Rathbones Folio Prize 2022

The Magician, by Colm Tóibín is the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize winner


“a capacious, generous, ambitious novel, taking in a great sweep of 20th century history, yet rooted in the intimate detail of one man’s private life” – Chair of Judges, Tessa Hadley


The Rathbones Folio Prize is also known as the ‘writer’s prize’ – the only major literary award for which all the books in contention are selected and judged by an academy of peers. It is also the only prize to consider all works of literature, regardless of form. Download the Rathbones Folio Prize 2022 Winner Media Release.



The titles Longlisted and Shortlisted for the 2022 prize were:


Assembly, Natasha Brown

The Promise, Damon Galgut

Men Who Feed Pigeons, Selima Hill

Albert and the Whale, Philip Hoare

Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan

My Phantoms, Gwendoline Riley

China Room, Sunjeev Sahota

The Magician, Colm Tóibín



A Little Devil in America, Hanif Abdurraqib

Checkout 19, Claire-Louise Bennett

Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch, Rivka Galchen

The Nutmeg’s Curse, Amitav Ghosh

Palmares, Gayl Jones

Notes on the Sonnets, Luke Kennard

Everybody, Olivia Laing

Sea State, Tabitha Lasley

My Body, Emily Ratajkowski

Beautiful World, Where Are You?, Sally Rooney

Amnion, Stephanie Sy-Quia

A Year in the New Life, Jack Underwood


Judges for the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize

Award-winning author of novels, short stories and non-fiction Tessa Hadley (Chair); the Costa Prize and Rathbones Folio Prize-shortlisted poet Rachel Long; and prize-winning non-fiction writer William Atkins.

Tessa Hadley (Chair)

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of seven highly praised and prize-winning novels including Accidents in the Home, Clever Girl and The Past, which won the 2016 Hawthornden Prize, as well as three collections of stories – Sunstroke, Married Love, and Bad Dreams. Her latest novel, Free Love, has just been published (Jonathan Cape).

Tessa was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for Fiction in 2016. Her short fiction regularly appears in The New Yorker and Granta.

Rachel Long

Rachel Long

Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions (Picador 2020 / Tin House 2021) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Jhalak Prize.

She is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for women of colour, housed at the Southbank Centre in London. She was the first virtual Writer in Residence for Arvon at Home in 2021, and has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2022. 

William Atkins

William Atkins

William Atkins is the author of The Moor, which was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and The Immeasurable World: A Desert Journey, which won the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award.

He is a contributor to the Guardian, the New York Times, Harper’s and Granta, where he is also a guest editor. In 2016 he was awarded the British Library Eccles Prize.

His book Exiles: Three Island Journeys will be published by Faber in Spring 2022.

Rathbones Folio Prize 2022

Shortlist Sessions in Partnership with 5 x 15 Events

Throughout March we partnered with 5 x 15 for a series of very special Rathbones Sessions events featuring our shortlisted authors (above), chaired by James Naughtie. Available free and on demand by clicking here.

Wednesday 2nd March, 6.30pm

Damon Galgut, Sunjeev Sahota and Claire Keegan, along with judge William Atkins, discuss how history and politics infuse their writing. Watch again here.

Wednesday 9th March, 6pm

Focusing on themes of time and place, Chair of Judges Tessa Hadley leads a masterclass with Colm Tóibín and Philip Hoare. Watch again here.

Wednesday 16th March, 6.30pm

Rachel Long is joined by Gwendoline Riley (My Phantoms) and Natasha Brown (Assembly) to discuss form and structure in both poetry and prose. Watch again here.

Raymond Antrobus, Winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019

About the Rathbones Folio Prize

First awarded in 2014, the Rathbones Folio Prize is open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK, and is worth £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 Rathbones Folio Prize has been won by: Tenth of December by George Saunders (2014); Family Life by Akhil Sharma (2015); The Return by Hisham Matar (2017); Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry (2018); The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (2019, pictured above); Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (2020);  In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (2021); and Colm Tóibín, The Magician (2022).

About Rathbones

We’re delighted to hold an expanded partnership with our sponsors Rathbones Investment Management, which secures the future of the Prize, Mentorships and Sessions until at least 2023. The sponsorship by Rathbones enables us to step up our charitable objectives, while also increasing the value of the Prize, with the winner receiving a cheque for £30,000.

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