The Rathbones Folio Prize announces dynamic new mentoring initiative as Folio Academy expands its role + confirms judges, key dates

Tuesday, 14 March 2017: Together with its sponsor, Rathbone Investment Management, The Folio Prize Foundation is delighted to announce the Rathbones Folio Mentorships, in association with First Story.

The Folio Academy, over 250 strong, is the group of outstanding writers and critics who form the Prize’s unique, de facto governing body. Now, with the launch of the Mentorships programme, it will start to undertake a more dynamic and wide-ranging role.

First Story, founded by former teacher Katie Waldegrave and the writer William Fiennes, brings talented, professional writers into over 70 secondary schools serving low-income communities, to work with teachers and students to foster creativity and communication skills.

From this September, the most outstanding First Story students will be selected for the Rathbones Folio Mentorships programme. Each student will be paired with a member of the Academy for one-on-one guidance on a writing project over the course of a year, creating a new way forward for the literary voices of tomorrow. The Foundation and Rathbones are additionally pleased to confirm that the inaugural
Rathbones Folio Prize – for the best work of literature published in a given year, regardless of form – will be announced on the evening of 24 May 2017, at a ceremony at the British Library. The shortlist of eight titles will be revealed on Thursday, 6 April at the Rathbones London head offices, by this year’s judges: Ahdaf Soueif (chair), Lucy Hughes-Hallett, and Rachel Holmes, all of whom are members of the Folio

Andrew Kidd and Kate Harvey, co-founders of The Folio Prize, say: ‘From the outset, our ambition was that this should be more than ‘just a prize’, with the unique resource of the Folio Academy being ideally placed to engage the public in exploring the power and potential of writing to transform lives. This engagement is a key priority for Rathbones as well, and together with them and First Story we are thrilled to be launching a new mentorships programme – the first of numerous initiatives we will roll out over the coming months and years.’

Philip Howell, CEO of Rathbone Brothers plc, says: ‘The Rathbones Folio Prize not only recognises outstanding literary work, it also supports programmes that nurture new talent: a quality we greatly value at Rathbones. We have always been a strong supporter of youth development – be it through our financial awareness programme or our sponsorship of schools lacrosse – and are delighted to be able to continue this tradition with the Rathbones Folio Mentorships, which will help future generations discover and develop their talent.’

Mónica Parle, Executive Director of First Story, says: ‘First Story believes writing is a source of power and pleasure, and we are delighted to be partnering with The Rathbones Folio Prize to transform the lives of secondary school students. Working with Folio Academicians to nurture the most talented First Story students presents an unparalleled opportunity for them to develop their skills and find their own voices. We
hope this will also contribute to the diversity of the publishing world, as the young people we work with come from backgrounds often not represented in mainstream publishing.’
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For queries please contact Minna Fry. Folio Prize Development Director at or Ellie Pocock/ Matt Jamieson, Teamspirit PR – / 020 7360 7878
Notes to Editors:
• The Folio Prize was established in 2013 as the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. It is the only literary prize in which all the books considered are selected and judged by an academy of peers.

• The Folio Prize Academy is a community of 250+ writers who represent excellence in literature and who may be called upon to comment on literary matters in the media, to appear at festivals and public events, and to volunteer to mentor young writers in association with the charity First Story. Academicians include Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith and recently recruited
members include Amanda Foreman, William Dalrymple, Jon Ronson, Alex Ross and Andrew Marr. The full list can be found at

• Rathbone Investment Management is one of the UK’s largest and longest-established providers of high-quality, personalised discretionary investment services. It manages over £34.2 billion* of funds (as of 30 December 2016) for individuals, charities and trustees, and is part of Rathbone Brothers Plc, an independent company with a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
*Includes funds managed by Rathbone Unit Trust Management.

• Investment management services are offered in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Chichester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Kendal, Liverpool, London, Lymington, Newcastle and Winchester. Offshore investment management services are offered by subsidiary Rathbone Investment Management International in Jersey.

• First Story is a national creative writing charity that changes lives through writing. They believe that writing can transform lives, and that there is dignity and power in every young person’s story. First Story brings talented, professional writers into secondary schools serving low-income communities to work with teachers and students to foster creativity and communication skills. By helping students find their voices through
intensive, fun programmes, First Story raises aspirations and gives students the skills and confidence to achieve them.

• The Literature/Folio Prize Foundation is a registered charity committed to bringing the most outstanding works of English language literature to public attention through both the awarding of the Prize and other initiatives. Overseen by its trustees, the Foundation seeks to engage readers and writers throughout the English-speaking world in cultural debate and in the celebration and sustainment of the art of literature, which it believes has the capacity to enrich and change people’s lives.