First awarded in 2014 (originally known as The Folio Prize), the Rathbones Folio Prize is open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK, and is worth over £30,000. All genres and all forms of literature are eligible, except work written primarily for children.
The Prize is unique in that it is judged by members of the 300-strong Rathbones Folio Academy of esteemed writers and critics. The 2023 Prize will include category finalists in Fiction, Non-Fiction & Poetry.
“What are we really made of? What forms us? This life force of a book is a brilliant blast of responsive energy, a shapeshifter between memoir, essay, critique, experiment, dialogue. Its subject is the porous and delicate process of the formation of identity up against societal and historical race and gender inequalities. It reveals how culture, art, thought, spirit, family, society, history – our life and times – make each of us, and crucially how, in turn, we make, remake and repurpose all these things. Life as a living art – this is a magnificent book, a joyous, moving, inventive and transformatory work.”
- Rathbones Folio Prize Judges
Each year, three or five members of the Academy will be invited to judge the Prize. The sole criterion for judgment will be excellence: to identify works of literature in which the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression. The judges consider a total of 60 books, which will be nominated by the Academy. Further books will be called-in from publishers; from these call-ins, the judges can make a total of 20 selections, bringing the total number of books under consideration to 80. In 2023, the judges will create three distinct shortlists from these 80 titles in Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry. Each category winner, selected from a shortlist of five, will receive a £2,000 prize. One book will then be crowned overall Rathbones Folio Prize winner, with the author receiving an additional £30,000. The shortlist winners and overall winner will be announced at the annual Rathbones Folio Prize ceremony and presented with a cheque for their Prize money.