The Rathbones Folio Prize is open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK. All genres and all forms of literature are eligible, except work written primarily for children. The format of first publication may be print or digital.

The Prize will be awarded in March 2020 for books published in the previous calendar year.

The 2020 judges are Paul Farley, Nikita Lalwani and Ross Raisin. Read the press release here.


2020 Judges

Nikita Lalwani

Nikita Lalwani

Nikita Lalwani was born in Rajasthan, India, and raised in Cardiff, Wales. Her first novel, Gifted, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa Award and won the Desmond Elliot Prize (after which she donated her prize money to the human rights organisation, Liberty). Her next novel, The Village, was also widely acclaimed, and her new novel, You People, will be published by Viking Penguin in June 2020. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Paul Farley

Paul Farley

Paul Farley was born in Liverpool and studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He has published four collections of poetry, and also written non-fiction books, including Edgelands (with Michael Symmons Roberts), as well as editing a selection of John Clare’s poetry. A Fellow of the Royal Soci- ety of Literature and a frequent broadcaster, he has received numerous awards, including Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Whitbread Poetry Award and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. His latest collection, The Mizzy, is published this year.

Ross Raisin

Ross Raisin

Ross Raisin was born in West Yorkshire. His first novel, God’s Own Country, was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for nine literary awards, including the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2009 Ross Raisin was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and in 2013 he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British writers. Two more celebrated novels,Waterline and A Natural, have followed. Ross is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


The Selection Process

 

Each year, three or five members of the Academy will be invited to judge the Prize.

This year, judges will consider a total of 60 books, which will be nominated by the Academy. Further books will be called-in from publishers – from these call-ins, the judges can make a total of 20 selections, bringing the total number of books under consideration to 80.

The sole criterion for judgment will be excellence: to identify works of literature in which the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression.

From these 80 titles a shortlist of eight will be selected by the judges. The winner will be announced at the annual Rathbones Folio Prize ceremony and presented with a cheque for £30,000.

Further information about the Prize can be found in the Rathbones Folio Prize Constitution.