Press Release: The Folio Prize Fiction Festival

The Folio Society proud to sponsor a brand new fiction festival

In anticipation of the announcement of the first winner of The Folio Prize – a major new award for international fiction sponsored by The Folio Society – the British Library will host a new two-day fiction festival featuring some of the world’s finest writers and critics, all drawn from The Folio Prize Academy.

The Festival will be presented by Folio in partnership with the British Library on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 March 2014. The winner of The Folio Prize will be announced on Monday 10 March at a ceremony in central London.

Announcing the new initiative, Andrew Kidd, Founder of The Folio Prize says:

“The Folio Prize is the first major award to highlight the very best fiction published in the UK in a given year, regardless of a writer’s country of origin or of the genre a writer chooses to work within. What better way to amplify the aims of the prize and our sponsor, The Folio Society, than to launch a major international fiction festival featuring the writers on our shortlist, our eminent panel of Judges and members of The Folio Prize Academy. At this stage we can announce that our judges Lavinia Greenlaw (Chair), Michael Chabon, Sarah Hall, Pankaj Mishra and Nam Le will appear alongside Prize Academy members A.S. Byatt, Sebastian Faulks and Ali Smith and others yet to be confirmed. The Folio Prize shortlist will be announced on 4 February at the British Library, and the final festival programme revealed.”

Toby Hartwell, MD, The Folio Society, Sponsor of The Folio Prize says:

“As sponsor of The Folio Prize, we are delighted to present The Folio Prize Fiction Festival in partnership with the British Library with whom we have a long-standing relationship and where we sponsor The Folio Society Gallery. As publishers of beautiful books we have a long tradition of producing the highest quality editions of great works of fiction from the world’s leading writers. Now with the Fiction Festival we can celebrate our first Folio Prize shortlist of authors alongside their peers from the Academy. We also welcome wholeheartedly their many fans and readers to join us in celebrating their work, ahead of the announcement of the inaugural winner on 10 March.”

Roger Walshe, Head of Public Engagement, the British Library says:

“The Festival weekend at the British Library will be a unique and wonderful opportunity for readers and fans to come face to face with some of the leading voices in world literature. The calibre of the participants, and the critical and public reception of their recent works, shows just what an exciting time this is for fiction across a range of genres. The British Library has a long tradition of literary events and exhibitions, and the Folio Prize Festival is set to become a major occasion in next year’s calendar”

The Folio Prize Academy is a unique, defining feature of the Folio Prize. It is a community in which conversations about the value and direction of fiction take place, and The Folio Prize Fiction Festival will reflect this in its programme. While the Academy maintains a clear and stable form, it continues to grow and evolve, with an ever-increasing variety of voices. All of its members demonstrate a commitment to writing and to reading that is inspiring in its vision and scope. The current updated academy membership is announced on The Folio Prize website today. * (see notes to editors)


Notes to Editors:

• Shortlist 4 February; The Folio Prize Fiction Festival 8-9 March; Winner 10 March

• For further information about The Folio Prize Fiction Festival go to www.bl.uk/whatson or visit The Folio Prize at www.thefolioprize.com

• The Folio Prize is the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. Its aim is simple: to celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and to bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible.

• The Folio Prize Academy is an international group of people, primarily writers and critics, who are immersed in the world of books.

*New Academy members announced recently are:
Tash Aw, Carol Birch, NoViolet Bulawayo, Lucy Caldwell, Sarah Churchwell, Elizabeth Day, Louise Doughty, Richard Francis, Neil Gaiman, Damon Galgut, Petina Gappah, Helon Habila, Rawi Hage, Kent Haruf, Aleksandar Hemon, Kathryn Heyman, M.J. Hyland, Lars Iyer, Maya Jaggi, Michelle de Kretser, Rachel Kushner, Sam Leith, Frances Leviston, Tao Lin, Hisham Matar, Eimear McBride, Glyn Maxwell, Daniel Mendelsohn, Philipp Meyer, Maggie O’Farrell, Andrew O’Hagan, Jacob Polley, John Preston, Michael Prodger, Ian Rankin, Michele Roberts, Owen Sheers, Lionel Shriver, Peter Stanford, Adam Thirwell, Adam Thorpe, Scott Turow, Jess Walter. www.thefolioprize.com/the-academy

• The Folio Prize Foundation is a registered charity committed to bringing the most outstanding works of English language fiction to public attention through the awarding of The Folio Prize. Overseen by its trustees, and in cooperation with The Folio Society, the Foundation will seek to engage readers and writers throughout the English-speaking world in cultural debate and in the celebration, sustainment and furtherance of the art of literature, which it believes has the capacity to enrich and change people's lives.

• For over 65 years The Folio Society has been publishing beautiful illustrated editions of the world's greatest books. With specially commissioned illustrations, many editions are further enhanced with introductions written by leading figures in their fields: novelists, journalists, academics, scientists and artists. There are hundreds of Folio Society editions currently in print covering fiction, biography, history, science, philosophy, children's literature, humour, myths and legends and more. Exceptional in content and craftsmanship and maintaining the very highest standards of fine book production, Folio Society editions are created to last for generations. Folio Society titles can be bought from www.foliosociety.com, by telephone on 0207 400 4200, by visiting The Folio Society Bookshop, 44 Eagle Street, London, WC1R 4FS, or from selected retail partners.

• The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

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