LGBT salon Polari launches new prize

LGBT salon Polari launches new prize

Polari, an LGBT literary salon, is launching a new prize that will run alongside its First Book Prize.

The Polari Prize will be for any book by an LGBT+ author or a title that explores LBGT+ themes. The author must be resident in the UK. In its inaugural year the award will be sponsored by DHH Literary Agency and the winner will receive a cheque for £2,000.

Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said: “The stories we tell and the books we read help shape our world view. For many years, LGBT people struggled to find books featuring characters with whom we could identify. Diversity in publishing is still an issue. While some publishers are rising to the challenge, we still have a long way to go. Thanks to our ongoing touring activities and strong presence at the Southbank Centre, awareness of Polari and The Polari First Book Prize grows year on year. Bolstered by growing submissions and recognition, we felt now was the time to expand the prize to highlight the diverse range of literary voices within the LGBT+ community, at all stages.”

PR consultancy FMcM Associates is continuing to sponsor the Polari First Book Prize and the winner of that award will get a cheque for £1,000.

The longlists for both awards will be announced on 10th June and the shortlists on 26th July. The winners will then be revealed in October at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre.

Last year Fiona Mozley has won the Polari First Book Prize 2018 for her Man Booker-shortlisted debut, Elmet (John Murray).

For further details on how to submit a book for this year’s prize, please email Paul Burston at