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'A half-full view'

5 May 2008

'All prizes have eligibility criteria: nationality, or ethnic origin, or language, or country of residence, or subject matter, or religion. For those who see the world in negative terms, prizes celebrate the achievements of one group at the expense of another. But for those who have a half-full view, celebrating achievement is a good thing. Since 1996, Orange has done just that - celebrated international women's achievements for the benefit of male and female readers everywhere. This is what matters - reading, and promoting writing. In much the same way, every single weekend millions of men and women (myself included) celebrate men's achievements - except on the pitch not the page. And quite right too. It's not unfair. It's just football.'

Kate Mosse, co-founder of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, in the Bookseller