ENTERTAINMENT

The Folio Prize, A New Literary Award 'To Rival The Booker', Announced

14/03/2013 08:59 GMT | Updated 13/05/2013 10:12 BST

A new literary award supported by authors such as Philip Pullman to rival the well-established Man Booker is to be called The Folio Prize and will be worth £40,000 to the winner.

Until now it had been known within the publishing industry as the Literature Prize, but has now been officially launched after The Folio Society was announced as sponsor.

It will be open to English language fiction regardless of its country of origin, as long as it is published in the UK, and will be awarded for the first time in March of next year.

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Managing Director of the Folio Society Toby Hartwell (left) and Founder of the Folio Prize Andrew Kidd

A panel of literary figures will make up the Folio Prize Academy with five of them being chosen to sit on the five-strong judging panel. They will read a total of 80 books and draw up a shortlist of eight titles which will be announced in February.

Pullman - author of the Northern Lights trilogy and a member of the academy - said: "I think The Folio Prize will be a great addition to the current range of literary prizes."

And writer Mark Haddon, another academician, said: "If you're passionate about literary fiction and you were asked to design a literary prize from scratch, it would probably look very much like the Folio Prize."