Eimear McBride, winner of this year's Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction [Getty]
Eek! The winner of this year's Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK's only annual award for fiction written by women, has been announced.
Irish debut author Eimear McBride was revealed as this year's champion at a ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall last night.
Eimear scooped the prize of £30,000 and a ‘Bessie’ (a limited edition bronze figurine, dontcha know) for her first novel 'A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing'.
The book tells the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Eimear wrote it in six months when she was just 27 before spending 10 years trying to get it published.
The judging panel
It was chosen out of of a shortlist of 20 works by a judging panel of brilliant women like Mary Beard, writer Denise Mina, the amazing Caitlin Moran, BBC Broadcaster and Journalist Sophie Raworth, and Helen Fraser, the Chair of the competition.
'An amazing and ambitious first novel that impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy,' said Helen. 'This is an extraordinary new voice – this novel will move and astonish the reader.'
Excitingly for Grazia, we were involved too. We ran our third First Chapter Competition this year, giving unpublished authors the chance to write a short story to be judged by award-winning novelists and Grazia staff and win a £1000 prize.
Grazia's Victoria Harper with Maia Jenkins, winner of the First Chapter Competition
This year's winner was Maia Jenkins, an administration assistant at the House of Commons who has already written 70,000 words of her first novel and hopes the prize will act as a springboard for getting it published. You can read her winning entry in Grazia magazine out next Tuesday. The entries from runners up Jodie Gardiner and Anna Mazzola will also be published here on Grazia Daily.