It was the Baileys Womens Prize for Fiction presentation at the Royal Festival Hall yesterday evening. We judges had met the previous evening for dinner to decide the winner just the evening before. If you do it so close to the ceremony, it makes the secret easier to keep -- and indeed I was completely scrupulous and didnt even tell the husband (that would have been harder if there had been a week or so to go!).
Anyway it was a great party (even though I discovered that, at 6.00 pm, my new found enthusiasm for Baileys on the rocks didnt quite match my enthusiasm for a nice big glass of champagne) -- and all the shortlisted authors were there (apart from Donna Tartt), a good number of the long-listed, plus a huge crowd of supporters, previous judges,great women etc etc.
So . . . as you can see, the prize (of £30,000) went to Eimear McBride, for A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.