Shortlist announced : Polari First Book Prize 2016

Shortlist announced : Polari First Book Prize 2016

The much anticipated shortlist for the Polari First Book Prize 2016 was announced by founder and chair of judges Paul Burston last week. If you’re still hunting for that book to take on your summer jolly, then look no further.

Now in its sixth year, the Prize is awarded annually to a writer whose first book explores the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction.

After much deliberation, the six shortlisted titles battling it out to be crowned the winner are :

The Good Son by Paul McVeigh (Salt)
Trans by Juliet Jacques (Verso)
Blood Relatives by Stevan Alcock (Fourth Estate)
Physical by Andrew McMillan (Jonathan Cape)
Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin (Inspired Quill)
Different for Girls by Jacquie Lawrence (Zitebooks)

“At a time when it has never been more important to draw our similarities over our differences, each book chosen gives us all insights into other worlds; a sense of what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes.”

This year’s shortlist draws a spotlight on the increasing breadth and diversity of works focusing on the LGBT experience and demonstrates the remarkable candour and breadth of talent of the LGBT literary community.

On revealing the shortlist, Chair of judges Paul Burston said : “From an exceptionally strong longlist, we are delighted to present a shortlist of books which successfully highlight the range of experiences and talent in the LGBT literary community. Our strongest ever. Since we began this year’s judging process the world has turned on its head. At a time when it has never been more important to draw our similarities over our differences, each book chosen gives us all insights into other worlds; a sense of what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. Choosing a winner will be incredibly challenging.”

The 2016 prize is judged by an awesome panel of respected figures in the literary world, including : Paul Burston, author, journalist and host of Polari Literary Salon; Rachel Holmes, author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank; Suzi Feay, literary critic; VG Lee, author and comedian and Alex Hopkins, writer and editor.

The winner will be announced at the London Literature Festival on Friday 7th October 2016 at the Southbank Centre in London. Good luck everyone!

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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