Greenlaw, Chabon among first Folio judges

The judges for the inaugural Folio Prize have been announced, with the panel chaired by novelist and poet Lavinia Greenlaw [pictured].

US author Michael Chabon, British novelist Sarah Hall, Australian writer Nam Le and Indian novelist Pankaj Mishra complete the line-up of judges, all of whom are drawn from the Folio Prize Academy.

The prize, worth £40,000, will be awarded to the best English-language fiction written in 2103, regardless of form, genre, or country of origin. The judges will select a shortest of eight titles in February 2014, with the winner announced at a ceremony in March.

Greenlaw, professor of poetry at the University of East Anglia, said: "This is the perfect time for the Folio Prize to be inaugurated. Fiction is finding new forms and writers are resisting all kinds of borders. The nomination procedure reflects how closely writing is bound up with reading, and the pleasure we all take in discovering and sharing books."

The judges have all been drawn by lot from the Folio Prize Academy, a body of international writers and critics. The lot was organised so that no more than three members of the same gender were on the panel, with three judges from the UK and two from elsewhere.

American novelist Chabon said: "Great literature respects no borders or boundaries, and it's a thrill to be a part of the first literary prize designed to honor that crucial disrespect."

In September, the remaining Academy members will be invited to nominate up to three titles each, rated with a points system. The 60 titles with highest points will be put forwards to the judges for consideration. In November, publishers will be invited to write letters of support for up to five books that they feel merit inclusion, with the judges calling in a further 20 books based on these recommendations. Altogether, they will read 80 titles.

Toby Hartwell, m.d. of The Folio Society, said: “In sponsoring the Folio Prize, we are looking to recognise great fiction writing from around the world and with this great panel of judges the first award is in very safe hands.”


How The Folio Prize began