The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2016 shortlist. Now in its twenty first year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women from throughout the world.

This year’s shortlist, announced this evening (Monday 11 April) at an event at The Weston Roof Pavilion at The Royal Festival Hall, central London, hosted by novelist and Co-Founder of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse, features one previously shortlisted author and three debut novels.

“After a long and often passionate debate we are proud to present our 2016 shortlist,” said Margaret Mountford, Chair of judges. “Our choices reflect a really diverse mix of brilliant writing from new and established authors around the world and we hope that everyone will find much to enjoy in them.”

Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo commented, “What a range of beautifully crafted and excellent stories originating from Ireland to Texas – the judges have selected a truly exciting range of novels for this year’s shortlist. In partnership with the Women’s Prize, Baileys is thrilled to celebrate these inspiring female authors and bring the pleasure of their writing to readers across the world.”

Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman. Any woman writing in English – whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter – is eligible.

The winner will be presented with a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as ‘the Bessie’, created by artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

The award ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 8 June 2016.