Rathbones Folio Prize Shortlist Announcement

Just a short post today, but I was lucky enough to be invited to the event held at Rathbones HQ near Moorgate last night for the announcement of the Rathbones Folio Prize Shortlist. Thank you to publicists FMcM. Sadly, the weather was cold, windy and drizzly – but the view from inside over the Thames from the top floor functions suite was superb…

The view across the Thames from the Rathbones 8th floor functions suite.

It was lovely to meet up with bloggers Clare and Charlie, and chat to Kate and Rob (now at Vintage and Headline respectively, their blog on hiatus at the mo is Adventures with Words).

We were all there to drink champers and eat delicious canapés hear the announcement of the shortlist. First a short speech about Rathbones and why the company loves reading, then another from prize co-founder Andrew Kidd about the Folio Foundation and its Academy and Mentorship programmes, which extend beyond the Prize. Each year four mentorships of young writers graduating from the First Story programme in schools are mentored by authors who are members of the Academy. A young author, Imaru Lewis, who had been mentored by Kamila Shamsie, read from his work, bravely reading it from his phone!

Then it was over to Kate Clanchy (right), chair of this year’s judges to make the announcement. She alongside fellow judges Owen Sheers and Chloe Aridjis, picked the shortlist of eight titles from the 80 original books, which were previously whittled down to a longlist of twenty. The Rathbones Folio prize is always interesting, for the books for consideration are submitted by academy members, not publishers – so it always demonstrates real breadth, which is maybe why they have a shortlist of eight books?

Here is the shortlist (pictured in my snap at the event above):

  • Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Bloomsbury)
  • The Crossway by Guy Stagg (Picador)
  • Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly (Unbound)
  • Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber)
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Chatto and Windus)
  • The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (Penned in the Margins)
  • There There by Tommy Orange (Harvill Secker)
  • West by Carys Davies (Granta)

The book I’m particularly excited about is There, There by Tommy Orange, followed by Ordinary People by Diana Evans – but I’ve not read any of the shortlist! Something I hope to remedy very soon. What about you?

15 thoughts on “Rathbones Folio Prize Shortlist Announcement

  1. A Life in Books says:

    Brilliant shots, Annabel. I’m glad to hear that you were able to admire the view somewhere warm and dry. I bought West earlier this week, having had it highly recommended by a friend, and I’m also looking forward to Ordinary People

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      West looks good too, and has the bonus of being short. Somehow I don’t think I’ll get to the Alice Jolly chunkster.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      What I particularly like is that the submissions are by the authors who are academy members, not by publishers.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      There are just so many prizes all announcing lists at the moment – I’m finding it hard to keep track! The Crossway looks to me like it might be up your street… non-fiction, travel, history.

  2. heavenali says:

    Milkman is the only one of the books on that list that I have read. I have seen a lot of readers enjoying Ordinary people too. Sounds like a good event too. Great photos.

  3. Rebecca Foster says:

    I’m glad you managed to go to the ceremony and meet up with some familiar faces. I love how diverse (genrewise, and otherwise) the shortlist is. I’ve read three: Davies, Evans and Orange. I’m hoping I’ll get to feature one of the others I’m keen on for the blog tour.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I’ve not read any of them! I now have a copy of the Orange, which I’m really looking forward to. I’d like to read the Evans too in particular.

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