One of the positive side effects of the coronavirus lockdown is suddenly having a wealth of extra time on our hands. Your commuting time has been swapped for finding an exercise routine you love , getting that extra hour of shut-eye and you also may have found yourself getting back into reading .
If you find yourself in the latter group, Women’s Prize for Fiction has launched a digital book club to celebrate its 25th year.
The new club encourages keen readers to read all past 24 winners of the prize, or pick three novels from the list of winners that centres on a similar theme, and share what they are reading to social media with the hashtag #ReadingWomen.
In a statement, the prize said: “#ReadingWomen aims to unite the experiences and opinions of readers across the country during lockdown and beyond through a digital book club, which calls for people to read the incredibly varied 24 past winning novels of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Readers can also choose to focus on three previous winning books, centred around a specific theme such as ‘Love’, ‘Nationhood’ and ‘Identity’.”
The Women’s Prize for Fiction website will act as a hub for all #ReadingWomen content, with new reading guides for each of the 24 novels, extracts from the books in the form of widgets provided by Nielsen, author interviews and audio interviews with previous judges.
As well as new website content, the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast – which interviews high-profile guests on their reading habits – will allow listeners to follow the #ReadingWomen challenge alongside the guests.
Novelist and playwright Kate Mosse, founder and director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, said in a statement: “The aim of the Women’s Prize was to celebrate the classics of tomorrow, today. Our #ReadingWomen initiative is a wonderful way both to celebrate the winners of the past and to bring novels of excellence, originality, accessibility and brilliance to a new generation of passionate readers.”
To kickstart the digital book club, the prize is hosting a social media giveaway and asking readers to nominate a ‘hero’ who is in need of some book therapy during the lockdown period. Simply like that week’s post and leave a comment including the name of their nominee for a chance to win a set of three previous prize winners.
This year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced on March 2 with the winner originally set to be announced in June – this has now been pushed back to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.