Bernardine Evaristo announced to chair Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

Who else will be joining her?

Women's Prize for Fiction Judges 2021
(Image credit: Sam Holden Agency for the Women’s Prize for Fiction)

Each year book lovers across the nation eagerly look forward to the announcement of the winner of the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction.

This year was no exception, with bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell going on to win the Women's Prize for Fiction with Hamnet, a re-imagining of the life of Shakespeare’s son.

But which female writer will follow her in 2021? And who are the people in the coveted judges seats?

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It has been announced today that the Chair of Judges for 2021 will be none other than Bernardine Evaristo. The acclaimed author of Girl, Woman, Other commented that she was looking forward to chairing the judging panel, saying, “The Women’s Prize for Fiction is such an essential and exciting prize".

She added that she is also looking forward to “discovering a wide range of novels that will give me a strong sense of the preoccupations, styles and aesthetics of contemporary women’s fiction. I hope to be blown away by some exceptional novels and to discover some hidden gems that deserve more attention and a wider readership.”

Who will be joining Bernadine Evaristo as judges?

Women's Prize for Fiction judges

Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo, is joined by four other influential industry experts.

  • Vick Hope, TV and Radio presenter, journalist and writer
  • Elizabeth Day, podcaster, author and journalist
  • Nesrine Malik, print columnist and writer
  • Sarah-Jane Mee, news presenter and broadcaster

With their combined experience and instinct for truly inspiring reads, we can't wait to hear their 2021 shortlist!

What is the WPF Prize?

The annual Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

The Prize champions excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing, and the winner receives a cheque for £30,000, anonymously endowed.

They also receive a limited edition bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.

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With 2020 marking the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Prize is also asking the public to vote for their favourite winner from the last 25 years. The winner with the most votes will be crowned the ‘Winner of Winners’ in a celebration of this occasion.

Voting will close on 1 November and the winner will be revealed on 12 November.

This ‘Winner of Winners’ will receive a specially commissioned silver ‘Bessie’. An exciting digital event is set to take place towards the end of November in celebration.

Further information about the Prize, its anniversary year, the judging process and selection criteria can be found HERE.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!