The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly known as the Orange Prize, was announced today in the UK. The prize is an international award for women’s writing in English, that aims to celebrate “the very best full length fiction written by women throughout the world.”

Telecommunications company Orange, who worked in developing and supporting the Prize since its inception for over seventeen years, parted company with the Prize in May last year, reportedly in order to focus their arts sponsorship efforts on film.

The 2013 Prize will be known this year simply as the Women’s Prize for Fiction and will be funded privately while the board concludes negotiations with a new long-term sponsor. The new sponsorship partner will be announced prior to the awards ceremony later in the year.

Of the twenty titles on the longlist, two Australian authors appear: Carrie Tiffany for her novel Mateship with Birds and ML Stedman for The Light Between Oceans. You can read my analysis of Tiffany’s novel here, which I criticised when it was released. Will be interesting to see whether Mateship makes the shortlist.

Hilary Mantel has been a fixture on the awards circuit lately, taking out the 2012 Man Booker and Costa prizes for Bring Up the Bodies. An interesting omission on this longlist is J.K. Rowling, going unrewarded for her debut onto the not-for-children scene, A Casual Vacancy.

The longlisted titles are:

  • Kitty Aldridge A Trick I Learned From Dead Men (Jonathan Cape)
  • Kate Atkinson Life After Life (Doubleday)
  • Ros Barber The Marlowe Papers (Sceptre)
  • Shani Boianjiu The People of Forever are Not Afraid (Random House)
  • Gillian Flynn Gone Girl (Hachette UK)
  • Sheila Heti How Should A Person Be? (Random House)
  • AM Homes May We Be Forgiven (Granta Books)
  • Barbara Kingsolver Flight Behaviour (Faber & Faber)
  • Deborah Copaken Kogan The Red Book (Hachette UK)
  • Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies (HarperCollins UK)
  • Bonnie Nadzam Lamb (Random House)
  • Emily Perkins The Forrests (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Michèle Roberts Ignorance (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Francesca Segal The Innocents (Random House)
  • Maria Semple Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Hachette UK)
  • Elif Shafak Honour (Penguin UK)
  • Zadie Smith NW (Penguin Group US)
  • ML Stedman The Light Between Oceans (Random House)
  • Carrie Tiffany Mateship with Birds (Pan Macmillan)
  • G Willow Wilson Alif the Unseen (Atlantic Books)

Last year, the Prize was won by US author Madeline Miller for her debut novel The Song of Achilles.

The shortlist will be announced on April 16th 2013 and the winner of the £30,000 prize to be revealed on June 5th 2013.