Rathbones Folio Prize and Rathbone Investment Management have announced a significant expansion of their partnership, which secures the future of the Rathbones Folio Prize, Mentorships and Sessions until at least 2023.
The substantially increased sponsorship pledge from Rathbones will enable the prize Foundation to step up its charitable objectives, as well as increasing its PR and marketing activities, delivered by arts communications agency, FMcM and Prize Director, Minna Fry, respectively.
Rathbones’ enhanced investment demonstrates its strong commitment to supporting an initiative whose Academy of over 260 writers gives the prize exceptional authority while enabling it to offer innovative outreach schemes, including its ambitious Mentorships programme and the acclaimed Rathbones Folio Sessions.
The boost in support also means that the prize value has increased, with the winner set to receive a cheque for £30,000 at this year’s awards ceremony at the British Library on 20 May. Known as ‘the writer’s prize’, the annual Rathbones Folio prize is for the best work of literature published in the UK in the previous year.
The Rathbones Folio Mentorships, launched in 2018 in partnership with First Story, will be now be extended, as four writers from the Academy are paired with four gifted young writers from disadvantaged backgrounds for one-to-one creative writing tutoring over the course of a year. There is no equivalent mentorship scheme in the UK that offers young writers such sustained one-to-one attention. As 2018 mentor, Kamila Shamsie noted: ‘There are few things more gratifying than seeing a young writer improve from one week to the next and know you were part of the process’.
The Rathbones Folio Sessions – ‘a much needed, serious and expertly produced addition to literary culture’ according to Max Porter – will continue in partnership with the British Library and also occur throughout the year at literary festivals around the UK. The Sessions are designed to engage the public with engrossing and adventurous conversations between Academy members. The next session – ‘How to Write a Book in Day’, hosted by A.L. Kennedy – will take place at the British Library on 19 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: with the Prize’s shortlisted and winning books exciting legions of readers; its Sessions engaging the public in lively debate; and its Mentorships providing a pathway for exceptional talent to emerge until, one day, perhaps, a Rathbones Folio Mentee becomes a Rathbones Folio Prize winner. 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.”
For further information about the Rathbones Folio Prize please contact Annabel Robinson at FMcM: email@example.com or on +44 (0)7825 412232
For further information about Rathbone Investment Management, please contact Jim Follett, Teamspirit pr on Rathbones@teamspirit.uk.com or +44 (0)20 7360 7878
Notes for editors:
The Rathbones Folio Prize was established in 2013 as the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. It is the only literary prize in which all the books considered for the prize are selected and judged by an academy of peers. When new sponsors, Rathbone Investment Management, came on board, the prize was expanded to include all works of literature, regardless of form. Previous winners were George Saunders in 2014, Akhil Sharma in 2015, Hisham Matar in 2017 and Richard Lloyd Parry in 2018.
The Folio Academy is a community of 260+ writers who represent excellence in literature and who may be called upon to comment on literary matters in the media, to appear at festivals and public events and to volunteer to mentor young writers in association with the charity First Story. Academy members include Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith; recently recruited members include William Dalrymple, Amanda Foreman, Andrew Marr, Jon Ronson and Alex Ross.
Rathbone Investment Management is one of the UK’s largest and longest-established providers of high-quality, personalised discretionary investment services. It manages over £38.5 billion of funds (as of 31 December 2018) for individuals, charities and trustees, and is part of Rathbone Brothers Plc, an independent company with a listing on the London Stock Exchange. Investment management services are offered in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Chichester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Kendal, Liverpool, London, Lymington, Newcastle and Winchester. Offshore investment management services are offered by subsidiary Rathbone Investment Management International in Jersey.
The Literature Prize/Folio Academy Foundation is a registered charity committed to bringing the most outstanding works of English language literature to public attention through the awarding of the Prize and other initiatives, including the Rathbones Folio Mentorships. Overseen by its trustees, the Foundation seeks to engage readers and writers throughout the English-speaking world in cultural debate, the celebration and sustainment of the art of literature – which it believes has the capacity to enrich and change people’s lives – and the discovery and nurturing of new voices.