Apple may be the new Orange -- at least when it comes to supporting female fiction writers. The technology company may step in as the new sponsor for the Orange Prize for Fiction, an annual award given to female novelists, reported The Telegraph.
The Orange Prize has been sponsored by telecommunications company Orange since the award’s inception in 1996. The award is 30,000 British pounds and prestige, which traditionally boosts book sales. In May The Huffington Post reported that Orange had decided to pull its funding for the prize, citing a desire to shift its focus toward film partnerships. “Obviously there's an element of sadness, because it's been an incredibly successful partnership," Kate Mosse, co-founder of the prize, said then. “We should say thank you to [Orange] and also ask for a new sponsor." It appears that Mosse’s pleas have been answered.
According to The Telegraph, Apple isn’t the only company in talks to sponsor the award -- ebook producer Kobo is also interested in partnering with the prize -- but Apple is the company farthest along in the process. If it does become the award’s new sponsor, it’s unclear whether the company would lend its fruit-inspired name to the award or brand it in some other way. (Maybe the iPrize?) Sources inside the company told The Telegraph that a sponsorship arrangement -- which Apple usually avoids -- wouldn’t even necessarily include naming rights. For female writers, the obvious advantage of having Apple –- or any other viable company –- take Orange's place is that the award will continue, but an Apple sponsorship could come with at least one added perk: greater promotion of the winning novel in the iBookstore.