Self-published Scott on Polari First Book shortlist

Self-published Scott on Polari First Book shortlist

The shortlist of five for the Polari First Book Prize, which will for the first time be displayed at WH Smith travel outlets, includes a self-published novel.

Vernal W Scott’s God’s Other Children, about about World AIDS Day and the experiences of people affected by HIV and AIDS, and published via Amazon's KDP and CreateSpace programmes, is among the books vying for the award, which is given for any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction exploring the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender experience.

The other books on the shortlist, announced at the Polari Literary Salon at the Southbank Centre yesterday evening (8th September) are I Am Nobody’s Nigger by Dean Atta (Westbourne Press), Petite Mort by Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail), Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman (Team Angelica) and The Rubbish Lesbian by Sarah Westwood (Mimwood Press).

Paul Burston, chair of judges, said: "The judges were impressed with the quality and diversity of books submitted this year. These five books represent a wide range of voices from a variety of backgrounds, making for a very exciting shortlist."

This year’s longlist of 12 titles contained only one book from a major publisher - The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland (HarperCollins) – and Burston told The Bookseller earlier this year that some big publishers saw LGBT books as being “too niche for a big market”.

The winner of the Polari First Book Prize, who will receive £1,000, will be announced on 8th October at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre.

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.