England’s Rathbones Folio Prize Announces 2023 Shortlists

In News by Porter Anderson

Drawn from an international field of writers working in English, the Rathbones shortlists add up to 15 titles.

At the Rathbones Folio 2023 shortlist announcement in London, January 31 Image: Rathbones Folio

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry
The three categories of shortlisted titles announced Tuesday evening for the Rathbones Folio Prize in England (January 31) in London create a combined shortlist of 15 titles.

A winner’s announcement is anticipated on March 27, that information to be made public at the British Library.

To help you recall which of the United Kingdom’s many awards program this is:

  • Previously known as the Literature Prize and the Folio Prize, the award is today sponsored by Rathbone Brothers Plc
  • Like Waterstones, the prize’s name is written without an apostrophe, Rathbones
  • Its visibility on the awards scene was interrupted by a one-year hiatus in 2016
  • This award carries a purse of £30,000 (US$36,977)
  • The Rathbones Folio Prize has a fine internationalist stance, in that it can be won by writers anywhere in the world working in English
  • The program also has range in format: the honor can go to authors of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
Rathbones Folio Prize 2023 Fiction Shortlist
  • NoViolet Bulawayo, based in the United States, Glory (Chatto & Windus)
  • Sheila Heti, based in Canada, Pure Colour (Harvill Secker)
  • Daisy Hildyard, United Kingdom, Emergency (Fitzcarraldo)
  • Michelle de Kretser, United Kingdom, Scary Monsters (Allen & Unwin)
  • Elizabeth Strout, based in the States, Lucy by the Sea (Viking)
Rathbones Folio 2023 Nonfiction Shortlist
  • Will Ashon, United Kingdom, The Passengers (Faber & Faber)
  • Amy Bloom, based in the States, In Love (Granta)
  • Jonathan Freedland, United Kingdom, The Escape Artist (John Murray Press)
  • Margo Jefferson, based in the States, Constructing a Nervous System (Granta)
  • Darren McGarvey, United Kingdom, The Social Distance Between Us (Ebury Press)
Rathbones Folio 2023 Poetry Shortlist
  • Victoria Adukwei Bulley, United Kingdom, Quiet (Faber & Faber)
  • Fiona Benson, United Kingdom, Ephemeron (Jonathan Cape)
  • Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa, United Kingdom, Cane, Corn & Gulley (Out-Spoken Press)
  • Zaffar Kunial, United Kingdom, England’s Green (Faber & Faber)
  • Yomi Sode, United Kingdom, Manorism (Penguin Poetry)

Ali Smith

In a prepared comment, jury chair Ali Smith is quoted, saying, “It’s been a real pleasure, the process of choosing the cross-genre shortlists with Jackie [Kay] and Guy [Gunaratne] for the Rathbones Folio Prize this year.

“It’s a prize unlike any other, in that the books in the running are specifically chosen from a long list nominated solely by writers.

“So we started with a list of great books, we’ve delighted in our reading and our meetings with each other over the past months, and we’re hoping our shortlists will excite other readers and writers as much as they’ve excited us.”

Image: Rathbones Folio Prize


More from us on the Rathbones Folio Prize is here, more on publishing and book awards in international markets is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.