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The Women's Prize Trust announces Findmypast as the inaugural sponsor of the Women's Prize for Non-Fiction

5-6 minute read

By Daisy Goddard

16 February 2024
Women's Prize Trust

We are delighted to announce this exciting new partnership.

The Women's Prize Trust is a UK-based charity that champions the work of female writers and is best known for its annual Women's Prize for Fiction. Starting in 2024, the Trust is expanding into new territory with the launch of the Women's Prize for Non-Fiction.

In February 2023, research revealed the obstacles faced by female non-fiction writers, who are less likely to receive media coverage and recognition for their work than their male counterparts, with a significant pay disadvantage. Out of the top 500 bestselling non-fiction books in 2022, only 30% were written by women. Prompted by these findings, the Women's Prize Trust has launched an all-new prize for narrative non-fiction, which is open to all female writers who are published in the UK and write in English.

With topics ranging from science and sport to memoir and philosophy, the prize will 'celebrate excellence in writing, robust research, original narrative voices and accessibility'. Starting in 2024, it will be awarded annually. With a 16-book longlist and a six-book shortlist, it will run on a similar timetable to the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Findmypast is supporting the Women's Prize for Non-Fiction for an initial term of three years, beginning in 2024. The Women's Prize Trust joins our group of reputable partners, which includes The National Archives, the British Library and the National Trust.

The Women's Prize for Non-Fiction 2024 longlist

On 15 February, the Women's Prize Trust announced the 16 titles longlisted for the 2024 prize. The longlist is as follows:

  • The Britannias: An Island Quest, Alice Albinia
  • Vulture Capitalism: Corporate Crimes, Backdoor Bailouts and the Death of Freedom, Grace Blakeley
  • Eve: How The Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, Cat Bohannon
  • Intervals, Marianne Brooker
  • Shadows at Noon: The South Asian Twentieth Century, Joya Chatterji
  • Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life and Sudden Death, Laura Cumming
  • Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in the Philippines, Patricia Evangelista
  • Wifedom: Mrs Orwell's Invisible Life, Anna Funder
  • Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood, Lucy Jones
  • Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World, Naomi Klein
  • A Flat Place, Noreen Masud
  • All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Tiya Miles
  • Code-Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI, Madhumita Murgia
  • The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary, Sarah Ogilvie
  • Young Queens: The Intertwined Lives of Catherine de’ Medici, Elisabeth de Valois and Mary, Queen of Scots, Leah Redmond Chang
  • How to Say Babylon: A Jamaican Memoir, Safiya Sinclair

With topics ranging from South Asian history to the Oxford English Dictionary, these varied and interesting works span the globe, and cover hundreds of years of history.

Meet the judges

A panel of five esteemed judges has been chosen to select the winner of the first Women's Prize for Non-Fiction.

The chair, historian and broadcaster Professor Suzannah Lipscomb will be joined by fair fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna, academic, author and consultant Professor Nicola Rollock, biographer and journalist Anne Sebba and author and 2018 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction Kamila Shamsie.

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah Lipscomb

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb is a distinguished historian, author and broadcaster. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Roehampton, a Senior Member at St Cross College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries. Suzannah has written and edited seven books, presented history series on BBC, ITV, More4 and Channel 5, and hosts our popular Step into the Past podcast.

Venetia La Manna

A fair fashion campaigner, content creator and broadcaster, Venetia La Manna challenges fashion brands and retailers on their unethical practices. She uses her social media platform to educate, entertain and raise awareness around fashion and sustainability, while, offline, she is focused on community building and organising against Big Fashion. Venetia co-founded Remember Who Made Them, which amplifies the voices of garment workers. On her popular podcast, All The Small Things, Venetia interviews authors about issues related to social and climate justice.

Venetia La Manna

Professor Nicola Rollock

Professor Nicola Rollock

A prominent academic, author and consultant, Professor 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.

Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba is one of Britain’s most distinguished biographers and the author of 11 books, including the bestselling biography That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research and a Trustee of The National Archives Trust. Anne is currently working on a book about the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the camps.

Anne Sebba

Kamila Shamsie

No stranger to the Women’s Prize, Kamila Shamsie’s powerful novel Home Fire won the Fiction Prize in 2018, and she has been shortlisted on two other occasions. Kamila is the author of eight novels and her work has been translated into over 30 languages. She is a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature and was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist. Kamila is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.

In addition to sponsoring this groundbreaking new prize, we are also supporting the Women's Prize Trust's outreach programme. It was established to find the next generation of female non-fiction writers, particularly those from under-represented backgrounds, and help to bring their books to market.

Here at Findmypast, we're passionate about helping people to uncover forgotten stories. Through exploring family trees, censuses from The National Archives, historical newspapers from the British Library, military records, passenger lists and much more, anyone can build a detailed picture of how people have experienced the world in times gone by. Powerful search technology, an innovative family tree builder, and personalised hints make research easier than ever.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction has been a force for change, and we’re thrilled to play a part in launching the new non-fiction prize, which promises to be equally transformational. Highlighting under-represented stories is a passion for ​Findmypast, and as the exclusive publisher of some of the world’s largest historical data sets, such as the 1921 Census of England and Wales and the British Newspaper Archive, we are able to bring the experience of women through history into sight. We are dedicated to helping writers and researchers discover fresh narratives that illuminate both our personal histories and our lives in the world today. In the coming years, with this partnership, we hope to empower even more women working within the field of non-fiction.

Have you made your own discovery, using our 14-billion-strong record collection? We'd love to hear about the stories that you've uncovered; you can now get in touch with us directly using this handy form.