The Board

The Women’s Prize Trust is governed by a board of trustees, who bring a wealth of experience from a range of professional backgrounds.

Trustees are responsible for the governance, strategic direction, general management and control of the charity, and for the appointment of the managing director.


Joanna Prior (Chair)

Joanna Prior is Managing Director of Penguin General Books, one of nine publishing houses at Penguin Random House in the UK. The division comprises Hamish Hamilton, Fig Tree, Penguin Business, Penguin Life, Sandycove (based in Dublin) and Viking imprints and is home to authors as varied as Dolly Alderton, Antony Beevor, William Boyd, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Alain de Botton, Bernardine Evaristo, Mohsin Hamid, the Happy Pears, Nick Hornby, John le Carré, Ben Macintyre, Robert Macfarlane, Liz Nugent, Richard Osman, Ross O’Carroll Kelly, Arundhati Roy, Elif Shafak, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Elizabeth Strout and Colm Tóibín.  Joanna joined Penguin in 1998 as marketing and publicity director. Before Penguin, she was marketing and publicity director at Fourth Estate and was briefly editor of the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Joanna is a past President of The Publishers Association, past chair of the Consumer Publishing Council and was Chair of World Book Day in 2012. Previously part of the PA’s Reading for Pleasure committee, she is Vice Chair of the National Literacy Trust and Chair of Trustees of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. 

Anita Anand

Anita Anand has been a radio and television journalist for over twenty years. On BBC television she has presented, among other shows, Daily Politics, The Heaven and Earth Show and Newsnight. She is currently the presenter of Any Answers on BBC Radio 4. Her first book, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, received widespread acclaim. Her new book, The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India’s Quest for Independence will be published in August. Anita was a judge for the Women’s Prize in 2018.

Alison Barrow

A senior industry-respected entertainment and PR publishing professional, Alison is a multi award-winning book publicist with experience of launching writing careers, managing major figures and creating global brands. Alison has worked in UK publishing for 30 years,  establishing an unparalleled network of contacts across the industry, media and bookselling landscape.  Responsible for leading a team of publicists and developing and implementing creative, tailored and impactful cross-platform campaigns.

Felicity Blunt 

Felicity Blunt is a literary agent at Curtis Brown and is always on the lookout for debut authors to work with. She represents authors across a number of genres in fiction including historical, psychological suspense and literary. They include Rosamund Lupton, Renee Knight, Tamar Cohen and the Estate of Daphne du Maurier. She joined the board in 2012.

Louise Jury

Louise Jury is Director of Communications and Marketing for ScreenSkills, which develops skills and talent for the UK’s screen industries. In its critical start-up phase, she was previously Head of Strategic Communications for the Creative Industries Federation, an advocacy body for the creative industries.

For many years she covered the Women’s Prize for Fiction, as Chief Arts Correspondent of the London Evening Standard and Arts and Media Correspondent of The Independent (and Independent on Sunday). Other journalism included campaigns on issues including Third World debt, Nazi gold and the National Blood Service. She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in 2001.

Sandeep Mahal

Sandeep Mahal is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically and working with the highly skilled and dedicated team to make a difference to Nottingham’s arts and literature community. She spent ten years working in public libraries in Sandwell and seven years in the UK publishing environment, where she transformed the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network.

She has staged all kinds of events with authors from Zadie Smith and Jarvis Cocker to Adele Parks and Neil Gaiman. In 2013, she was Director of The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC. Sandeep is a trustee of Spread the Word and a Literary Consultant at Slam Films where she works with Slam’s creative team on all literary acquisitions. She has judged the Costa First Novel Award, the British Book Awards and the Fiction Uncovered Prize, and awarded the prestigious fellowship from the Clore Cultural Leadership Institute.

Anna Rafferty

Anna Rafferty is Global Director: Digital Marketing at BBC Worldwide.  She is tasked with developing the BBC’s direct-to-consumer offerings, leading the company’s short-form and social content production unit BBC Worldwide Digital Studios, driving the corporation’s reputation for digital innovation and editorially developing new IP.  She particularly works on the BBC’s global franchise brands including BBC Earth, Doctor Who, Top Gear and Children’s.

She joined BBC Worldwide from Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company where she was Director of Product, Content and Creative.  Prior to Pottermore, Rafferty spent 11 years at Penguin Books where she was MD for its Digital Division. She worked with major talent and IP including Roald Dahl, Marian Keyes, Jamie Oliver, Stephen Fry and Penguin Classics, amongst many others.  She is also on the Ravensbourne Broadcast Advisory Board and is Chair of the Digital Arts and Heritage Charity Culture24, which programs and runs the Museums at Night festival and the Museum Crush website.

Aliceson Robinson

Aliceson is an Executive Director at Russell Reynolds, with a focus on Media & Entertainment and Consumer Digital.  Prior to Russell Reynolds, she spent almost a decade with McKinsey. A passionate reader since the age of three, she is also a Trustee for the Royal Academy of Dance.

Debbie Wosskow

Debbie Wosskow OBE is recognised as one of the most prominent serial entrepreneurs in the UK, known for successfully launching and scaling businesses in the areas of digital disruption, the sharing economy and female empowerment. She was the Founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, sold to Wyndham Destination Networks for $53m in July 2017.

As co-founder and chairperson of AllBright, Debbie, along with her co-founder Anna Jones (former CEO of Hearst), aims to close the gender-based funding gap that currently prevents many women from launching and succeeding with their business ideas.

Click here to read about the executive team.