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…And a Baileys for the Women’s Prize For Fiction

Later today, the winner of this year’s Women’s Prize For Fiction will be announced as either Hilary Mantel, Barbara Kingsolver, Kate Atkinson, A.M. Homes, Zadie Smith or Maria Semple. Yesterday, however, it was revealed that the prize’s name – which, until last year, was more commonly given as the Orange Prize for Fiction after its corporate sponsor, a sponsor which no longer exists as a separate entity in the UK – will be changing yet again, thanks to a new three year sponsorship deal with Baileys. There now follows a pause, the better for you to get all the Mighty Boosh quotations out of your system, person from 2006 who is somehow reading this.

The Diageo-owned liqueur was, The Independent reports, picked from ‘close to 25 backers’, because 25 is such a massive number that we couldn’t possibly comprehend the exact figure with our puny ape brains so ‘close to’ is good enough. You know, the way it goes million, billion, trillion, all the way up past centillion, then eventually hits 25. Anyway, Kate Mosse, who chairs the board of the prize, said that the drinks company ‘impressed not only by the scale of their ambition, but also their passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women’. Again, there now follows a pause, the better for you to get all those easy, easy jokes out of your system, person familiar with UK town centres on Friday nights.

The deal takes effect starting with next year’s prize, meaning that whoever wins today’s proceedings will take receipt of a rarity: A Women’s Prize for Fiction trophy that hasn’t been made to double as advertising for one particular company that all the winner’s friends and family will now feel more kindly towards when they see it nestled on the mantlepiece between the vase of flowers and the hand-me-down china from Gran. There now follows a pause, the better for you to make all the ‘more like Hilary Mantel-piece!’ puns you want, person who has been paying attention for the past year.

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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