2023 awards update: Women’s Prize for Fiction, Aspen Words Literary Award, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and Carol Shields Prize for Fiction

Spring means Daylight Saving Time, better weather, allergies, and for book lovers, awards season. Here are the longlists and shortlists announced in the last few days. The Pulitzer Prize winner and two finalists will be announced on May 8 (nominees are not announced).

Women’s Prize for Fiction

The 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced on March 7. Chair of judges, broadcaster and writer Louise Minchin said: “This year’s longlist is a glorious celebration of the boundless imagination and creative ambition of women writers over the past year. Every one of these 16 books is excellent and original in its own individual way; they all offer fresh perspectives on history and humanity, exploring hard truths with empathy, sensitivity, directness, and sometimes infectious humour. There is something here for all readers!”

Globe-spanning locations range from Renaissance Italy, rural India, the Siege of Sarajevo, Northern Ireland during The Troubles and opioid-infested Virginia, to an imaginary kingdom ruled by animals, a hallucinatory old cinema and an underwater world populated with extraordinary creatures.

The judging panel will now whittle these 16 books down to a shortlist of six novels, announced on April 26. The winner of the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced on June 14. The winner will receive a check for 30,000 pounds (USD 36,000).

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris

Children of Paradise by Camilla Grudova

Cursed Bread by Sophie Mackintosh

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

Homesick by Jennifer Croft

I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Pod by Laline Paull

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

The Dog of the North by Elizabeth McKenzie

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy 

Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin

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Aspen Words Literary Award

Aspen Words has selected two short story collections and three novels focused on contemporary social issues for the shortlist of its annual $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize. The award goes to “a work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture,” according to a press release.

The award is open to authors of any nationality and is one of the largest literary prizes in the United States. The longlist was announced in December. A five-person jury selected the shortlist, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Morgan Library in New York City on April 19.

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz

Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah

The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

The Consequences by Manuel Muñoz

The longlist also included the following books:

When We Were Sisters by Fatima Asghar

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery 

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard

What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Laskhmi Kolluri

Harry Sylvester Bird by Chinelo Okparanta

Memphis by Tara Stringfellow

The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction honors the best published works of fiction by American permanent residents in a calendar year. Three writers are chosen annually by the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to serve as judges. These judges select an initial longlist of ten books, followed by five finalists, and finally one winner as the “first among equals.” The author of the winning book receives a $15,000 prize. The authors of each of the other finalists receive $5,000. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the MLK Library in Washington, D.C. on May 11.

If I Survive You: Stories by Jonathan Escoffery

Fruiting Bodies: Stories by Kathryn Harlan

The Islands: Stories by Dionne Irving

The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell

Carol Shields Prize for Fiction

A new English-language literary award to celebrate creativity and excellence in fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the United States. The longlist was selected from more than 250 eligible entries of fiction books written by Canadian and U.S. women and non-binary writers, written and published in English in 2022. In addition to the grand prize of $150,000, the winner will receive a residency at Fogo Island Inn, and each of the four finalists will receive $12,500 USD. The five shortlisted titles will be announced on April 6 and the winner on May 4.

Longlist selections were chosen by a jury of esteemed writers including Anita Rau Badami, Merilyn Simonds, Monique Truong, katherena vermette and Crystal Wilkinson.

Daphne Palasi Andreades, Brown Girls

Fatimah Asghar, When We Were Sisters

Andrea Barrett, Natural History: Stories

Lisa Hsiao Chen, Activities of Daily Living

Francine Cunningham, God Isn’t Here Today

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Woman of Light

Liana Finck, Let There Be Light

Emma Hooper, We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky

Gish Jen, Thank You, Mr. Nixon

Chelene Knight, Junie

Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, What We Fed to the Manticore

Tsering Yangzom Lama, We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies

Suzette Mayr, The Sleeping Car Porter

Alexis Schaitkin, Elsewhere

Namwali Serpell, The Furrows: A Novel


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