Folio to sponsor Literature Prize; stellar Academy revealed

Folio to sponsor Literature Prize; stellar Academy revealed

The Folio Society has been announced as sponsor of the Literature Prize, the new award co-founded by Aitken Alexander director Andrew Kidd.

In an announcement at the British Library last night (13th March), organisers revealed the £40,000 prize, which aims to "celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world", will now be known as The Folio Prize.

The organisers also revealed a stellar and international list of over 110 authors and critics —including many of the biggest names in books—who have agreed to become members of the Folio Prize Academy, which judges the award.

Ian McEwan, J M Coetzee, Peter Carey, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, John Banville, Philip Pullman and Jeanette Winterson are among them; they are joined by literary editors including Claire Armitstead (the Guardian), Gaby Wood (the Telegraph) and Erica Wagner (the Times), as well as Granta editor John Freeman. The Academy members are listed in full below.

The inaugural award will be presented in March 2014 for books published in the UK between 1st January and 31st December 2013, written originally in English from authors anywhere around the globe, and published in any form or from any genre.

The Academy will choose 60 titles, and then pick an additional 20 books from publisher nominations. The five judges of the prize will be Academy members, and will be drawn by lots in July. The panel must include three members from the UK, and two from outside the UK, and there must be no more than three members of the same gender. Five names will be drawn randomly from the two groups alternately, starting with those from the UK.

The selected judges then choose a shortlist of eight books, which will be announced in February 2014.

Speaking at yesterday's launch, Kidd said: "[Folio and the prize founders] are as one in our ambition to connect as many great books with as many readers as possible, and we look forward to a long and fruitful association."

The Folio Society will publish an illustrated special edition hardback of the winning title each year. Folio Society managing director Toby Hartwell said: "The Folio Society has long been passionate about the publishing of classic literature in the most beautiful and desirable editions. With our sponsorship of The Folio Prize we seek to continue this tradition of excellence through recognising new writing of enduring quality; books that
will be read and treasured in a hundred years."

Kidd and Hartwell will both sit on the Folio Prize Management Committee, alongside Picador editorial director Kate Harvey; Folio Society publisher Catherine Taylor; Folio Society head of marketing development Simon Toombs; prize administrator Suzy Lucas, and FMcM Associates c.e.o. Fiona McMorrough.

Details of how new Folio Prize Academy members can be elected were also revealed. New members can be nominated by the prize's advisory committee, by existing academy members or by the Literature Prize Foundation, a charitable foundation which seeks to engage readers and writers in cultural debate and in the celebration of literature.

Full list of academy members:

Tim Adams (author and critic, Observer); Chloe Aridjis (Prix du Premier
Roman Etranger winner); Claire Armitstead (literary editor, Guardian);
Margaret Atwood (Booker Prize winner); Paul Bailey (2 x Booker Prize
shortlisted); John Banville (Man Booker Prize winner); Pat Barker (Booker
Prize winner); Kevin Barry (Costa Book Award shortlisted); Eileen Battersby
(chief literary critic, The Irish Times); Elif Batuman (writer and critic,
the New Yorker); Rahul Bhattacharya (Ondaatje Prize winner); Robin Black
(Frank O¹Connor International Short Story Award shortlisted); James Bradley
(Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); A.S. Byatt (Booker Prize winner); Carmen
Callil (author and critic); Peter Cameron (PEN/Hemingway Award winner);
Peter Carey (2 x Booker Prize winner); Justin Cartwright (Whitbread Novel
Award winner); Michael Chabon (Pulitzer Prize winner); Kate Clanchy (2 x
Forward Prize winner); J.M. Coetzee (2 x Booker Prize winner + Nobel Prize
Laureate); Jon Cook (critic and Director of Creative and Performing Arts,
UEA); Rachel Cooke (author and critic, the Observer); Michael Cunningham
(Pulitzer Prize winner); Rachel Cusk (Whitbread First Novel Award winner);
Jonathan Derbyshire (culture editor, New Statesman); Junot Díaz (Pulitzer
Prize winner), Edward Docx (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize winner), Emma
Donoghue (Man Booker Prize & Orange Prize shortlisted & Irish Book Award
winner); Sarah Dunant (Silver Dagger Award winner); Joe Dunthorne (Encore
Award winner); Geoff Dyer (National Book Critics Circle Award winner); Will
Eaves (Whitbread Awards shortlisted); Bret Easton Ellis (legendary American
novelist); Nathan Englander (Frank O¹Connor International Short Story Award
winner); Stuart Evers (London Book Award winner); Sebastian Faulks (James
Tait Black Memorial Prize winner; British Book Awards Author of the Year);
William Fiennes (Hawthornden Prize winner); John Freeman (Editor, Granta
magazine); Anna Funder (Samuel Johnson Prize winner; Miles Franklin Award
winner); Rivka Galchen (William Saroyan International Prize winner); Patrick
Gale (IMPAC Literary Award shortlisted); Keith Gessen (novelist and critic;
founder of n+1 magazine); Mark Haddon (Whitbread Book of the Year winner);
Tessa Hadley (Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); Mohsin Hamid (Man
Booker Prize shortlisted); Mohammed Hanif (Commonwealth Book Prize winner);
Paul Harding (Pulitzer Prize winner); Samantha Harvey (Orange Prize &
Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); Justin Haythe (Man Booker Prize
longlisted), Philip Hensher (Man Booker Prize shortlisted); Andrew Holgate
(literary editor, The Sunday Times); Chloe Hooper (Orange Prize
shortlisted); Jackie Kay (Guardian First Book Award Winner); Stuart Kelly
(literary editor, Scotland on Sunday); Peter Kemp (chief fiction reviewer,
The Sunday Times); A.L. Kennedy (Costa Book of the Year winner); Matthew
Kneale (Whitbread Book of the Year winner); India Knight (novelist and
critic); Nicole Krauss (LA Times Book Award winner & Orange Prize
shortlisted); Hari Kunzru (Somerset Maugham Award winner); Nick Laird (Betty
Trask Prize winner & Guardian First Book Award shortlisted); James Lasdun
(TS Eliot Prize, Forward Prize & LA Times Book Prize shortlisted); Nam Le
(Dylan Thomas Prize winner & PEN/Malamud Award winner); Ben Lerner (Believer
Book Award winner & National Book Award shortlisted); Robert McCrum (critic,
Associate Editor, Observer); Ian McEwan (Booker Prize winner); Jon McGregor
(IMPAC Literary Award winner); Belinda McKeon (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize
winner & Irish Book Award prize); Tessa McWatt (Governor General Award
shortlisted); Claire Messud (Pen Faulkner Award shortlisted & Man Booker
Prize longlisted); China Mieville (3 x Arthur C Clarke Award winner); Pankaj
Mishra (novelist, critic, essayist); David Mitchell (John Llewellyn Rhys
Prize winner & 2 x Man Booker shortlisted); Neel Mukherjee (Vodafone
Crossword Book Award winner); Julie Myerson (novelist and critic); Lawrence
Norfolk (Somerset Maugham Award winner); Michael Ondaatje (Booker Prize
winner & 2 x Governor General¹s Award winner); Helen Oyeyemi (Somerset
Maugham Award winner); Don Paterson (2 x T.S. Eliot Prize winner & 2 x
Forward Prize winner); Emily Perkins (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize winner);
Elliot Perlman (Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); Caryl Phillips
(Commonwealth Writers¹ Prize winner & Booker Prize shortlisted); Richard
Powers (National Book Award Winner); Philip Pullman (Whitbread Book of the
Year winner); Anthony Quinn (Author¹s Club Best First Novel winner & critic,
The Independent); Salman Rushdie (Booker Prize winner & Booker of Bookers
winner & 2x Whitbread Award winner); Alice Sebold (ABA Book of the Year
Award winner); Maria Semple (novelist & critic); David Sexton (literary
editor, Evening Standard); James Scudamore (Somerset Maugham Award winner &
Costa First Novel Award, Dylan Thomas Prize & Commonwealth Writers¹ Prize
shortlisted); Kamila Shamsie (John Llewellyn Rhys Prize & Orange Prize
shortlisted); Johanna Skibsbrud (Giller Prize winner); Ali Smith (Whitbread
Novel Award Winner & 2 x Man Booker shortlisted & 2 x Orange Prize
shortlisted); Zadie Smith (Orange Prize Winner & Whitbread First Novel Award
winner & Man Booker prize shortlisted); Lorin Stein (editor, Paris Review);
Miguel Syjuco (Man Asian Literary Prize winner); Christopher Tayler
(contributing editor, London Review of Books); D.J. Taylor (Whitbread
Biography Award winner & Man Booker Prize longlisted); Rupert Thomson (Costa
Novel Award shortlisted & Writers Guild Fiction Prize winner); Matt Thorne
(Encore Award winner & Man Booker Prize longlisted); Carrie Tiffany (Orange
Prize & Guardian First Book Award & Miles Franklin Award shortlisted); Colm
Tóibín (IMPAC Literary Award winner & Costa Novel Award winner & 2 x Man
Booker Prize shortlisted); Boyd Tonkin (literary editor, Independent);
Deborah Treisman (fiction editor, the New Yorker); David Vann (Prix Medicis
Etranger winner); Salley Vickers (author and critic); Erica Wagner (author
and literary editor, The Times), James Walton (author and critic, the
Telegraph and Radio 4); Jeanette Winterson (Whitbread First Novel Award
winner & John Llewellyn Rhys Prize winner); Gaby Wood (literary editor,
Telegraph); Gerard Woodward (Somerset Maugham Award winner & Man Booker
Prize & Whitbread Novel Award shortlisted).

Feature: Behind the scenes of The Folio Prize

Profile: The Folio Society