Now in its fifth year, our exclusive partnership with the Rathbones Folio Prize offers a unique opportunity for talented First Story alumni to be mentored for an academic year by five acclaimed Folio Academy writers. This year, the celebration necessarily took place online. We’re delighted finally to share some clips from July’s event.
Frankie read a selection of poetry written during her mentorship with award-winning poet, Rachel Long. Rachel is the leader of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, and the author of the widely-acclaimed My Darling from the Lions, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
Priya, Deputy Young Mayor for Derby and First Story Ambassador, was mentored by Kathryn Maris. Kathryn is the poetry editor of Mal and winner of the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment for her most recent poetry collection, The House With Only An Attic And A Basement.
I have not only developed my confidence, but I have learned how to read a poem, and which genre/style could suit a certain audience – something I could have only gotten from a mentorship like this.Priya
In 2019, Finley Parkinson was shortlisted for First Story’s 6-word Story Competition, and although they was sadly unable to attend the Rathbones showcase, their work speaks for itself. Click here to read their short story, Weighted Blanket. Finn was also one of the 85 commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2021, after being persuaded by their mentor Paul Farley to enter the poem ‘Jessica’ earlier this year. Paul is a multi-award-winning poet and non-fiction writer, who has received numerous awards including The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Whitbread Poetry Award and the E.M. Forster Award, and chaired the judges of this year’s Rathbones Folio Prize.
I’ve been hoping for a career involving writing for most of my life, and Paul has absolutely boosted my resolve to achieve that.Finley
Soumya read a selection of short fiction produced during her mentorship with Raymond Antrobus. Raymond is the winner of the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize and The Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year, among other prizes, for his debut collection The Perseverance.
I definitely believe that I have improved in the clarity of my writing skills with a relaxed mind compared to before.Soumya
Rathbones Folio Showcase Event
Family, friends, colleagues and fans were overjoyed to attend the Rathbones Folio Prize Mentorships showcase in July 2021, in which each of the mentors introduced their mentee, before we heard an extract of the work produced over the course of the year. The hard work, passion and pure talent of the mentees shone through the screen and the hour shot by. Click below to watch for yourself.
We couldn’t be more excited that 2021 marks the first year in which the mentorships culminated in the publication of a 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize Mentorships anthology, featuring creative writing from four years of successful Rathbones Mentorships since the inception of the programme in 2017. Take a look at the beautiful cover below, and click here purchase your own copy!
The Folio Academy is a group of more than 300 outstanding writers and critics. Each year the Academy selects four of its members to become mentees to First Story graduates. Previous mentors include Adam Foulds, AL Kennedy, Alice Jolly, Evie Wyld, Francesca Beard, Joe Dunthorne, Kamila Shamsie, Louise Doughty, Lucy Caldwell, Nikesh Shukla, Ross Raisin and Sharlene Teo. The project is made possible by sponsorship of Rathbone Investment Management and the generous funding from Arts Council England and Cockayne Foundation.