Louise Doughty, Adam Foulds, Joe Dunthorne and Francesca Beard are the four Folio Academy members who will become mentors for the 2018-19 period.
The mentorships are conducted in association with First Story, a charity which brings professional writers into secondary schools to foster creativity and communication skills. Four talented First Story graduates are paired with four members of the Folio Academy for a year of one-to-one talent development. Mentees work on a portfolio of creative writing and the programme culminates with a free public event at the British Library with readings from the mentees.
Nicki Shore, head of programmes at First Story, said: "First Story believes writing is a source of power and pleasure, and we are delighted to be partnering with The Rathbones Folio Prize again this year to enrich and empower students beyond their First Story experience in secondary school. Working with Folio Academicians to nurture the most talented First Story students is a perfect sequel for the young people to develop their craft and strengthen 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.2
Doughty, the author of novels including Apple Tree Yard and Black Water (both Faber), said: "I'm a great believer in encouraging new writers, having benefited enormously from teaching and mentoring in the early stages of my own career. I did the MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia back in the days of Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter and have helped UEA set up a crowd-funded scholarship for BAME applicants to the course, as well as teaching various courses myself over the years, but individual help is particularly important, and I'm really excited about getting to know the candidate that First Story have chosen."
The mentoring programme, supported by Arts Council England and Cockayne Grants for the Arts, was launched in 2017.