Three Debut Novels Nominated for 2023 Women’s Prize For Fiction

The finalists for the 2023 Women’s Prize For Fiction have been announced.

Amongst the six finalists are three debut novels, a reworking of a Dickens classic, a book set in Renaissance Italy, and an interesting take on the life of a sea mammal.

The prize rewards the best of the year’s fiction from female authors writing in the English language. It began in the 90s in response to the 1991 all-male Booker Prize shortlist. The Women’s Prize for Fiction gives the authors exposure, as well as a top prize of £30,000.

Former winner Barbara Kingsolver is once again nominated. This time for her American reworking of the classic Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield. The book, entitled ‘Demon Copperhead’ takes place in today’s Virginia and touches on contemporary issues, such as the US opioid crisis.

Fellow former winner, Maggie O’Farrell, is nominated for her novel ‘The Marriage Portrait.’ This tells the story of a young girl in Renaissance Italy who is trying to escape an arranged marriage that would bring two powerful families together.

Laline Paul, who was nominated in 2015, returns to the nomination list with her book ‘Pod’. This innovative book is told from the perspective of a dolphin.

The three other books nominated all come from debut novelists. You might also be curious about the over 50s writers award launched at London book fair and the literary festival put on my rapper Stormzy.

Irish writer Louise Kennedy is nominated for her book Trespasses, which details a love story set in war-torn Northern Ireland. British writers Jacqueline Crooks and Priscilla Morris are also nominated for their works, Fire Rush and Black Butterflies. The former is a coming-of-age tale, while the latter is a saga based in troubled Sarajevo during a time of war.

The winner of the 2023 Women’s Prize For Fiction will be unveiled June 14th at a ceremony in London. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in these essays about feminism.


  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.