The longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced in a week and I am so thrilled because this is one of my favourite book prizes. How fantastic that this award recognizing exceptional women’s writing has been running for 20 years!

I always strive to read as much of the longlist as possible but I’ll be following it especially closely this year because the Baileys Prize have sponsored my friend Simon of SavidgeReads and I to form the Baileys Bearded Book Club. And we want you to get involved! (You don’t need a beard or male appendage to join in!) We’ll be reading as much of the official longlist as possible. We’d love for you to read along, let us know your thoughts and share in the excitement!

As I did last year, I’ll also be joining the fabulous Naomi of TheWritesofWomen and several other great readers/book bloggers to form a shadow panel for this year’s Baileys Prize. We’ll be reading the official longlist and formulating our own shortlist/winner separate from the judges’ choices. I’m hoping for lots of great debate and discussion. With so many great new books written by women in the past year, I think this year’s longlist will be truly exceptional. FYI, only novels published in English between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016 are eligible.

Here is my wish list for the 20 books which I predict will be longlisted for this year’s prize. It’s primarily made up of novels I’ve read and loved. Click on the titles in the list to read my full thoughts about them. There are six books I’ve not reviewed yet or still have to read which I think have a good chance of making the list. As an aside, if anthologies of short fiction were eligible surely The Long Gaze Back would be listed. It’s an exceptional book collecting a selection of 200 years worth of great Irish women’s writing and was one of my favourite books last year.

Do you agree with my choices or are there others you think/hope will be listed?

Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates
The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The Gap in Time by Jeanette Winterson
Sophie and the Sibyl by Patricia Duncker
Girl at War by Sara Novic
My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
The Green Road by Anne Enright
Elemental – Amanda Curtin
Tender by Belinda McKeon
Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
The Seed Collectors – Scarlett Thomas
Martin John – Anakana Schofield
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

The 2016 Baileys Prize official longlist will be announced on March 8th, the shortlist on April 11th and the winner on June 8th! Let's stay tuned and get reading!

AuthorEric Karl Anderson