The Folio Prize Foundation announces a new sponsor and expanded remit for 2017 and beyond, as well as the appointment of Ahdaf Soueif as chair of the judging panel.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016: The Folio Prize Foundation today announces a new collaboration with Rathbone Investment Management Ltd to form the Rathbones Folio Prize. The prize will be awarded to the best new work of literature published in the English language in a given year, regardless of form. Uniquely, the books selected for consideration, the shortlist and the winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize are all chosen by an academy of outstanding writers and critics.

In addition to the Prize, the sponsorship will also support a number of important initiatives generated out of The Folio Academy, the group of over 250 writers who form the Prizeʼs de facto governing body. Initiatives will include a new Academy mentorship scheme, in association with the charity First Story, which will mentor aspiring young writers, as well as a series of Rathbones Folio Sessions throughout the year in the form of literary workshops, lectures and debates.

The first Rathbones Folio Prize will be awarded on Wednesday May 24th 2017 at an awards ceremony held at the British Library, with which the prize has enjoyed a strong association since its launch. Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling and Booker shortlisted novel The Map of Love. Her account of the Egyptian revolution of 2011, Cairo: a City Transformed, came out in 2014. She is the Founder and Chair of the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest).

Andrew Kidd and Kate Harvey, co-founders of The Rathbones Folio Prize, say:
“This prize was launched with the ambition of creating a new and clearer way of recognizing outstanding achievement in literature. We are grateful to Rathbones for enabling it not only to continue in that mission but also to expand upon it. The Prize,  conceived from the outset as borderless, will now also be open to any form, with the sole aim of recognising the best book in a given year. “In addition, under the leadership of our new Director of Development, Minna Fry, we will be introducing new initiatives, which draw upon the unique asset that is the Folio Prize Academy. It is Rathbonesʼ enthusiasm for these, as much as for the award itself, that make us especially delighted at the prospect of working with them for years to come.”

Philip Howell, CEO of Rathbone Brothers plc, says:
“Rathbones is delighted to support this important prize, which celebrates the best in UK and world literary talent, and to secure its future for years to come. We also look forward to supporting the wider work of the Folio Academy, through a series of annual Rathbones Folio lectures and debates and the introduction of a mentoring programme for young writers. Rathbones has a long history of working with the community and is truly committed to supporting education, sports and the arts.”
– ENDS –
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 for the are selected and judge 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 literature matters in the media, to appear at festivals and public events, and may 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, Jon Ronson, Alex Ross, William Dalrymple and Andrew Marr. The full list can be found at

• Rathbone Investment Management is one of the UKʼs largest and longest-established providers of high-quality, personalised discretionary investment services. It manages over £33.2 billion* of funds (as at 30 September 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.

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

• Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling The Map of Love (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999 and translated into more than 30 languages), In the Eye of the Sun (1992), I Think of You and Cairo: a City Transformed, her account of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 (2014). She is also a political and cultural commentator. Her Mezzaterra (2004) has been influential and her articles for the Guardian are published in the European and American press. In 2007 Ms Soueif founded the Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place in the cities of occupied Palestine and Gaza. Photographs available from on request.

• The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website – – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

Click here to download a PDF of the release.