New women’s prize to award over $150k to a single work of fiction
In Canada, the newly announced Carol Shields Prize for Fiction will award C$150,000 (A$169,000) to a single work of fiction by a woman or non-binary writer.
Launching in 2022, the annual prize will be open to English-language books (including translations from Spanish and French) published in the US or Canada by writers who are both citizens and current residents for at least five years of either Canada or the US. The judging panel will comprise a Canadian, an American and a third judge from another country, who will decide on a longlist of 15 books and a shortlist of five books. In addition to the winning prize, the four shortlisted writers will each receive C$12,500 (A$14,000). The winner will also be asked to select and mentor an emerging writer.
The prize is named for the late Canadian writer Carol Shields, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for her novel The Stone Diaries.
‘I’ve always thought the prize money had to be a lot of money because it’s not just a national prize,’ said prize co-founder Susan Swan. ‘This is a statement of our belief that the excellence of women’s writing deserves to be paid well.’
According to Swan, between now and 2022 the prize will be fundraising to cover administrative costs, find their jury panel and make their inaugural longlist. An anonymous corporate donor has funded the prize for the first three years.