Rathbones Folio prize to name winner in fiction, nonfiction and poetry



Rathbones Folio prize shortlist
Rathbones Folio prize shortlist

ones Folio prize has a new format and an exciting shortlist that includes Booker prize-shortlisted Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo and Pulitzer prize-winning writer Margo Jefferson’s memoir Constructing a Nervous System.

As reported by The Guardian, the newly formatted prize will, for the first time, name winners in fiction, nonfiction and poetry and the shortlist includes writers from across the world.

The outlet adds that this is the first year in which the new format for the Rathbones Folio prize is running and a winner will be named in each of the three categories (fiction, nonfiction and poetry), with those winners then going on to compete for the overall prize. 

Category winners will receive £2,000 each, with the overall winner getting an additional £30,000. 

Since 2017 the prize has been open to nonfiction and poetry as well as fiction, but the introduction of category winners is new.

Alongside Bulawayo’s Glory, a political satire which takes inspiration from George Orwell’s 1984 to comment on Zimbabwean politics, the fiction shortlist also contains Sheila Heti’s Pure Colour, Daisy Hildyard’s Emergency, Michelle de Kretser’s Scary Monsters and Elizabeth Strout’s Lucy by the Sea.

In the nonfiction category Will Ashon’s The Passengers, Amy Bloom’s In Love, Jonathan Freedland’s The Escape Artist and Darren McGarvey’s The Social Distance Between Us join Jefferson on the shortlist.

The poetry category consists of Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s Quiet, Fiona Benson’s Ephemeron, Zaffar Kunial’s England’s Green and Yomi Sode’s Manorism, all of which made the TS Eliot prize longlist. The shortlist is completed by Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa’s Cane, Corn & Gully.

Chair of judges is Ali Smith, who will be joined by Guy Gunaratne and Jackie Kay.

Smith described the Rathbones Folio as a prize “unlike any other in that the books in the running are specifically chosen from a long list nominated solely by writers.”


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