Reasons to be cheerful? End-of-year reading from the Folio Academy

This year’s Rathbones Folio judges and mentors recommend books that, in one way or another, lift their spirits, at the end of a year in which all our spirits have sometimes needed lifting . . .             Ross Raisin, Rathbones Folio mentor: Young Skins, by Colin...

Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Sham

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer? Robin:  Perhaps since three or four, when I used to visit the bookshop my grandfather worked in, and was enchanted. Leila:    I’ve never thought ‘I want to be a writer’. And do not really consider myself to be...

Rachel Holmes

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer? Whatever age I was the day my father pointed out to me that being a fighter pilot meant I had to kill people and animals. Was your first book published or is it still lurking in a drawer somewhere? Lurking in the...

Lucy Hughes-Hallett

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write Was your first book published or is it still lurking in a drawer somewhere? I have a green notebook full of my early poetry. No one’s seen...

Maggie Nelson

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer? Probably around age 8. Was your first book published or is it still lurking in a drawer somewhere? It sounds unbelievable, but I’ve made almost continual use of just about everything I’ve ever written. I’ve only...

Laura Cumming

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer?  Not until my twenties, when I wrote my first article for The Guardian and found I loved doing it. I will always be intensely grateful to the editor who commissioned it.  Was your first book published or is it...