We highlighted the power of female voices and that books written by women, are for everyone

The Challenge

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award, celebrating and honouring fiction written by women. Launched in 1995, the prize is focused on bringing international fiction by women to as many readers as possible.

The Women’s Prize brief goes beyond celebrating female writers with prizes. With female authors becoming increasingly prominent, we needed to consider how the Prize can continue to ensure its relevance and accessibility to a contemporary audience.

Our Approach

Our initial insight work led us to an overarching strategic objective - to debunk misconceptions and tackle outmoded thinking around the Prize, showing readers that books written by women, are for everyone. To increase accessibility, we needed to take the Women’s Prize into other media spaces, and beyond the literary pages.

We established a reactive press office, seeking profiling opportunities and beginning positive conversations in advance of the 2019 prize cycle.

The announcement of the Prize’s new charitable status in January 2019 provided us with the perfect opportunity to develop the Prize’s vision, message and narrative and broaden engagement.

Our core messages continued to communicate the Prize’s distinguished status but are also focused on highlighting the role of women’s voices and female storytelling. By exploring the richness, diversity and relevance of work by female writers, we enhance its relevance to a contemporary audience.

The Results

During the 2019 Prize cycle we pro-actively secured 953 pieces of press coverage across national, broadcast, regional, consumer, international and trade press.

We hosted a vibrant launch event, attended by influencers and authors. Moreover, we increased coverage not just in number but also in scope, securing articles beyond traditional literary media and reaching entirely new audiences. These ranged from The Times, The Guardian, BBC News and The Mail, to the Arts Journal, Prima, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Vogue and BBC 6 Music.