Session 2: Rathbones Folio Prize Writing Masterclasses

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5x15 x Rathbones Folio Prize Writing Masterclasses chaired by James Naughtie

Rathbones Folio Prize

The Rathbones Folio Prize – known as the “writers’ prize” – is the only award governed by an international academy of distinguished writers. The 2023 Rathbones Folio Prize is awarded to books displaying excellence in literature, comprising three category shortlists across fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This year’s shortlisted authors represent internationally renowned talent from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. With Prize money of almost £40,000, the category winners and overall winner of the Book of the Year will be announced on Monday 27th March 2023 at the British Library.

All the shortlisted books are available at

James Naughtie

James Naughtie, special correspondent for BBC News, is one of the country's best-known broadcasters, having presented Today on Radio 4 for 21 years. He has hosted every edition of Bookclub on that network since it began in 1998 and written and presented many documentaries on books and music on radio and television. Last year he published an account of fifty years of travels in the United States - On the Road - and later this year he will publish the third in a series of espionage novels.

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of seven highly praised novels Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl, The Past, Late in the Day and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love, and Bad Dreams. She won a Windham-Campbell prize for Fiction in 2016, The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker. Her novel Free Love has just been published.

Philip Hoare
Albert and the Whale

Philip Hoare is the author of eight works of non-fiction, including Leviathan, or The Whale, which won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Hoare is also an experienced broadcaster, a Visiting Fellow at Southampton University, and Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at The Marine Institute, Plymouth University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. He lives in Southampton.

In Albert & the Whale, Philip Hoare sets out to discover why Durer's art endures. He encounters medieval alchemists and modernist poets, eccentric emperors, ambassadorial whales and enigmatic pop artists. An illuminating exploration of the intersection between life, art and the sea.

Colm Tóibín
The Magician

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of ten novels, including The Magician, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and has been named as the Laureate for Irish Fiction for 2022–2024 by the Arts Council of Ireland. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York. His new book, A Guest at the Feast, brings together essays about growing up in Ireland during radical change; about cancer, priests, popes, homosexuality, and literature.


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