Join the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018 shortlisted authors, judges, and members of the Rathbones Folio Academy for a day of talks, readings and discussion. Participants include Rathbones Folio Prize 2018 judges Jim Crace, Kate Summerscale and Nikesh Shukla, as well as authors including Afua Hirsch, A L Kennedy, Ross Raisin, Kamila Shamsie and Evie Wyld.


On Community: Jon McGregor and Jim Crace in conversation with Claire Armitstead
11.30 – 12.45

From the Latin ‘public spirit’ and ‘shared in common’, a community is a precarious balance between the group and the individual. And as often as communities are progressive and forward-thinking, they can also be hostile and suspicious of outsiders. What happens when there is a threat to the chorus of public spirit, when something – or someone – appears to fracture that which is ‘shared in common’?

Shortlisted author Jon McGregor (Reservoir 13) and 2018 Rathbones Folio Prize judge Jim Crace (author of prize-winning novels including QuarantineHarvest and, most recently, The Melody), both address ideas of community in their own work.


Rathbones Folio Mentorships Lunchtime Session 
With Afua Hirsch, A L Kennedy, Ross Raisin, Kamila Shamsie and Evie Wyld

In association with First Story
13.00 – 14.00

Four of First Story’s exceptional student graduates were paired with four award-winning writers from the Folio Academy – Kamila Shamsie, A L Kennedy, Ross Raisin and Evie Wyld – for a year-long creative writing mentorship programme. At this special event, chaired by the writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, be the first to hear the four mentees, introduced by their mentors, read from their creative writing portfolios-in-progress, and discuss the mentoring process: a rare opportunity to glimpse the possible writing stars of tomorrow.


On Nation: Xiaolu Guo, Richard Lloyd Parry and Nikesh Shukla
14.30 – 15.45

No matter how prepared you are, moving from one country to another is a culture shock, upending assumptions about where you’ve come to and where you’ve come from. Ours is a time when borders between nations are most porous yet most fiercely contested: when we all must negotiate the forces of globalization and reconfigure what we understand the idea of ‘home’ to mean.

Shortlisted authors Richard Lloyd Parry (Ghosts of the Tsunami) and Xiaolu Guo (Once Upon a Time in The East) have both written on the subject, and both made non-birth countries their home. They join Nikesh Shukla (2018 Rathbones Folio Prize judge, novelist – most recently of The One Who Wrote Destiny – and editor of the groundbreaking anthology, The Good Immigrant) to examine the timely, hotly-contested concept of nationhood and identity.


On Family: Sally Rooney, Richard Beard and Kate Summerscale
16.00 – 17.15

‘This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt’, writes Arundhati Roy.

The family unit is the most foundational and flummoxing of all – a necessity and a burden; somewhere to find refuge and somewhere to break free from. And we continue to build ‘families’ throughout our lives, whether by constructing an alternative family through other relationships, or by salvaging our original family through memory and archive.

In their work, shortlisted authors Richard Beard (The Day that Went Missing) and Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends) interrogate ideas of family in strikingly different ways. Together with Kate Summerscale (2018 Rathbones Folio Prize judge and author of numerous acclaimed books including The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Wicked Boy), they discuss this particularly complicated form of belonging. Chaired by Robert Collins.