The longlists for the Polari Prize and the Polari First Book Prize have been revealed, with stories about trans lives and gender identities featuring heavily on the 24-strong list.
Now in its ninth year, the Prize recognises writers whose work explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction with the Polari First Book Prize returning and the introduction of the Polari Prize for established authors.
Announcing the names of the 24 writers in contention for this year’s awards, author, founder and chair of judges, Paul Burston said: “The books on this year’s longlists celebrate LGBT lives in their many varieties. At a time when reactionary forces are on the rise and political battles won many years ago are being fought all over again, books that tell the truth about who we really are serve a powerful purpose. Stories about trans lives and gender identities feature heavily. There are also books about the changing landscape of our collective experiences, from gay shame to equal marriage. Together these longlists represent the very best in emerging and established LGBT literary talent today.”
Jessica Kingsley Publishers scooped three nominations on the Polari First Book Prize 2019 longlist with Not Just A Tomboy by Caspar J Baldwin, Queer Sex by Juno Roche and Yes You Are Trans Enough by Mia Violet.
The House on Half Moon Street by Alex Reeve (Raven), XX by Angela Chadwick (Dialogue Books) and The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor by Rana Haddad (Hoopoe) also made the longlist for the First Book Prize alongside Soho by Richard Scott (Faber), Attend by West Camel (Orenda Books) and Disbanded Kingdom by Polis Loizou (Cloud Lodge).
Next Lesson by Chris Woodley (Aurora Metro), Out of the Woods by Luke Turner (Orion) and Visceral by RJ Arkhipov (Zuleika) round off the longlist for the Polari First Book Prize which champions work by new writers.
New to 2019, the Polari Prize will award established authors. Drapetomania by John R Gordon (Team Angelica), The Other Woman by Sophia Blackwell (Burning Eye) and Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale (Headline) are longlisted.
Louise Beech’s The Lion Tamer Who Lost (Orenda Books), A Simple Scale by David Llewellyn (Seren) and Making Oscar Wilde by Michéle Mendelsshon (Oxford University Press) are also longlisted alongside Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen (Orion), Playtime by Andrew McMillan (Penguin) and Prodigal by Charles Lambert (Gallic). Kate Bradbury’s The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (Bloomsbury), Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (Granta) and The AQI by David Tait (Smith / Doorstop) are also in the running
The shortlists will be announced on 26th July at a special Polari Literary Salon hosted at the Southbank Centre. The winner will be announced in October at the London Literature Festival.