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LGBT+ literature has always been a mainstay of our cultural identity, sometimes being the first place young gay people go to try and help understand themselves, or at least that was the story with me. As such I have always held a special place in my heart for literature and great emerging new writers who have the promise to take the field by storm.
So I was pleased as punch to read through the new long list for the Polari First Book Prize 2014, as I looked to add a few new titles to my already stacked book shelf. The official Long list is as follows:
I Am Nobody’s Nigger by Dean Atta
Stephen Dearsley’s Summer of Love by Colin Bell
The Girl with The Treasure Chest by VA Fearon
The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland
The Falling Sky by Pippa Goldschmidt
Petite Mort by Beatrice Hitchman
Hainault via Newbury Park and Other Broken Tracks by Keith Jarrett
The Birds That Never Flew by Margot McCuaig
Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman
God’s Other Children – A London Memoir by Vernal W. Scott
The Rubbish Lesbian by Sarah Westwood
Out in the Army by James Wharton
Paul Burston, the host of Polari and the chair of judges for this years prize praised all the entrants this year saying:
‘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 twelve books, rather than the usual ten.’
The prize itself is awarded to an authors first book which focuses on LGBT+ themes, and it is open to any book that was published within the year preceding 1 February The winner of the prize will be presented with a cheque for £1,000.
The shortlist for this years Polari First Book Prize will be announced on 8 September 2014 with the prize itself being awarded on 8 October 2014.