polarilogoThe organisers of the Polari First Book Prize have announced the long list for this year’s contest. The annual competition, which is now in its second year, is for a first book that “explores the LGBT experience.”

It is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published (including self-published) in the UK in English within the 12 months prior to deadline (this year 1 February 2012).

The judges for this year’s contest are Paul Burston (chair and host of literary salon Polari), Rachel Holmes (head of literature at the Southbank), Suzi Feay (literary critic), Joe Storey-Scott (books buyer) and Bidisha (writer and critic).

The ten short-listed books were announced at last night’s Polari event at the Southbank. They are as follows:

Rory’s Boys – Alan Clark (Bliss/Arcadia Books
Pennance – Claire Ashton (self published on Kindle)
The Frost Fairs – John McCullogh (Salt)
Becoming Nancy – Terry Ronald (Transworld)
Exit Through The Wound – North Morgan (Limehouse Books)
Body of Water – Stuart Wakefield (self published)
Modern Love – Max Wallis (Flap)
Ey Up and Away – Vicky Ryder (Wandering Star Press)
Grrl Alex – Alex Drummond (self published)
Perking The Pansies ­­– Jack Scott (Summertime Publishing)

The short list will be announced in September, with the winner announced at the Polari fifth birthday party on Monday 26 November. The winner will receive a cheque for £1,000, courtesy of media partners Square Peg Media (publishers of Out In The City and g3 magazines).

Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said, “This is a strong long list which reflects the diversity of LGBT literary voices and the variety of ways in which authors make their voices heard. The judges would like to thank Linda Riley of Square Peg Media for her generous support in celebrating the inventiveness, distinctiveness and excellence of the very best of queer writing.”

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