The longlist for the Polari First Book Prize was announced last night (Wednesday 1st June, 2016) at the Polari Literary Salon in London’s Southbank Centre.
Now in its sixth year, the Prize is awarded annually to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction.
The Polari First Book Prize 2016 longlist is:
•Blood Relatives – Stevan Alcock (Fourth Estate)
•Arc – David Clarke (Nine Arches Press)
•Sugar and Snails – Anne Goodwin (Inspired Quill)
•Jebel Marra- Michelle Green (Comma Press)
•Slap – Alexis Gregory (Team Angelica)
•The Manservant – Michael Harwood (Kensington)
•Trans – Juliet Jacques (Verso)
•Different For Girls – Jacquie Lawrence (Zitebooks)
•Dead Man’s Hand – Mark Lock (Accent)
•Physical – Andrew McMillan (Cape Poetry)
•The Good Son – Paul McVeigh (Salt)
•Kiss & Make Up – Carl Stanley (Ignite)
From poetry and play scripts to crime, drama and non-fiction, the complexities of the war in Darfur and three titles which address the transgender experience – the 2016 longlist builds on the strength and diversity of previous years. With authors hailing from Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Brighton and South Wales and plot-lines spanning from London bathrooms to stately homes and onwards to the Middle-East – the 12 chosen books demonstrate the breadth and richness of works inspired by the LGBT community
Judges for the 2016 prize include author, journalist and host of Polari literary salon, chair Paul Burston; Rachel Holmes, author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank; literary critic, Suzi Feay; writer, critic and broadcaster, Bidisha; author and comedian, VG Lee; and writer and editor Alex Hopkins.
Chair of the judges Paul Burston, said:
“Overall, the quality of submissions this year was exceptionally high. The judges were impressed by the diversity of voices and the wide range of work submitted – everything from memoir and first novels to poetry and a published play script. It was also encouraging to see more submissions reflecting the trans experience. This is probably the strongest long list we’ve ever had. Deciding on the short list will be extremely difficult”
The shortlist of up to 6 titles will be announced on Thursday July 28, 2016 at a special Polari literary salon held at The Southbank Centre. This will also be the pre-tour event for this year’s 14 date national tour – taking in Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Hastings, Edinburgh, Blackpool, Hull, Brighton and more.
The overall winner will then be revealed at the London Literature Festival on Friday 7th October, 2016 at the Southbank Centre.
Polari First Book Prize partners include WH Smiths Travel and Square Peg Media.