Folio Prize

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The Rathbones Folio Prize
Rathbones-Folio-logo 800x600.jpg
Awarded forLiterature published in the UK
Sponsored byThe Folio Society (2014-2015), Rathbone Investment Management Ltd (2016 - )
First awarded2014
Last awardedActive

The Rathbones Folio Prize, previously known as the Folio Prize and The Literature Prize, is a literary award that was sponsored by the London-based publisher The Folio Society for its first two years, 2014-2015.[1] In December 2016, the prize announced that its new sponsor is Rathbone Investment Management Ltd. The first Rathbones Folio Prize was awarded in May 2017.[2]

Folio Prize[edit]

The prize came into being after a group in Britain "took umbrage at the direction they saw the Booker Prize taking – they saw it leaning toward popular fiction rather than literary fiction."[3] The prize was compared as a rival of the Man Booker Prize by the media.[4] Margaret Atwood said the Folio Prize is "much needed in a world in which money is increasingly becoming the measure of all things."[5] Mark Haddon said it was "not a mechanism for generating publicity by propelling a single book into the spotlight but a celebration of literary fiction as a whole."[5]

The Folio Prize in its first two years was given to an English-language book of fiction published in the UK by an author from any country. The prize remuneration in the first two years was £40,000. It was initially called the "Literature Prize" as a placeholder until a sponsor could be found, then the Folio Prize, named for the Folio Society, a publisher of special editions of classic literature.[3]

Beginning with the Rathbones sponsorship in 2017, the prize will be awarded to the best new work of literature published in the English language in a given year, regardless of form.[6] Ahdaf Soueif will be the first chair of the judges.[2] In addition to prize remuneration of £20,000, the Rathbones sponsorship will support a number of initiatives generated out of The Folio Academy, the group of writers who form the Prize's de facto governing body. Initiatives will include a new Academy mentorship scheme, in association with the charity First Story, which will mentor aspiring young writers, as well as a series of Rathbones Folio Sessions throughout the year in the form of literary workshops, lectures and debates.[2]

The jury for the prize is called the Academy, a body of over 250 writers and critics that includes Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, A.S. Byatt, Zadie Smith and J.M. Coetzee. Books are nominated by members of the Academy, three each, ranked. Points are given to each book depending on how many first, second or third rankings are earned. The top scoring books are made into a longlist of 60 books (80 in the first two years). The list of nominated titles is then judged by a panel of three to five judges drawn from the Academy who select a shortlist of eight and the final winner.[5][3][4][7]

Winners and shortlists as the Folio Prize[edit]

Blue ribbon (Blue ribbon) = winner


The shortlist was announced on 10 February 2014,[8][9] and the winner was announced 10 March. Lavinia Greenlaw was Chair of the jury comprising writers Michael Chabon, Sarah Hall, Nam Le and Pankaj Mishra.[8]


The shortlist was announced on 9 February 2015.[12] The winner was announced 21 March. William Fiennes was Chair of the jury comprising The Observer writer Rachel Cooke and writers Mohsin Hamid, AM Homes, and Deborah Levy.[13]


No prize.[14]


The shortlisted was announced in early April 2017. It was the first year non-fiction was included in the running.[15] The winner was announced May 25.[16]


The shortlist was announced in late March 2018.[17] The winner was announced 8 May.[18]


  1. ^ Sarah Shaffi (May 18, 2015). "Folio Society drops prize sponsorship". The Bookseller. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Investment company Rathbones to sponsor Folio Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  3. ^ a b c Kellogg, Carolyn (13 March 2013). "Jacket Copy: Literature Prize launches as $60,000 Folio Prize". LA Times. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b Clark, Nick (13 March 2013). "New literary award The Folio Prize launches as 'Booker without the bow ties'". The Independent. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Lawless, Jill (13 March 2013). "New kid on the block: Folio Prize aims to challenge the Booker as UK's leading literary award". Associated Press via the Washington Post. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  6. ^ "2017 Folio Prize to include non-fiction". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  7. ^ Capon, Felicity (14 March 2013). "The Literature Prize becomes The Folio Prize as its sponsor is revealed". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The 2014 Folio Prize Shortlist is Announced". Folio Prize. 10 February 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Gaby Wood (10 February 2014). "Folio Prize 2013: The Americans are coming, but not the ones we were expecting". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  10. ^ Ron Charles (March 10, 2014). "George Saunders wins $67,000 for first Folio Prize". Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  11. ^ "Tenth of December by George Saunders wins inaugural Folio Prize 2014" (PDF). Folio Prize. 10 March 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Mark Brown (9 February 2015). "Folio prize shortlist shows literary novel is far from dead, says head judge". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  13. ^ a b Mark Brown (23 March 2015). "Akhil Sharma wins Folio prize for fiction". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  14. ^ "The Folio Prize 'suspended' for 2016". The Guardian. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  15. ^ Sian Cain (6 April 2017). "Folio prize returns with nonfiction joining novels on the 2017 shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  16. ^ Sana Goyal (May 25, 2017). "Hisham Matar's memoir wins this year's Rathbones Folio Prize". Live Mint. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Rathbones Folio Shortlist 2018". Folio Prize. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Announcing the Winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018". Folio Prize. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.

External links[edit]