Osman wins Polari First Book Prize

Osman wins Polari First Book Prize

The Polari First Book Prize has been won by British-Somali writer Diriye Osman for his short story collection, Fairytales for Lost Children.

Osman's book, published by Team Angelica Press, beat a shortlist made up of books from established independent publishers and self-published titles.

Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said: "‘With such a strong shortlist, deciding on a winner was incredibly difficult. The Polari First Book Prize is about celebrating voices which are often ignored or difficult to hear. Writing as a black gay African man from a Muslim background, Osman dazzled us with the wide range of literary voices in this stunning short story collection."

The prize is given out each year to a debut book exploring the LGBT experience published in the UK. Osman wins £1,000, presented this evening (8th October) at the Polari Literary Salon at the London Literature Festival.

Burston was joined on the judging panel by critic Bidisha, author and former culture editor for Channel 4 News Matt Cain, broadcaster Suzi Feay, former head of literature at the Southbank Rachel Holmes and comedian VG Lee.

Other titles on the shortlist were I Am Nobody's Nigger by Dean Atta (Westbourne Press), Petite Mort by Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail), God's Other Children - A London Memoir by Vernal W Scott (self-published) and The Rubbish Lesbian by Sarah Westwood (Mimwood Press).