Polari First Book Prize swells longlist

Polari First Book Prize swells longlist

The 2014 Polari First Book Prize is continuing its tradition of supporting self-published titles, with two such on the latest prize longlist, announced last night (29th) at the Polari Literary Salon at the Southbank Centre. Meanwhile the award, for a first book which explores the LGBT experience, also this year increased its longlist from 10 to 12 titles.

Among the chosen books are the self-published books Hainault via Newbury Park and Other Broken Tracks by Keith Jarrett, a collection of spoken word pieces; and God’s Other Children – A London Memoir by Vernal W Scott, about World AIDS Day and the experiences of people affected by HIV and AIDS.

Also longlisted are: I Am Nobody's Nigger by Dean Atta (Westbourne Press); Stephen Dearsley’s Summer of Love by Colin Bell (Ward Wood Publishing); The Girl with The Treasure Chest by V A Fearon (VIllage Books); The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland (HarperCollins); The Falling Sky by Pippa Goldschmidt (Freight Books); Petite Mort by Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail); The Birds That Never Flew by Margot McCuaig (ThunderPoint Publishing); Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman (Team Angelica); The Rubbish Lesbian by Sarah Westwood (Mimwood Press) and
Out in the Army by James Wharton (Biteback Publishing).

Organisers said this year’s prize received twice as many submissions as last year’s, which was won by Mari Hannah’s The Murder Wall (Pan). Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said: “The judging panel had a tougher job than ever this year, thanks to the increased number and overall quality of submissions. This is reflected in the fact that we have a long list of 12 books, rather than the usual 10.”

The shortlist of five books will be announced at the Polari Literary Salon on September 8th 2014  and the winner will be announced on October 8th 2014 in the Purcell Room at the London Literature Festival..

This year, for the first time, books shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize will be displayed at WH Smith Travel outlets across the UK.

The judges for this year’s prize are critic and broadcaster Bidisha, author Matt Cain, literary critic and broadcaster Suzi Feay, author Rachel Holmes, and author and comedian VG Lee.

The Polari First Book Prize is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English within the 12 months of the deadline for submissions (this year Feb 1, 2013). Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission. The winner will be presented with a cheque for £1,000, courtesy of the Société General UK LGBT Network.