole process starts early autumn of the previous year. The Society of Authors — the Prize administrators — invites UK publishers to submit eligible books, while the Prize Director (Harriet Hastings) approaches potential judges.

Judges are appointed by the end of the year and plunge immediately into reading their allotted books, before meeting to decide the longlist, the shortlist and — shortly before the Award Ceremony — the winner.

The judges are given the key criteria for the Prize – accessibility, originality and excellence in writing by women. They are asked to forget about reviews, publicity spends, an author’s previous reputation, the sense of ‘who deserves it’ and choose simply on the basis of novels that inspire them, move them, make them think – and that they admire and enjoy!


Previous judges:

2016

Margaret Mountford (Chair)

Laurie Penny

Elif Shafak

Naga Munchetty

Tracey Thorn

2015

Shami Chakrabarti (Chair)

Cathy Newman

Grace Dent

Helen Dunmore

Laura Bates

2014

Helen Fraser (Chair)

Sophie Raworth

Caitlin Moran

Mary Beard OBE

Denise Mina

2013

Miranda Richardson (Chair)

Razia Iqbal

Rachel Johnson

Jojo Moyes

Natasha Walter

2012

Joanna Trollope OBE (Chair)

Lisa Appignanesi OBE

Victoria Derbyshire

Natalie Haynes

Natasha Kaplinsky

2011

Bettany Hughes (Chair)

Liz Calder

Tracy Chevalier

Helen Lederer

Susanna Reid

2010

Daisy Goodwin (Chair)

Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE

Michèle Roberts

Miranda Sawyer

Alexandra Shulman OBE

2009

Fi Glover (Chair)

Bidisha

Sarah Churchwell

Kira Cochrane

Martha Lane Fox CBE

2008

Kirsty Lang (Chair)

Lily Allen (withdrew for health reasons)

Lisa Allardice

Philippa Gregory

Bel Mooney

2007

Muriel Gray (Chair)

Kathryn Hughes

Maya Jaggi

Marian Keyes

Kate Saunders

2006

Martha Kearney (Chair)

Jenny Eclair

Claire Fox

India Knight

Jacqueline WIlson DBE

2005

Jenni Murray DBE (Chair)

Jo Brand

Joanne Harris MBE

Jude Kelly OBE

Moira Stuart OBE

2004

Sandi Toksvig OBE (Chair)

Karen Cunningham

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Katharine Viner

Minette Walters

2003

Ahdaf Soueif (Chair)

Sophie Dahl

Nicolette Jones

Annalena McAfee

Dr Margaret Reynolds

2002

Sue MacGregor CBE (Chair)

Professor Gillian Beer DBE

AL Kennedy

Fiona Shaw CBE

Julie Wright

2001

Rosie Boycott (Chair)

Kate Adie OBE

Rachel Holmes

Emily Perkins

Suzanne Vega

2000

Polly Toynbee (Chair)

Amanda Foreman

Claire Beaumont

Bonnie Greer OBE

Ffion Hague

1999

Baroness Lola Young OBE (Chair)

Mariella Frostrup

Nicci Gerrard

Ursula Owen

Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE

1998

Sheena Macdonald (Chair)

Grace Kempster

Bernice Rubens

Elaine Showalter

Erica Wagner

1997

Lisa Jardine CBE (Chair)

Fiona Kennedy

Andrea Levy

Val McDermid

Allison Pearson

1996

Kate Mosse OBE (Chair)

Val Hennessy

Susan Hill CBE

Margaret Lally

Lorna Sage