My Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 Wishlist

Women's Prize for Fiction 2023 logo Every year I post two literary prize wishlists in the sure fire knowledge that few if any of those wishes will be fulfilled. That said, they’re fun to do and I always like to see what other readers would like the judges to plump for. The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the one I care about most, the longlist for which will be announced on Tuesday, 7th March. Only novels written by women in English published between April 1st 2022 and March 31st 2023 qualify. I’ve followed the same format as previous years, limiting myself to novels I’ve read and would love the judges to pick. So, in no particular order here’s my wishlist for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction, all with links to my reviews apart from The Anniversary which I’ll be reviewing shortly.

Cover image for Trespasses by Louise Kennedy Cover image for Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso Cover image for Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Trespasses                                  Very Cold People                    Fight Night

Cover image for Milk Teeth by Jessica Andrews Cover image for Common Decency by Susannah Dickey Cover image for Seven Steeples by Sara Baume

Milk Teeth                              Common Decency                    Seven Steeples

Cover image for Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson Cover image for Best of Friends By Kamila Shamsie Cover image for They're Going to Love You by Meg Howrey

Shrines of Gaiety                         Best of Friends              They’re Going to Love You

Cover image for Becky by Sarah May Cover image for For Thy Great PainHave Mercy on My Little Pain by Victoria Mackenzie Cover image for I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Becky                                    From Thy Great Pain…     I Have Some Questions for You

Cover image for Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery Cover image for The Anniversary by Stephanie Bishop Cover image for My Nemesis by Charmaine Craig

Nothing Special                       The Anniversary                      My Nemesis

As usual, several of the novels above appear more in hope than expectation but I’d be delighted if any one of these 15 snags the judges’ attention. Fingers firmly crossed. Any titles that you’d love to see on the longlist?

If you’d like to see Bookish Becks’s extensive list of wishes and predictions click here. She’s much better at setting out the rules than I am.

Given Kate Mosse’s announcement a few weeks ago, a new non-fiction Women’s Prize is likely to be launched next year although I’ll be sticking to fiction. You can read more about the organisers’ plans here.

a few weeks ago, a new non-fiction Women’s Prize is likely to be launched next year although I’ll be sticking to fiction. You can read more about the organisers’ plans here.

32 thoughts on “My Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 Wishlist”

  1. Of the ones on your list I’ve only read Best of Friends and Nothing Special. To be honest Best of Friends didn’t blow me away and although I admired Nothing Special I didn’t completely love it. Seven Steeples is on the longlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize so I guess that may be an indication it has a chance. I’ve rather given up trying to predict longlists as I failed so spectacularly with this year’s Walter Scott Prize – I only got three out of the twelve right!

  2. Nice list. I haven’t read any of them, sad to say, but I have a good feeling in general about For Thy Great Pain (completely unfounded, of course).

  3. jenniferbeworr

    I’m really looking forward to They’re Going to Love You. I bought it after reading your review and still haven’t started it. My WIP has a central character who was a ballet dancer, and I’m sure that reading this novel will help me with my project. List looks good!

  4. I haven’t read enough of these either to make my own list, or really, to comment on yours. But I know my own list wouldn’t include either Shrines of Gaiety, or Best of Friends, both of which were enjoyable, but neither of which I felt was strong enough to merit a prize. I’m quite excited though about the prospect of a women’s non-fiction prize, as I read quite a lot of NF.

    1. Atkinson has never yet made it on to the Women’s Prize list and I suspect won’t again. Hard to say about Shamsie, though. Fingers crossed they’ll get enough sponsorship to carry the NF prize forward.

  5. I would love to see Sara Baume’s Seven Steeples on there and would absolutely love to see Okwiri Oduor’s Things They Lost, which I found an astounding read. Interestingly, both these have already made the long list of the Dylan Thomas Award for writers under 39.
    I’ll be reading Trespasses this month for #ReadingIrelandMonth23 so I’m looking forward to that and to the list, just to see what’s out there that might be of interest.
    I love the idea of a non-fiction prize, bringing together memoir, creative non-fiction and nature writing perhaps. I’m more a fan of narrative style non-fiction that reads more like a novel, a style that is coming into its own. Great to see!
    Thank you for going to the effort of creating your list Susan, such a pleasure to peruse and the link to Rebecca’s.

    1. You’re welcome, Claire. I’d love to see the Baume on the longlist partly because it’s so good but also because it’s published by an independent. I hope you get on well with Trespasses, and I’ll add the Oduor to my tbr list. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: All My Wild Mothers by Victoria Bennett & I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai | Bookish Beck

  7. I am always interested in The Women’s Prize though the only one of those suggestions I’ve read is the Kamila Shamsie. I do have Trespasses tbr, so I shall definitely be keeping watch on the announcement.

  8. An interesting selection, Susan. I’d love to see Trespasses on the list – to be honest, I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t make the cut after it missed out on a Booker listing last year. Seven Steeples I liked but not as much as the Kennedy. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the longlist as it’s been widely acclaimed.

  9. Some here I have and some are on my TBR list… but we’ll have to agree to disagree on Atkinson (I didn’t enjoy this book at all). I won’t be making any predictions for the longlist, short of saying an Australian book that might squeeze in is Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au.

    1. I’ve noticed the Au popping up in my Twitter timeline. A couple of these might make it onto the longlist – Trespasses has had a lot of attention – but most won’t including the Atkinson, I’m sure.

  10. Lots of books on your list (and now the actual longlist) that I hadn’t heard of before. I’ve had Trespasses on my TBR for a while, so glad to have a good reason to get to it now.
    Very interested to hear about the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction – I hope they can make it fly!

    1. Of my fifteen wishes, Trespasses was my favourite. I was delighted the judges chose it. I hope you enjoy it, and fingers crossed a sponsor is found for the non-fiction prize.

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