New prize on the block the Folio is giving self-published writers a chance to be placed alongside the big names at last. When I tweeted about the story the other day, the response was positive, and it continues to be, with the announcement being welcomed by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
Self-published works will be allowed to be selected as part of the sixty titles to be put forward by the Folio’s academy, and the remaining twenty to be put forward (selected by publishers writing letters of support) will also be open, with the authors being their own publishers and writing their own support letters.
Dan Holloway – campaign manager of ALLi’s ‘Open Up To Indies’ programme – said:
“This is important news and greatly welcomed by ALLi’s Open Up To Indies Campaign. Whilst self-publishing has been stripped of much of its stigma by a string of high profile commercial successes, the suspicion remains in some quarters, notably the media, that the self-published corpus is not a place to find works of outstanding artistic merit that could take their place alongside the works of a Hilary Mantel or Will Self or Philip Roth… And the closed doors of major prizes has made it virtually impossible to demonstrate otherwise.”
It’s time for the self-publishing authors to prove they are contenders in the prize arena and that they are serious movers in the literary world. Although self-publishing has opened up the possibilities of some pretty poor offerings (I will name no names, but we’ve all come across them), it has also opened up the realms of possibilities for those decent writers who have been overlooked for one reason or another. Perhaps this is at last the chance they need – by getting the opportunity to receive an accolade, they will at last level the playing field in ways the Booker and Orange never will.
What do you think of the Folio prize accepting self-published works?