The Rathbones Folio Prize will increase its prize money to £30,000 after receiving renewed sponsorship.
A new pledge by Rathbone Investment Management secures the future of the prize, mentorships and sessions until at least 2023. The funding will also be used by the Folio Academy Foundation to step up its charitable work, while boosting PR and marketing drives by arts communications agency FMcM and prize director, Minna Fry.
As a result, the writer’s prize cheque at this year’s awards, presented to the best work of literature published in the UK, will be raised from £20,000 to £30,000. The 2019 ceremony will be held at the British Library on 20th May. Last year's winner was Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry (Jonathan Cape).
The Rathbones Folio Mentorships, launched last year in partnership with charity First Story, will also now be extended. They will see four gifted young writers from disadvantaged backgrounds receive one-to-one creative writing tutoring from four academy writers over the course of a year.
Meanwhile, the Rathbones Folio Sessions will continue in partnership with the British Library and occur at literary festivals around the UK. The sessions are designed to engage the public in conversations between the academy’s writers. The next session, “How to Write a Book in Day”, hosted by A.L. Kennedy, takes place at the British Library on 19th May.
Andrew Kidd, co-founder and chair of the Folio Academy Foundation trustees, said: “Our ambition is for this prize and its related initiatives to become the most dynamic literary offering in the UK. It was clear from the outset that Rathbones – with their centuries-long values of ‘honesty, integrity and independence’ - were the ideal partner. The importance they place on social and cultural outreach chimes perfectly with the priorities of the foundation, and we are grateful to Rathbones for the generous renewal of their commitment to working with us to realise our shared aspiration.”
Phillip Howell, chief executive of Rathbone Investment Management, said: “We are delighted to continue our support for one of the most important prizes in literature. The Rathbones Folio Prize brings a diverse range of outstanding writing to readers’ attention, enriching lives through the unique power of books. Beyond this, and as significant as the prize itself, are the mentorship programmes built around it. These have the capacity to transform the lives of young people and nurture the literary voices of the future.”
The Folio Prize ran for the first time in 2014 but was suspended for 2016 following the ending of its initial two-year sponsorship from The Folio Society. It later secured sponsorship from Rathbones.