Do gender politics of this sort have any place in the arts?
Anyhow, this is an award for fiction written only by women - and partially thanks to its largesse (the winner walks away with £30,000 and a bronze figurine called Bessie sculpted by Grizel Niven, the elder sister of David Niven - not that you absolutely had to know that) the prize has been acquiring an increasingly high public profile. The odd bit of behind-the-scenes controversy over the years hasn't gone amiss either. All of which is nice for its sponsor.
Better-known authors on this year's shortlist include Margaret Atwood and Rose Tremain. The ceremony will take place next week in a marquee by the National Theatre. The chairwoman of the judging panel this year is Sandi Toksvig.
The prize for fiction is Orange
Ceremony taking place on 8 June
In a big tent on The South Bank