Rathbones Folio ‘refreshing format’ award to expand to three categories | Rathbones Folio Award
Novelists Ali Smith, Jackie Kay and Guy Gunaratne are to judge a new, expanded Rathbones Folio Award for 2023. The award is set to span three categories, filling a void left by the demise of the Costa Book Awards.
Launched in 2014, the Folio Prize rewards a literary work each year. In 2017 it was also open to non-fiction and poetry, although it still only named one winner per year.
For 2023, the prize will span three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry, with a named winner in each competing for the overall prize.
The new format echoes the Costa Book Awards, which came to an abrupt end earlier this year. The Costas crowned winners in five categories – novel, first novel, non-fiction, poetry and children’s – with category winners vying for overall book of the year.
The expanded Rathbones Folio Prize will have shortlists of four books in each of its three categories, and the winner of each category will receive £2,000. The big winner will then receive an additional £30,000.
Organizers said they had “decided to refresh its format to deal with the changing landscape of literary prizes, including the recent abolition of prizes such as the Costa Book Prizes, and the impact this has on the writers”.
In a statement, Prize Executive Director Minna Fry and Co-Founder and President Andrew Kidd said: “We and our brilliantly supportive Rathbones sponsors are extremely excited about this new refinement and expansion of the existing format. This will contribute significantly to what has always been the ultimate goal of this award: to help publishers and booksellers put more of the best books published today – chosen by the writers themselves (a unique feature at this award ) – into the hands of more readers. ”
Judges are chosen annually from Folio Academy members, and the titles to be considered are nominated by its members. The shortlists for the 2023 awards will be revealed early next year, with category and overall winners announced at a ceremony at the British Library in March.
Previous winners of the Folio Prize are Colm Tóibín, Carmen Maria Machado, Raymond Antrobus, Hisham Matar and George Saunders.