New literary award The Folio Prize launches as 'Booker without the bow ties'
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 13 March 2013
A new literary award styled as a “Booker without the bow ties” will go ahead next year after securing sponsorship.
The Folio Prize, which launches at the British Library in London tonight, will bestow its first award, along with a cheque for £40,000, next March.
It has taken 18 months to launch the prize, which was born out of controversy surrounding the judges on the 2011 Man Booker Prize demanding “readability”.
The new award was the brainchild of Aitken Alexander Associates managing director Andrew Kidd, who said securing the sponsorship had been the critical factor in making the prize a reality.
“We see this prize as a 21st century prize,” he said. “If there were too many prizes that might dilute their impact but I don’t think anyone feels there are too many.” Mr Kidd admitted he was one of the critics of the 2011 Booker.
He added The Folio Prize should be seen as complementary to other awards rather than rivalling them, adding: “A number of authors were universally supportive. More than one said: ‘No black tie’.”
The Folio Prize Academy has been set up with over 100 members including authors Margaret Atwood, Pat Barker, Bret Easton Ellis and Sebastian Faulks as well as culture editors and critics from newspapers and magazines.
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, said it would be a “great addition to the current range of literary prizes”.
Using a football metaphor, Anthony Quinn, academician and film critic of The Independent, said that if the Booker was seen as the FA Cup “why isn’t there room for The Premiership?”
Each year, academicians will nominate up to three books each, and they will be judged by five judges selected from their number by lots. Any novels written in English are eligible.
There had been much speculation over whether the sponsor would be a conglomerate or an online retailer. Toby Hartwell, managing director of the Folio Society, said: “Who’d have thought a publisher would be sponsoring it?”
There is one particular difference between this award and the others: Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies, which has dominated most award ceremonies this year, will not win the inaugural prize. It falls outside the publication date to be eligible.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
Orange Is The New Black season 3 episode 1, review: The Ross and Rachel-ness of Piper and Alex is starting to grate
The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair at Glastonbury is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera House, review: Gang rape and stripping naked of female actor met with boos
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato