This past May it was announced that the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction would no longer be sponsored by its longtime partner, the telecommunications company Orange. Over the weekend, the prize’s cofounder and honorary director, novelist Kate Mosse, announced that a new sponsor for the prize would soon be selected.
Since news broke of the partnership’s end, eighteen different companies have expressed interest in taking over sponsorship of the new Prize for Fiction. “It’s been incredibly exciting,” Mosse said at a conference in England on Saturday. “We’ll be making a choice in the next week and announcing in September.”
Orange has sponsored the U.K.-based prize—which annually awards thirty thousand pounds (approximately forty-seven thousand dollars) to a woman writer for a novel written in English—since it was founded in 1996. Of the former sponsor Mosse said, “Our partnership has delivered everything—and more—than we hoped for. A celebration of international writing by women, one of the most significant arts awards in the U.K., and also a major force in education, literacy, and research.”
Madeline Miller won the 2012 prize for her novel The Song of Achilles (Ecco, 2011). The finalists were Esi Edugyan, Anne Enright, Georgia Harding, Cynthia Ozick, and Ann Patchett. Previous winners of the prize have included Téa Obreht for The Tiger's Wife (Random House, 2011) and Zadie Smith for On Beauty (Penguin, 2005).
In the video below, Madeline Miller discusses her winning novel.