Adult Fiction category

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

‘Passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humour, a must-read about modern Britain and womanhood... Dazzling’ - The Booker Judges 2019

Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other made her the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019, as well as winning the Fiction Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2020, where she also won Author of the Year.

Girl, Woman, Other
Girl, Woman, Other


'The most absorbing book I read all year.' Roxane Gay

This is Britain as you've never read it.
This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

'[Bernardine Evaristo] is one of the very best that we have' Nikesh Shukla on Twitter

'A choral love song to black womanhood in modern Great Britain' Elle

'Beautifully interwoven stories of identity, race, womanhood, and the realities of modern Britain. The characters are so vivid, the writing is beautiful and it brims with humanity' Nicola Sturgeon on Twitter

'Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life' Ali Smith, author of How to be both

'Exceptional. You have to order it right now' Stylist

'Sparkling, inventive' Sunday Times

The Brief

Girl, Woman, Other explores identity, race, womanhood, and what it is to be British through the lives of twelve very different people. Described as a novel for our times, Girl, Woman, Other is both celebratory and elegiac, fiction and social history; it defies genre and the cover should try to reflect that.

If you can, try to read the book in order to get a sense of the writing, this will only help to inspire your design.

Your cover design needs to include all the cover copy supplied and be designed to the specified design template – B format, 198mm high x 129mm wide, spine width 28mm. Please refer to the Submissions Details page for full details of the spec and how to submit your entry.

Copyright must be cleared for all images used in your cover design and you must include a credit line on the back cover of your design for any third-party images used. For example: ‘Cover photograph by Allen Lane’.

Read the book before you start designing

We recommend that you read the book before you start on your design in order to get a sense of the themes and of the author’s voice. Girl, Woman, Other is stocked in most bookshops and libraries.

What the judges are looking for in a winning design

Your cover design should encapsulate the essence or key themes of the book in an imaginative, instant and engaging way. To help you get started, we’ve set out the top things to consider when designing a book cover, and what we look for when narrowing down our shortlist. Read more here.

The Judges

Richard Bravery - Art Director, Penguin General

Richard studied Illustration at Falmouth and has an MA in Typography from London College of Printing. After graduating Richard worked in a variety of creative industries including Furniture Design, before embarking on a career in Cover Design firstly at 4th Estate and then with Penguin, where he has worked since 2007. As Art Director for Penguin General, he works on a wide-ranging list of authors including Zadie Smith, Dave Eggers, John le Carré and Alain De Botton. 

Lee Motley - Art Director, Michael Joseph

After graduating from the University of Westminster, Lee took a junior designer position at Harper Collins Publishers. After 19 years, she left her role as Art Director to join Penguin Books as Deputy Art Director to John Hamilton. For the next few years Lee designed and art-directed for both Penguin General and Michael Joseph, on a range of fiction and non-fiction titles. Now, as Art Director for Michael Joseph, she works on a wide range of new talent and established authors including Marian Keyes, Jamie Oliver, Dawn French and Jojo Moyes.

Jim Stoddart - Art Director, Penguin Press

After graduating in Sheffield, Jim took a placement at Bill Smith Studio in London, which turned into a job designing record and CD covers for such labels as EMI, Virgin, BMG, Mute and Trojan Records. Five years later he joined Penguin, where he worked as a cover designer for eighteen months, and then he went to work with Chris Ashworth under Lewis Blackwell at Getty Images for twelve months. In 2001 he returned to Penguin as Art Director of Penguin Press, where he has overseen the redesign and rebranding of Penguin ClassicsPenguin Modern Classics and Pelican Books, as well as designing and art-directing covers for Penguin’s Allen Lane hardback imprint, the Particular Books imprint and Penguin non-fiction paperbacks.

Guest judges

Anna-Maria Nabirye - Multi-disciplinary artist

Anna-Maria Nabirye is a multi-disciplinary artist who directs, performs, collaborates and initiates projects across theatre, film, social practice, fiction, documentary, visual arts, audio and fashion.  Her work is focused on the narratives of Black women within the African Diaspora. In 2019 she narrated the audiobook for Girl, Woman, Other.

Anna-Maria's directing & co-directing credits include Ruptures (London Film Festival/HOME/Delfina Foundation), One Prick At A Time (King's College London), Up In Arms (Hungry Eyes Festival, IFFF Dortman,Germany), Antigone (LAMDA), Strong & Wrong (Edinburgh & Brighton Fringe). 

She co-founded and runs AfroRetro an Upcycling micro-fashion brand & creative community organisation Afri-Co-Lab: which creates spaces for community dreaming, creative experimentation and arts for wellbeing. AfroRetro & Afri-Co-Lab has been commissioned by Black Cultural Archives, Royal Court, V&A, Southbank Centre, De La Warr, Brighton Museum and Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects.  

Anna-Maria’s acting credits include BBC1, BBC2, E4, Film4, The National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe & The Almeida.  

Anna-Maria is a Jerwood supported artist and currently creating her first solo commission for Whitstable Biennale 2022. She is also working with Arts Admin (UK) and Octopus Theatricals (USA) on multi-generative artwork Up In Arms, which will have its debut UK exhibition in 2023. Anna-Maria has taught and directed for YALE School of Drama, National Theater Institute, (USA), LAMDA, Mountview Academy, London Philharmonic Orchestra (UK).  

Clare Skeats - Designer

Clare is a London-based designer, specialising in book design and art direction. She has worked in-house for Penguin Random House UK and also for the renowned British designer, Margaret Howell. She has been free­lance since 2004, designing covers and complete books for a range of clients.

In addition to her work as a designer, Clare has been an Associate Lecturer in Graphic and Communication Design at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, since 2009. See her work.

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