The Women’s Prize for Fiction announces its 2021 longlist

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Yaa Gyasi is one of 16 authors to be longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction award. (Photo by Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images)
Yaa Gyasi is one of 16 authors to be longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction award. (Photo by Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images)
  • The Women’s Prize Trust is a registered charity championing women writers on a global stage.
  • Since 1996, the trust has showcased the very best writing by women through the Women’s Prize for Fiction literary awards. 
  • This year’s long list for the award features fiction from a range of genres, locations and writers. 


This year’s sixteen longlisted books cover both new and well-established writers and a range of genres. The longlist also honours both new and well-established writers and a range of genres and themes: family, motherhood, poverty and isolation, addiction, identity, race, class, grief, happiness, coming-of-age and later life. With regards to place, the novels span a range of global settings, from South London to Deep South; Ghana, Hong Kong, Barbados, Brooklyn and a fantasy realm.

Chair of judges and novelist Bernardine Evaristo, says:

We read so many brilliant novels for this year’s prize and had an energetic judging session where we discussed our passions, opinions and preferences. Sadly, we had to let some very deserving books go but we’re confident that we have chosen sixteen standout novels that represent a truly wide and varied range of fiction by women that reflects multiple perspectives, narrative styles and preoccupations. These novels fascinated, moved, inspired and challenged us and we’re excited at announcing their inclusion on the Women’s Prize longlist.

Bernardine is joined on the judging panel by podcaster, author and journalist, Elizabeth Day; TV and radio presenter, journalist and writer, Vick Hope; print columnist and writer, Nesrine Malik; and news presenter and broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee.


A picture of the 16 books that have been longliste
A picture of the 16 books that have been longlisted for the Women's Short Story Prize. (Women's Short Story Prize).

Listed in alphabetical order, the sixteen longlisted books are as follows:

The judging panel will now whittle these 16 books down to a shortlist of just 6 novels, announced on April 28th. The 25th winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on Wednesday 7th July.

Make sure you’re signed up to the Women’s Prize for Fiction newsletter for a chance to win all sixteen longlisted books. And join in the conversation @WomensPrize about this year’s brilliant novels.

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