The Word On: Orange prize Longlist

Tindal Street [publisher of Gaynor Arnold's 'Girl in a Blue Dress'] turns out prizeworthy fiction the way Wales used to turn out fly halves ... It is a subsidised publisher, while Macmillan New Writing [Ann Weisgarber's 'The Personal History of Rachel DePree'] is part of a conglomerate operating on a low-cost model. Traditional publishing models are facing increasing challenges, and the mainstream imprints' share of excellence is likely to decline.

Nicholas Clee,

The range of styles, ages and modes of writing in this year's list really cuts to the heart of what the Orange prize was set up for ... If you want to really know what women are thinking about ... then you could do far worse than read the entirety of the longlist. I will and I hope you will too, as this year it includes works from Australia, the USA, Ireland, Malaysia, Pakistan and Canada as well as the UK, possibly making it the most international longlist that the Orange has yet fielded.

The Orange Prize is my favourite award after the Booker Prize. In 2008, my Orange Prize Project goal was to read four winners or shortlisted works, and I read five. In 2009 my goal is eight. I plan to complete the winners list, including the 2009 winner.