Mendez, Tempest and Stuart longlisted for Polari Prizes

Mendez, Tempest and Stuart longlisted for Polari Prizes

Paul Mendez, Kae Tempest and Douglas Stuart are among the authors who have been longlisted for this year's Polari Prizes, the UK's dedicated awards for LGBTQ+ literature.

This year's longlists, which range from commercial bestsellers to digital-only releases, feature a large number of books from independent publishers, and were announced in a digital event hosted by author and Polari Salon founder Paul Burston.

The £2,000 Polari Prize for overall book of the year is sponsored by the D H H Literary Agency and this year's longlist features On Connection by Tempest (Faber) and The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (Picador) among others.

For the Polari First Book Prize, the longlist includes Booker-winner Stuart's Shuggie Bain (Picador), Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given (Cassell) and Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez (Dialogue Books). The prize is sponsored by literary PR consultancy FMcM Associates and the winner will receive a cheque for £1,000. 

First Book Prize judge and former Polari Prize winner Angela Chadwick (pictured) said: “This list features an eclectic mix of exciting new voices that deserve a wide audience. While the books are very different from each other, they all share a raw emotional power that makes for the very best reading experience.”

Burston said: "Between them, these two longlists showcase the very best in LGBTQ+ writing talent in the UK today. This Pride month, these are books which tell our truths and are truly worth celebrating.”

Polari First Book Prize 2021 longlist:
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty - Florence Given (Cassell)
A Dutiful Boy - Mohsin Zaidi (Square Peg)
Charred - Andreena Leeanne (Team Angelica)
Strange Fruit - Jason Ford (Self-published Instagram novella)
Rainbow Milk - Paul Mendez (Dialogue Books)
Swimming In The Dark - Tomasz Jędrowski (Bloomsbury)
Forced Out - Kevin Maxwell (Granta)
In Their Shoes : Navigating Non-Binary Life - Jamie Windust (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
Eat, Gay, Love - Calum McSwiggan (Hodder)
Manatomy - James McDermott (Burning Eye Books)
Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stuart (Picador)
One of Them - Michael Cashman (Bloomsbury)

The Polari Prize 2021 longlist:
Dragman - Steven Appleby (Vintage)
The Air Year - Caroline Bird (Carcanet)
The Pull of the Stars - Emma Donoghue (Picador)
The Liars’ Dictionary - Eley Williams (Windmill)
The Ministry of Guidance - Golnoosh Nour (Muswell Press)
On Connection - Kae Tempest (Faber)
What Girls Do in the Dark - Rosie Garland (Nine Arches Press)
Hark - John R Gordon (Team Angelica)
No Modernism Without Lesbians - Diana Souhami (Head of Zeus)
Beneath the Streets - Adam Macqueen (Lightning Books)
The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle - Neil Blackmore (Windmill)
Love & Other Thought Experiments - Sophie Ward (Corsair)