A Literary Prize of Their Own: The Branding and Reception of the Women’s Prize for Fiction as a Prize Exclusively by Women

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This thesis investigates the motto “Written by women. For everyone” of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. This will be done on the basis of the following research question: “Do the branding and reception of the Women’s Prize for Fiction support or undermine the Prize’s motto of ‘Written by women. For everyone,’ and what are the implications for the prestige and principles of the Prize?” To answer this question, this thesis is divided into two chapters focused on the branding and the reception of the Prize, respectively. The branding chapter will consider the way the Prize presents itself publicly by appraising their statements and their sponsors. The reception chapter will then analyse how those sponsors and the Prize in general are received by the public by appraising the controversies, the number of reviews that are published about the winning novels and the spaces they are published in. The expectation is that, despite the Prize’s motto, the Prize is still both branded and received as one exclusively for women, thereby undermining the prestige and principles of the Prize. The conclusion will offer an overview of the findings and a possible solution to the issues of identity the Prize is facing.
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