Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Prof Nicola Rollock among UK’s Women's Prize 2024 judges

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Prof Nicola Rollock among UK’s Women’s Prize 2024 judges

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and Prof Nicola Rollock are on the judging panels for the Women’s Prize 2024, fiction and nonfiction, announced on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.

The Women’s Prize is one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary prizes. Started in 1996, it is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year. Previous winners of the prize include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, and Ali Smith. For 2024, the initiative has expanded with the introduction of a new nonfiction award.

The 2024 cycle of the prize has officially kicked off with the announcement of this year’s judges in the two categories Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024 and Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction 2024. The jury in the fiction category features award-winning author Monica Ali as chair alongside author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀; author, illustrator, scriptwriter and performance poet Laura Dockrill; actor Indira Varma; and campaigner, podcaster and author Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka).

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is an award-winning novelist whose debut, Stay with Me, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2017, and follow-up, A Spell of Good Things, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2023. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Ayọ̀bámi, studied at Obafemi Awolowo University, earning degrees in Literature. She went on to study Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she now teaches. In 2017, Ayọ̀bámi won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture.

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

On being selected Adebayo said, “I’m very thrilled to share that I’m a judge for the 2024 #WomensPrize for Fiction. I am excited for the journey ahead and stoked to be on the ride with fellow judges, #MonicaAli, @indiravarma, @mother_pukka and @lauraleedockrill. Keep an eye out on @womensprize to find out more!”

The Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction 2024 jury is chaired by award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Professor Suzannah Lipscomb. Joining Suzannah is fair fashion campaigner, content creator and broadcaster Venetia La Manna; academic, consultant and author Professor Nicola Rollock; prize-winning author Kamila Shamsie; and biographer, lecturer and journalist Anne Sebba.

A prominent academic, author and consultant, Prof Nicola Rollock specialises in racial justice in education and the workplace. Author of The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival, Nicola is interested in how we think about and understand racism as a basis for fostering meaningful change. She is widely known for her unprecedented research into the career experiences of UK Black female professors, and the exhibition this later inspired, Phenomenal Women, which was displayed at London’s Southbank Centre.

Prof Nicola Rollock
Prof Nicola Rollock

Prof Nicola Rollock tweeted on the announcement, “NEWS I’m so pleased to finally be able to announce that… …I’m joining the wonderful @annesebba @kamilashamsie & @venetialamanna & chair @sixteenthCgirl as the first ever judges for the inaugural year of the #WomensPrize for Non-Fiction”

The longlists for the award will be announced on March 5, 2024, the shortlist on April 24, and the winner will be made known on June 13, 2024.


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