The Literature Prize becomes THE FOLIO PRIZE

The Literature Prize becomes THE FOLIO PRIZE as Title Sponsor is Revealed

The Folio Society is today named as title sponsor for The Literature Prize – which will now be known as THE FOLIO PRIZE.  The announcement was made at 19.15hrs GMT, Wednesday 13 March 2013, at an official launch in The Folio Society Gallery at the British Library in London.

THE FOLIO PRIZE, worth £40,000, will recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world, published in the UK in any given year regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. It will be awarded for the first time in March 2014.

The inaugural panel of judges will be announced in July this year and the shortlist in February 2014.

During the announcement, details of THE FOLIO PRIZE ACADEMY* were also unveiled. Comprising over 100 highly respected, award-winning writers and critics from across the globe, THE FOLIO PRIZE ACADEMY will play a key role in the process by which books are selected and considered for THE FOLIO PRIZE each year. The five judges will also be drawn annually from their ranks.

Every Academy member has been selected because of his or her immersion in the world of books. Their expertise and experience reflects THE FOLIO PRIZE’s aim to encourage a consistent focus on excellence, and to bring great writing to the attention of as many readers as possible.

Commenting at the British Library announcement, founder of THE FOLIO PRIZE, Andrew Kidd, said: “The co-founders of this initiative could not be any more thrilled about our sponsorship by The Folio Society, whose generosity has given birth to The Folio Prize. I know that they and we are as one in our ambition to connect as many great books with as many readers as possible, and we look forward to a long and fruitful association.”

Speaking on behalf of The Folio Society, Managing Director Toby Hartwell said: “The Folio Society has long been passionate about the publishing of classic literature in the most beautiful and desirable editions.  With our sponsorship of The Folio Prize we seek to continue this tradition of excellence through recognising new writing of enduring quality; books that will be read and treasured in a hundred years.”

Margaret Atwood: “The Folio Society pays loving and meticulous attention to the books they publish –their edition of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is now definitive.  I’m sure The Folio Prize will be of equally high quality: much needed in a world in which money is increasingly becoming the measure of all things.”

Philip Pullman:I think The Folio Prize will be a great addition to the current range of literary prizes. I have always admired The Folio Society’s dedication to the book as a physical object, and I think their generous sponsorship of this new prize is a recognition that while literature can become manifest in many different forms, the book – the codex – is at the heart of what we understand literature to be. I look forward to seeing the Folio Prize firmly established, and (of course) to reading the first shortlist and celebrating the first winner”.

Each year, a panel of five prospective judges will be drawn by lots from THE FOLIO PRIZE ACADEMY.  The panel must include three members from the UK, and two members from outside the UK. There must be no more than three members of the same gender.  Names will be randomly drawn from the two groups alternately, starting with those from the UK.  These five, if available, will be invited to act as judges.

Academicians (excluding judges) will be asked to nominate up to three books each year, and publishers will be invited to submit applications for any additional novels they feel merit consideration. Annually, a shortlist of eight titles will be announced in February 2014, with the winner announcement taking place in March.

The Folio Society will publish an illustrated special edition hardback of the winning title in due course, each year.

More information on THE FOLIO PRIZE can now be found at the new Prize website, which launches simultaneously today.

Mark Haddon: If you’re passionate about literary fiction and you were asked to design a literary prize from scratch, it would probably look very much like The Folio Prize. I think it’s possible to see already that it’s not a mechanism for generating publicity by propelling a single book into the spotlight but a celebration of literary fiction as a whole. There will be arguments – there should always be arguments – but they will be arguments about the writing and reading of books.”

Emily Perkins: “Prizes can create, as well as contribute to, a reading community, and The Folio Prize is great news for readers and writers – it will shine a light on excellent writing from around the globe. Its intent to celebrate outstanding fiction is beautifully matched by a sponsor long committed to the lasting powers of literature.”

The Folio Prize Academy members to date:

Tim Adams (critic, Observer); Chloe Aridjis (Prix du Premier Roman Etranger winner); Claire Armitstead (literary editor, Guardian); Margaret Atwood (Booker Prize winner); Paul Bailey (2 x Booker Prize shortlisted); John Banville (Booker Prize winner); Pat Barker (Booker Prize winner); Kevin Barry (Costa Book Award shortlisted); Eileen Battersby (chief literary critic, The Irish Times); Elif Batuman (writer and critic, the New Yorker); Rahul Bhattacharya (Ondaatje Prize winner); Robin Black (Frank O’Connor Prize shortlisted); James Bradley (Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); A.S. Byatt (Booker Prize winner); Carmen Callil (critic, former Booker Prize Chair); Peter Cameron (PEN/Hemingway Award winner); Peter Carey (2 x Booker Prize winner); Justin Cartwright (Whitbread Novel Award winner); Michael Chabon (Pulitzer Prize winner); Kate Clanchy (2 x Forward Prize winner); J.M. Coetzee (2 x Booker Prize winner + Nobel Prize Laureate); Jon Cook (critic and Director of Creative and Performing Arts, UEA); Rachel Cooke (critic, the Observer); Michael Cunningham (Pulitzer Prize winner); Rachel Cusk (Whitbread First Novel Award winner + Orange Prize shortlisted); Jonathan Derbyshire (literary editor, New Statesman); Junot Díaz (Pulitzer Prize winner), Edward Docx (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize winner + Booker Prize longlisted), Emma Donoghue (Booker Prize shortlisted); Sarah Dunant (Silver Dagger Award winner; Walter Scott Prize shortlisted); Joe Dunthorne (Encore Award winner); Geoff Dyer (Somerset Maugham Prize winner + WHSmith Travel Book Award winner + National Book Critics Circle Award winner); Will Eaves (Whitbread Awards shortlisted); Bret Easton Ellis (novelist); Nathan Englander (three times Arthur C Clarke Award shortlisted); Stuart Evers (The London Book Award winner); Sebastian Faulks (James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner; British Book Awards Author of the Year); William Fiennes (Hawthornden Prize winner); John Freeman (Editor, Granta magazine); Anna Funder (Samuel Johnson Prize winner; Miles Franklin Award winner); Rivka Galchen (William Saroyan International Prize winner); Patrick Gale (British Book Awards + IMPAC Dublin Literary Award + Whitbread Short Story Award shortlisted); Keith Gessen (critic and novelist; founder of n+1 magazine); Mark Haddon (Whitbread Book of the Year winner); Tessa Hadley (Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); Mohsin Hamid (Booker Prize shortlisted); Mohammed Hanif (Commonwealth Book Prize winner); Paul Harding (Pulitzer Prize winner); Samantha Harvey (Orange Prize + Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); Justin Haythe (Booker Prize longlisted), Philip Hensher (Booker Prize shortlisted); Andrew Holgate (literary editor, The Sunday Times); Chloe Hooper (Orange Prize shortlisted); Jackie Kay (Guardian First Book Award Winner); Stuart Kelly (literary editor, Scotland on Sunday); Peter Kemp (chief fiction reviewer, The Sunday Times); A.L. Kennedy (Costa Book of the Year winner); Matthew Kneale (Whitbread Book of the Year winner; Booker Prize shortlisted); India Knight (critic and novelist); Nicole Krauss (LA Times Book Award winner + National Book Award + Orange Prize shortlisted); Hari Kunzru (Somerset Maugham Award winner); Nick Laird (Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); James Lasdun (Booker Prize longlisted; TS Eliot Prize, Forward Prize and LA Times Book Prize shortlisted); Nam Lee (Dylan Thomas Prize winner; PEN/Malamud Award winner); Ben Lerner (Believer Book Award winner; National Book Award shortlisted); Robert McCrum (critic, Associate Editor, Observer); Ian McEwan (Booker Prize winner); Jon McGregor (IMPAC Literary Award winner + 2x Booker longlisted); Belinda McKeon (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize + Irish Book Award winner); Tessa McWatt (Governor General Award shortlisted); Claire Messud (Booker Prize longlisted); China Mieville (3 x Arthur C Clarke Award winner); Pankaj Mishra (Indian critic, essayist, historian, novelist); David Mitchell (John Llewellyn Rhys Prize winner; 2 x Booker shortlisted; Time Magazine ‘100 most influential people); Neel Mukherjee (Vodafone Crossword Book Award winner; India); Julie Myerson (critic and novelist); Lawrence Norfolk (Somerset Maugham Award winner); Michael Ondaatje (Booker Prize winner + 2 x Governor General’s Award winner); Helen Oyeyemi (Somerset Maugham Award winner); Don Paterson (2 x T.S. Eliot Prize winner and 2 x Forward Prize winner; Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry recipient); Emily Perkins (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize winner); Elliot Perlman (Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); Caryl Phillips (Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner + Booker Prize shortlisted); Richard Powers (National Book Award Winner); Philip Pullman (Whitbread Book of the Year winner); Anthony Quinn (Author’s Club Best First Novel winner + critic, The Independent); Salman Rushdie (Booker Prize winner; Booker of Bookers winner; 2x Whitbread Award winner); Alice Sebold (ABA Book of the Year Award winner); Maria Semple (Emmy nominated; novelist); David Sexton (literary editor, Evening Standard); James Scudamore (Somerset Maugham Award winner; Costa First Novel Award, Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize shortlisted); Kamila Shamsie (Orange Prize shortlisted); Johanna Skibsbrud (Giller Prize winner); Ali Smith (Whitbread Award Winner + 2 x Booker shortlisted + 2 x Orange Prize shortlisted); Zadie Smith (Whitbread Award winner; Orange Prize winner; Booker prize shortlisted); Lorin Stein (editor, Paris Review); Miguel Syjuco (Man Asian Literary Prize winner); Christopher Tayler (contributing editor, London Review of Books); D.J. Taylor (Whitbread Biography Award winner + Booker Prize longlisted); Rupert Thomson (Costa Novel Award + Writers Guild Fiction Prize + Guardian Fiction Prize shortlisted); Matt Thorne (Encore Award winner + Booker Prize longlisted); Carrie Tiffany (Orange Prize + Guardian First Book Award + Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); Colm Toibin (IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner; Costa Novel Award winner; 2 x Booker Prize shortlisted); Boyd Tonkin (literary editor, Independent on Sunday); Deborah Treisman (fiction editor, the New Yorker); David Vann (Prix Medicis Etranger winner); Salley Vickers (critic and novelist); Erica Wagner (literary editor, The Times), James Walton (critic); Jeanette Winterson (Whitbread Award winner); Gerard Woodward (Somerset Maugham Award winner + Booker Prize and Whitbread Award shortlisted).