October 25, 2012
Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly The Orange Prize for Fiction, is to be privately funded for 2013. One of the positive aspects of a change in name of the prize is to highlight that the award is only open to women authors, a lesser known fact, which makes the remarkable prize even more unique. In a letter, Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth and chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, said:
In 1996 we founded the Prize for Fiction to celebrate and promote the very best of international fiction written by women. This ambitious undertaking was only made possible with the help of Orange, who immediately recognised the importance of our cause and signed as title sponsor and partner. Seventeen wonderful years later this partnership has delivered more than we ever hoped for, the Prize has gone on to become one of the most significant global literary awards. But all good things must come to an end and we can now confirm that 2012 will be the final year of Orange’s association. On behalf of everyone on the Prize for Fiction Women’s Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work of all those at Orange, past and present, for their investment, passion, support and never ending enthusiasm. This is the end of an era, but no major arts project should stand still. We are very much looking forward to developing the Prize for the future and working with a new sponsor to ensure the Prize grows and plays an even more significant part in the years to come. We are in active discussions with a number of potential new brand partners and look forward to the start of another exciting chapter for the Prize.
On October 8 it was announced Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Joanna Trollope, author of Parson Harding’s Daughter, have decided to privately sponsor the Prize along with the founder of lastminute.com and entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox and Christopher Foyle, the chairman of the Foyle’s bookshop on Charing Cross Road. The prize is in its 17th year, and last years’s winner was the American author Madeline Miller for her book, The Song of Achilles.Osmi Anannya