The Folio Prize, Sponsored by The Folio Society, Announces Judges for 2015 Prize

THE FOLIO PRIZE, sponsored by The Folio Society, has today announced the panel of judges for the second year of the prize, which will be awarded in March 2015. William Fiennes has been drawn as Chair of a jury made up of fellow international writers Rachel Cooke, Mohsin Hamid, A. M. Homes and Deborah Levy, all of whom are drawn from The Folio Prize Academy.

THE FOLIO PRIZE, worth £40,000, will recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world, published in the UK during 2014, regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. It is the first major English-language book prize open to writers from all over the world. The winner of the inaugural Folio Prize in March this year was George Saunders, for his dazzling collection of short stories, Tenth of December.

Chair of the Judges, William Fiennes, says:

“The Folio Prize made such a striking debut last year, and I’m delighted to have been drawn as chair of judges for this second award. Even as the ways in which books are published and distributed undergo dramatic change, writers keep at their old work, showing us the inner and outer lives of the world. The Folio Prize recognises excellence in this magical ongoing enterprise, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The judges have been drawn by lot from THE FOLIO PRIZE ACADEMY, a unique body of highly respected, award-winning writers and critics from across the globe. The expertise and experience of Academicians reflects The Folio Prize’s aim to encourage a consistent focus on excellence. Writers and critics are invited to join the Academy by The Literature Prize Foundation supported by The Folio Prize Advisory Committee.

In September the remaining members of the Academy (excluding the judges and writers who are recused from the 2015 Prize) will be invited to nominate up to three books each.  They will rate these selections using a points system, and the sixty books with the highest number of points will be passed to the judges for consideration. The results will be known only to our judges and the relevant publishers.

In November publishers will be invited to write online letters of support for up to five books that they feel merit consideration. Based on these recommendations, the judges will call in a further 20 books.  The judges will read eighty titles in all.

Andrew Kidd, Founder, The Folio Prize, says:

“The inaugural Folio Prize judges proved exemplary in fulfilling their brief: to celebrate the achievement of their peers and to bring a rich and varied range of great books to readers' attention. This year's panel is an equally exciting group of outstanding writers and thinkers, and we are impatient already to see what gems they uncover.”

Toby Hartwell, MD, The Folio Society, says:

“I am delighted to see that this year’s panel of judges has such a breadth and wealth of experience. The Folio Society has a long tradition of publishing the finest literature in the best possible editions and we look to the judges to identify what will be the outstanding fiction of 2014. No small challenge, but I know it is in safe hands.”

Praise for The Folio Prize 2014

“By putting such authority as it has on its debut behind this book [Tenth of December by George Saunders], The Folio Prize has chosen well, and usefully validated the short story as a form equal to the novel.” David Sexton, Evening Standard, on the awarding of the inaugural Folio Prize to George Saunders 

“There is no doubt that the Prize intends to reward serious literary endeavour and those writers who are innovative in their use of language.”

Jonathan Ruppin, Foyles, quoted by the Press Association 

“The shortlist’s celebration of cutting-edge prose and previous undiscovered authors could be a major force in establishing the prize’s identity.” New York Daily News

More information on THE FOLIO PRIZE can now be found at www.thefolioprize.com.  The full constitution can also be read here.

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