Entertainment

Sunday 20 October 2019

Judges announced for 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize

There will be a new schedule for the award this year.

Poet Paul Farley has been announced as one of the judges for the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)
Poet Paul Farley has been announced as one of the judges for the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Award-winning writers Paul Farley, Nikita Lalwani and Ross Raisin have been announced as the judges for the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize.

The £30,000 prize – which rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form – also announced it is moving its timeline towards the beginning of the year, ahead of both the Women’s Prize and the International Booker Prize.

The shortlist will now be announced on February 25 (previously April 4), and the winner will be revealed on March 23 instead of May.

The Rathbones Folio Prize, also known as “the writers’ prize”, is the only award governed by an international academy of writers and critics.

Poet and non-fiction writer Farley, chair of the judges, said: “I’m so excited to be chairing the Rathbones Folio Prize panel this year.

“We’re living through many welcome changes in the literary landscape and hearing from a greater variety of voices, while the distinctions and divisions between genres somehow seem more permeable than ever.

“This prize is unique in the way it asks a community of our fellow writers to nominate a list for my fellow judges and me to consider, and also in the way it allows all genres into the mix.

“Good books are always good in surprising, unpredictable, challenging ways and I’m looking forward to our total immersion in reading as the nights draw in, with the certain prospect of finding an exceptional title to celebrate come the spring.”

The names of those taking part in Rathbones’ mentorship programme were also announced.

The Rathbones Folio Mentorships – launched in 2018 in partnership with First Story – pair four writers with four gifted young writers from disadvantaged backgrounds for one-to-one creative writing tutoring over the course of a year.

The 2020 mentors will be Northern Irish playwright and novelist Lucy Caldwell, Rathbones Folio Prize-nominated novelist Alice Jolly, novelist and editor of the award-winning essay collection The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla, and UK-based Singaporean writer and novelist Sharlene Teo.

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