Reading Women challenge

Posted on 12th February 2020
In celebration of its 25th anniversary year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is today launching the multi-faceted #ReadingWomen campaign to spotlight the quality and importance of fiction written by women, and motivate people to read more exceptional, life-changing books by female authors from all over the world.

At Blake Morgan, we are delighted to continue to support Women’s Prize for Fiction this year and look forward to the #ReadingWomen campaign.

Digital reading challenge

At the centre of #ReadingWomen campaign is a digital book club and reading challenge. Throughout the anniversary year, readers of all ages, genders and backgrounds will be encouraged to take part in the challenge and read the 24 previous winners of the Prize (with the 25th winner announced in June), to discover the breadth, brilliance and diversity of female voices over the past quarter of a century.

The campaign will spotlight each of the previous winners in chronological order on its website and social channels, one every 10 days, starting with the Prize’s first winner A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore on Monday 17th February. Readers will be able to access accompanying resources for each book including new reading guides, extract widgets provided by Nielsen and exclusive author content.

Bringing together the experiences and opinions of readers across the country, the #ReadingWomen campaign will culminate in the autumn, when the ‘Winner of Winners’ from across the past 25 years will be chosen in a public vote.

The UK’s leading book retailer Waterstones is the official retail partner for the #ReadingWomen and will be providing a commercial platform for the campaign, including promotion of the winning books both in store and online, digital support and events throughout the year.

Book groups

The campaign aims to open up the world of fiction written by women to the widest possible audience, and the reader’s journey is central. In partnership with The Reading Agency and Waterstones, The Women’s Prize for Fiction will be working with book groups across the country, who will take on the challenge and log their experiences, documenting their readers’ journey.


#ReadingWomen will also feature on the Women’s Prize’s recently launched podcast, with eight special episodes dedicated to discussing the 24 previous winners. Each episode will feature three well-known influencers from the worlds of arts, politics, feminism and comedy, discussing three of the books centered around a common theme. The first episode, featuring Melissa Hemsley, Raifa Rafiq and Joe Haddow, aired today.

Commenting on the launch of the #ReadingWomen campaign, Women’s Prize for Fiction Founder Director, the novelist and playwright Kate Mosse, said: “As we embark on our anniversary celebrations, the #ReadingWomen campaign is a timely reminder of how transformative the past 25 years have been for honouring & celebrating the breadth and brilliance of fiction written by women – in no small part thanks to the Women’s Prize.

“Our aim was always to promote and celebrate the classics of tomorrow today and to build a library of exceptional and outstanding fiction by women. This a perfect moment to reflect on our past winners, to welcome our twenty-fifth winner, and to look forward to what the future might hold for women’s voices and creative talents. We’re delighted to be working with so many fantastic partners in the world of books and beyond to get our message heard far and wide.

“By taking part in our #ReadingWomen challenge, our hope is that more readers than ever before will discover the brilliance of our previous winners and enjoy the phenomenal quality and range of fiction written by women – great writing doesn’t age!”

Commenting on their partnership with the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Bea Carvalho, Waterstones Fiction Buyer, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Women’s Prize For Fiction to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The prize is of huge cultural and commercial importance, and has been instrumental in the careers of some of the most exciting novelists writing today. Through the 25th anniversary celebrations and the #ReadingWomen  campaign we have a welcome chance to be part of a year-long conversation about women’s writing, and to shine a spotlight on the prize’s 24 previous winners. Their enduring success is testament to the prize’s quality and influence, and we look forward to sharing them all with many new readers throughout 2020 and beyond.”

Last year, the Prize was awarded charitable status and became the Women’s Prize Trust. #ReadingWomen is an integral part of the Women’s Prize Trust’s commitment to championing the diversity of women’s voices, by inspiring more readers from all walks to life to enjoy fiction written by women, and to encourage a future generation of women writers.

Click here to visit the #ReadingWomen campaign page.

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