Now in its third year, the prize is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience and is open to books by authors born or resident in the UK published in English within twelve 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 sponsor for the prize is Societe Generale UK LGBT Network, who will kindly be donating £1000 prize money to the winner of this year’s prize. The media partner is Square Peg Media, publishers of g3 and OUT In The City magazines.
The judges this year are:
- Paul Burston (Chair of Judges) - author, journalist and host of Polari
- Bidisha - writer, critic and broadcaster
- Suzi Feay -literary critic
- Rachel Holmes - author and former Head of Literature at the Southbank Centre
- VG Lee - author and comedian
- Joe Storey-Scott - books buyer
The Polari First Book Prize Shortlist:
- The Murder Wall - Mari Hannah (Pan Macmillan)
- Tony Hogan Bought Me An Icecream Float Before He Stole My Ma - Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)
- The Sitar - Rebecca Idris (self published)
- Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan - Mark O’Connell (Splendid)
- The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones - Jack Wolf (Chatto & Windus)
Speaking on behalf of the judges, literary critic Suzi Feay said: "The judges were delighted to see a growth in submissions this year, particularly from new female authors. From such a strong longlist, it was difficult to narrow down the choices to the final five, but we feel they represent the strongest individual voices with the most engaging tales to tell - whether it's lifting the lid on the 'Gaysian' girl scene; a blisteringly funny tale of council house life in Scotland and the north; the witty confessions of a Bond fanatic; a tough female cop with a secret; and finally, a shape-shifting monster of a historical antihero who would give Peter Ackroyd a run for his money. These are books to dazzle, amuse and beguile."
Polari Literary Salon launched in 2007 in the upstairs room of a pub in Soho and is ‘London’s peerless gay literary salon’ (Independent on Sunday). Now, Polari is happily housed at the Southbank Centre where monthly events showcase the best in established, new and up-and-coming LGBT literary talent and performance.