Let the drunken writer jokes begin. Baileys, the brand behind the Irish whiskey cream liqueur, is now the sponsor of the Women’s Prize for Fiction — now known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Formerly, it was called the Orange Prize, after the Orange technology brand that sponsored the literary award for the 16 years since its 1996 launch.
Kate Mosse, chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, told The Bookseller, “We were delighted by the range of interest-and enjoyed meeting brands in various sectors-but in the end, the Women’s Prize for Fiction board felt Baileys was the ideal choice as our new partners.” Citing the alcohol brand’s “passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women and willingness to help in bringing the prize to ever wider audiences,” Mosse added “we were interested in a brand fit from outside, that brings more interest and money into the industry.”
As an added benefit, the Prize doesn’t have to look far for a liquor sponsor for their upcoming award ceremony. Baileys will, of course, furnish the beverages to be served on Wednesday June 5th when the shortlisted authors — Kate Atkinson, Zadie Smith, Barbara Kingsolver, A.M. Homes, Maria Semple, and Hilary Mantel — will learn who gets the award.