Read time:2 minute, 51 seconds

The longlists for the Polari Prize and Polari First Book Prize for LGBTQ+ literature have been unveiled in a digital ceremony hosted by author and founder Paul Burston.

Check out the video right here:

As the prize marks its 10th anniversary, he hailed the extraordinary range of talent showcased in this year’s selection of titles which include Jeanette Winterson’s retelling of Frankenstein, Kate Charlesworth graphic guide to queer history, Jay Bernard’s poetry anthology exploring black British history, and memoirs by Amrou Al-Kadhi and Dustin Lance Black.

​Announced during Pride month, the ceremony included videos from supporters of the prize including Matt Bates, Editor at Muswell Press and former Fiction Buyer for WH Smiths and Booker prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo who described the Polari Prize as an “essential part of our literary culture.”

The Polari First Book Prize 2020 longlisted titles are: 

​Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen by Amrou Al-Kadhi (Fourth Estate)

Tell Me I’m Forgiven: The Story of Forgotten Stars Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney by Alison Child (Tollington) 

Queer Intentions: A Personal Journey through LGBTQ+ Culture by Amelia Abraham (Picador) 

Surge by Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus) 

Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guideby Kate Charlesworth (Myriad Editions)

Flèche by Mary Jean Chan (Faber) The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu (Dialogue Books) 

Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen (Ebury Press) 

Salt Slow by Julia Armfield (Picador)

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins  (Penguin)

A Love Story for Bewildered Girls by Emma Morgan (Penguin) 

Death Magazine by Matthew Haigh (Salt)

The Polari Prize 2020 longlisted titles are:

​Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas by Dustin Lance Black (John Murray)

In At The Deep End by Kate Davies (The Borough Press)

Blue Wallpaper by Robert Hamberger (Waterloo Press)

In Nearby Bushes by Kei Miller (Carcanet) Reckless Paper Birds by John McCullough (Penned In The Margins)

Trans Power: Your Own Gender by Juno Roche (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson (Vintage)

Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)

The Other Mother: A Wickedly Honest Parenting Tale for Every Kind of Family by Jen Brister (Square Peg)

This Brutal House by Niven Govinden (Dialogue Books)

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill & Secker)

Judges for the 2020 Polari First Book prize are author and 2019 Prize winner Angela Chadwick; writer and performer Cerys Evans; author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at Southbank Centre Rachel Holmes; and poet and performer Keith Jarrett.

​Judges for the 2020 Polari Book Prize are CEO of the National Centre for Writing Chris Gribble; literary critic Suzi Feay;  author and performer VG Lee; and poet and 2019 Prize winner Andrew McMillan.

The chair for both prizes is author and founder Paul Burston.

​The Polari First Book Prize is sponsored by award-winning arts communications company FMcM Associates, with the winner receiving a cheque for £1,000. The submission fee is £15.

The Polari Prize is sponsored by D H H Literary Agency, with the winner receiving a cheque for £2,000. The submission fee is £25.

Writers must be born or based in the UK and Ireland.

About the author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest articles