The Virago/New Statesman Women’s Prize for Politics and Economics




Announcing the Second Virago | New Statesman Women’s Prize for Politics & Economics


Virago and the New Statesman are delighted to announce their 2017 award, coinciding with the e-publication of Frances Weetman’s Whose Model is it Anyway?: Why Economists Need to Face Up to Reality, winner of the inaugural prize.

The aim with this award is to find new and exciting women’s voices in the field of politics and economics: areas (particularly in economics) where female analysts are woefully under-represented in the media and nonfiction prizes.  This prize gives them a chance to demonstrate originality and rigorous thinking, by awarding a debut woman writer £500 and a contract for a 20,000 word essay to be published as a Virago ebook, with an option to contract for a full-length book.

The invited judges for this second year of the prize are Samira Ahmed and Diane Coyle. Samira Ahmed is an award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster on Radio 4’s Front Row and BBC1’s Newswatch, and a visiting Professor of Journalism at Kingston University. Diane Coyle, OBE, is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and was previously Economics Editor of the Independent. Her books include the GDP: A Brief but Affectionate HistoryThe Economics of Enough: How to run the economy as if the future matters, and The Soulful Science.  They are joined by Tom Gatti, Culture editor of the New Statesman, and Lennie Goodings, Publisher of Virago.

Entries – which should consist of an outline of roughly 1,000 words and a sample extract of roughly 2,000 words – must be submitted by 31 July 2017 and the winner will be announced 2 October 2017. The winner will then be asked to develop her proposal into a 20,000 word essay for publication by Virago in 2018. For full terms and conditions see below.  Proposals should be submitted to


The winner of the first competition is Frances Weetman’s essay Whose Model Is It Anyway?: Why Economists Need Reality, available to download now as a Virago ebook. Frances Weetman says “I am thrilled to have won the Virago New Statesman prize and excited by the opportunity to show that economics is a subject for everyone and not just men in grey suits.”

The judges who awarded her the prize were Gillian Tett, US managing editor and award-winning columnist at the Financial Times; Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman; Tom Gatti; and Lennie Goodings.

For further press information please contact:

Virago: Susan de Soissons | 020 3122 6662 | 07887 991424 |

New Statesman: | 020 7936 4029 | 07815 634 396


Full Terms & Conditions for the Second Virago | New Statesman Women’s Prize for Politics & Economics, 2017

  1. The Prize for this competition is the opportunity to have an essay on politics or economics published as an eBook by Virago and for an extract of the essay to be published in New Statesman.  It will be awarded for the most original and exciting Proposal for an essay on politics or economics that is received in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  2. Entrants to the competition are required to submit a Proposal for an essay on politics or economics consisting of (i) a full outline for the essay (including chapter breakdown) of 1,000 words and (ii) a sample extract which should be no more than 2,000 words.  The Proposal (and essay) must be in English and must be double spaced and delivered by 31 July 2017
  3. A shortlist of no more than ten Proposals will be chosen by a panel of judges comprising editors from Virago and New Statesman.  The winning Proposal will be chosen by a second panel of four judges including our two external ones. The winning Proposal will be the one that demonstrates originality and rigorous thinking. The judges’ decisions are final.
  4. The winner will be asked to develop their Proposal into a 20,000 word essay for publication by Virago as an eBook.  The publication of the essay will be subject to a separate contract being agreed between the winner and Little, Brown Book Group Limited (“LBBG”).  The contract will set out the terms and condition governing date for delivery of the essay and publication of it throughout the world.  It will also include provision for payment of £500 as an advance against royalties, £100 of which would be payable on the announcement of the winner.  The contract will also include a right to publish the essay in other formats, the right to sublicense publication of the whole or part to a third party and a first option to LBBG in the event that the essay is developed into a full book.
  5. The deadline for delivery of the essay will be 31 January 2018 or such other date as may be agreed between LBBG and the winner.
  6. Around the time of publication of the essay, an extract of it will be published by New Statesman.
  7. By submitting the Proposal the entrant undertakes and warrants that the Proposal and essay will consist of her own original work and will not infringe the intellectual property rights of anyone.  If a third party’s material is used, the entrant will secure the necessary permission and will provide it to LBBG on request.  The entrant further warrants that the work will not contain any material which is defamatory, private, confidential or which is unlawful in any way.  Any entry in breach of this clause will be disqualified from being considered by the Judges.
  8. In the event that (i) a contract cannot be agreed between the winner and LBBG or (ii) the winner does not deliver the essay by the stipulated deadline or (iii) the delivered material is unpublishable for whatever reason, LBBG will be under no obligation to publish the winner’s essay.  In that event, LBBG may select another winner from the shortlisted entries or it may decide not to award any Prize at all.
  9. Entries must be submitted by sending the Proposal by email to Entries may only be submitted any time up to midnight BST on 31 July 2017. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates will not be eligible for entry to the competition.
  10. The names of the winner and shortlisted entrants will be announced on The Virago website, The New Statesman website on October 2 2017.  They will be informed via email. Their names may also be publicised in other media or on social media sites.
  11. As Virago is an imprint for women authors, the competition is only open to women.  Entrants, writing in English but of any nationality, must be aged 18 or over and must not have had any book (except an academic work) published in any format.  The competition is not open to employees of LBBG or New Statesman, their families, or to anyone professionally connected to the competition or to judges either themselves or through their families.
  12. An entrant may submit up to two entries.  Third or subsequent entries will be disqualified.  Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
  13. LBBG is not responsible for contacting or responding to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries that are lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
  14. LBBG reserves the right to cancel the competition and to alter the details of the Prize or judging panels without notice.  No alternatives to the Prize will be provided.
  15. The names and email addresses of entrants (“Information”) will be collected by LBBG on behalf of itself and New Statesman Limited of John Carpenter House, 7 Carmelite Street, London EC4Y 0BS. LBBG will share the Information with companies within the Hachette group of companies.  The Information will not be shared with other third parties.  The Information will be used for marketing purposes, for example to send entrants news about books, magazines, products and promotions or for consumer insight analysis.  Entrants will be given the option of opting out in emails if they do not want to receive any further news.
  16. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
  17. By entering the competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
  18. These Terms and Conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.
  19. This competition is being organised by Little, Brown Book Group Limited, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.  LBBG is part of the Hachette UK group of companies, and Virago is an imprint of LBBG.