Orange to cease Women's Prize for Fiction sponsorship
23rd May 2012 - 12:28 Noon
Orange has announced it will no longer sponsor the Women's Prize for Fiction from next year, following a highly successful 16-year collaboration that has seen the award become one of the most coveted and respected literary prizes in the world.
The award was launched in 1996 to help promote and celebrate female authors and is presented each year to the best book written in English by an author of any nationality.
Its GBP 30,000 prize is among the highest of any literary award, while the accolade has helped to launch and boost the careers of many winners over the years, including the 2011 recipient Tea Obreht.
Steven Day, chief of brand and communications for Orange's parent company Everything Everywhere, revealed that film will be positioned as central to the organisation's partnership initiatives from 2013, rather than literature.
'While relinquishing sponsorship of the prize is tinged with sadness, we're hugely proud of what Orange and the Women's Prize for Fiction have achieved over the past 17 years,' he added.
Kate Mosse, co-founder and honorary director of the prize, described it as 'the end of an era' and noted that the award has become 'a major force' in education, literacy and research since its inception.
'These are very challenging but also exciting times in publishing and we hope that the Women's Prize for Fiction will continue to make as significant a contribution going forward as it has over the last 17 years,' she commented.
Active discussions are now taking place with potential new sponsors, who will take over the reins after the final Orange Prize for Fiction is presented on May 30th at the South Bank Centre in London.