The Rathbones Folio Prize has brought forward its 2020 shortlist and winner schedule two months earlier than in previous years.
The shortlist will be shared on 25th February while the winner will be announced on 23rd March, to precede the Women’s Prize on 31st March and the International Booker Prize in May. Poet and non-fiction writer Paul Farley, novelists Nikita Lalwani and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year winner Ross Raisin will judge the £30,000 prize.
The shortlisted authors will join the judges on 22nd March ahead of the 2020 prize ceremony to take part in a Rathbones Folio Sessions day at the British Library.
Chair of judges Paul Farley said: “We’re living through many welcome changes in the literary landscape and hearing from a greater variety of voices, while the distinctions and divisions between genres somehow seem more permeable than ever.
“This prize is unique in the way it asks a community of our fellow writers to nominate a list for my fellow judges and me to consider, and also in the way it allows all genres into the mix. Good books are always good in surprising, unpredictable, challenging ways and I’m looking forward to our total immersion in reading as the nights draw in, with the certain prospect of finding an exceptional title to celebrate come the spring.”
Last year Raymond Antrobus became the first poet to win the prize with his debut collection The Perseverance (Penned in the Margins). After renewed sponsorship from Rathbone Investment Management earlier this year, the 2019 prize fund increased from £20,000 to £30,000 which saw the prize expand its mentorship and events programme.