STOP PRESS... The 2012 Orange Prize has been won by Madeline Miller for her novel The Song of Achilles.
The Orange Prize for Fiction first awarded in 1996 is the UK's largest annual literary award for a single novel. The only criteria are that the novel is by a woman writing in English and published in Britain. 2012 will be the last time the prize is sponsored by Orange.
The Orange Prize is also unique in having only female judges, this year they are:
Joanna Trollope, (Chair), Writer
Lisa Appignanesi, Writer, Novelist and Broadcaster
Victoria Derbyshire, Journalist and Broadcaster
Natalie Haynes, Writer and Broadcaster
Natasha Kaplinsky, Broadcaster
The award ceremony took will place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 30 May 2012. The winner Madeline Miller received a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze figurine called the 'Bessie' - created by the artist Grizel Niven.
Previous winners have included Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy, Helen Dunmore, Anne Michaels, Carol Shields, Rose Tremain, Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Kingsolver and Téa Obreht.
“This is a shortlist of remarkable quality and variety,” commented Joanna Trollope, Chair of judges. “It includes six distinctive voices and subjects, four nationalities and an age range of close on half a century. It is a privilege to present it.”