The Rathbones Folio award is expanding to include three additional categories in a bid to partially fill the void created by the closure of the Costa Book Awards.
Previously celebrating all literary works in all forms, the annual award introduced three separate lists for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each category winner, selected from a shortlist of four, will receive a prize of £2,000 and have a chance to win the overall Rathbones Folio Prize, receiving an additional £30,000.
The prize’s organizers said they decided to refresh its format to cope with “the changing landscape of literary prizes”, including the abolition of prizes like the Costa Book Awards, which were abruptly canceled last month. “The Literary Awards are vital for writers and authors, celebrating the enormous achievements of established and emerging writers, and providing writers with a crucial platform and support for their work,” organizers said.
The new Rathbones format appears to be trying to directly fill a void left by the Costa Book Awards, which also had categories for fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as awards for children’s books and debuts. A winner from each of these categories would also be nominated for an overall Book of the Year award.
All books considered for the Rathbones Prize will be selected and judged by an academy of peers, a process unique to the prize. Shortlisted titles will continue to be nominated by the Folio Academy, which has over 300 writers.
Academy members will be invited to submit nominations in September 2022, and category shortlists will be revealed at a reception at the offices of sponsor Rathbones Investment Management in early 2023, with category and overall winners announced. at an awards ceremony at the British Library in March. 2023. A panel of judges consisting of Chairman Ali Smith, Jackie Kay and Guy Gunaratne will select the winners.
The award will continue to work with booksellers and bookstores to ensure continued support and placement of shortlisted and winning titles in bookstores, in addition to hosting themed events both before the awards ceremony and throughout. of the year.
Executive Director Minna Fry and Prize Co-Founder and Chairman Andrew Kidd, said: “We and our brilliantly supportive sponsor Rathbones are extremely excited about this new refinement and expansion of the existing format for the Rathbones Folio Prize. This will help This 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 – into the hands of more readers.”
The move comes after a number of prices closed over the past two months. Alongside the Costas, the Blue Peter Book Awards were axed in June, leading Scholastic to expand its Laugh Out Loud Awards. The Sunday Times Short Story Award is also at risk of being discontinued following the loss of sponsor Audible while the Desmond Elliott Prize for First Fiction is on hiatus for 2023 while organizers seek new funding.