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Folio Prize Suspended for 2016

There will be no Folio Prize in 2016, the organizers have announced. After two years of supporting the prize, the Folio Society will not be renewing its contract. As a result, the prize will be suspended for at least one year.

The Folio Prize was established in 2011, in response to what organizers felt was a “dumbing down” of the famous Book Prize. The Folio Prize was to be an antidote, and considered writers from outside of the British Commonwealth.

But the Booker Prize now does the same – American writers have been eligible for the prize since 2014. That leaves less of a niche for the Folio Prize, the Guardian speculates, making it tougher to find a new sponsor.

The announcement of the 2016 cancellation was made on the prize’s website, and leaves open the possibility of some other major event or announcement coming this spring:

As we continue our work to secure a new sponsor for the Folio Prize, we have decided not to run a prize in March 2016. Instead, we are concentrating our resources on another promising development for the spring, while at the same time exploring how the prize might best fulfil its aim of bringing great books to readers in the future.

The Folio Prize, when awarded, is worth £40,000 (about $60,500). It was most recently won by Akhil Sharma for his book Family Life.

 

Stephen Lovely, writer

Main image: Robin Mayes/PA, via the Guardian