A new women-only award is being launched to end the ‘old-fashioned’ male dominance of non-fiction.
The organizers of the Women’s Prize for Fiction have created a sister prize for factual writing after raising concerns that women authors are rarely featured in bookstores devoted to science and history, or on shortlists for non-fiction writers. fiction awards.
The new £30,000 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction aims to end the ‘old-fashioned’ notion that only men can be experts, and help raise awareness and sales for women writers.
Writer Kate Mosse, founder and director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, said: “Everything is geared towards male authors.
“They are not graded. They are not kept in stock.
“If you go into a ‘smart thinking’ section in a bookstore, there are no female writers at all.
“It’s really old-fashioned. It is this outdated notion that only men can be experts.
“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the books aren’t talked about, they aren’t stocked and bought, so future books aren’t promoted and talked about.
“With this award we want to show that there are great female writers who have a lot to say, whether in science, philosophy or politics.”
The Women’s Prize Trust, which will host the fiction and planned non-fiction prizes, is currently looking for a sponsor to fund the new prize.
The award, given annually to any writer, regardless of nationality, for “excellence” in narrative non-fiction, from history, memoir, music and nature writing to science, philosophy and biography.
The prize was created after research by the Women’s Prize Trust found that female writers in these genres made up just a third of non-fiction prize winners over the past decade, with nearly 70 percent of the top prizes claimed by men.
Ms Mosse said this is leading to fewer books by female authors stocked in bookshops, fewer reviews of these books and ultimately a pay gap between less well presented female authors and high profile male authors.
The Women’s Prize Trust hopes to launch the planned prize in 2024, and over the first three years £30,000 prizes will be coveted through donations from the Charlotte Aitken Trust, a charity founded by the late literary agent Gillon Aitken in honor of his daughter.