Belfast Telegraph

Folio Prize secures increased funding from wealth management sponsor

The literary prize will now be able to award its annual winner a sum of £30,000.

The Folio Prize was set up in 2013 as a rival to the high-profile Booker Prize (Ian West/PA)
The Folio Prize was set up in 2013 as a rival to the high-profile Booker Prize (Ian West/PA)

The Folio Prize has received a boost in funding from its sponsor, Rathbones Investment Management.

A new partnership between the literary prize body and the wealth management group will fund the prize, its Academy and its mentorship schemes until at least 2023.

The award was set up in 2013 as a rival to the high-profile Booker Prize after the latter’s chair said the body’s jury had begun looking for “readability” in its winners.

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George Saunders wins the Folio Prize for his book Tenth Of December (Ian West/PA)

The increased funding comes amid speculation over the future of the Booker Prize following news of its sponsors, the Man Group hedge fund, pulling out of sponsoring the prize.

Rathbones’s decision will increase the Folio Prize’s award money to £30,000 from £20,000.

The Booker Prize award money was originally £21,000 but was raised to £50,000 in 2002 under the sponsorship of the Man Group.

In a recent statement, the Folio Prize described itself as “the only literary prize in which all the books considered for the prize are selected and judged by an academy of peers”.

Our ambition is for this prize and its related initiatives to become the most dynamic literary offering in the UK Andrew Kidd, chair of the Folio Academy Foundation trustees

It said extra funding would go towards achieving its charitable objectives, improving its communications and increasing its marketing activity.

Co-founder and chair of the Folio Academy Foundation trustees, Andrew Kidd, 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.”

Rathbones’s chief executive Philip Howell 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.”

PA

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