PolarI prize 2022
ALAN CUMMING, SHON FAYE AND MIRIAM MARGOLYES LEAD 2022 POLARI LONGLISTS WITH SUBMISSIONS INCREASING BY A THIRD
2022 PRIZES INCLUDE BRAND NEW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S AND YA, WITH ALICE OSEMAN AND JUNO DAWSON ON THE INAUGURAL LONGLIST
NUMBER OF SUBMISSIONS HAS GROWN BY A THIRD SINCE 2021
LONGLISTED AUTHORS INCLUDE LAURA KAY, JOELLE TAYLOR, AND STELLA DUFFY
Memoir, fiction, and a significant number of poetry collections are all celebrated in the longlists for this year’s Polari Prize and Polari First Book Prize, the UK’s only dedicated awards for LGBTQ+ literature. 2022 saw a record number of submissions of an incredible breadth and quality, showcasing a wide constituency of talent in LGBTQ+ writers.
This year also saw the introduction of a brand new award for Children’s and YA literature published over the last 24 months, with authors such as Alice Oseman and Juno Dawson included on the inaugural longlists, with the latter appearing twice.
The 2022 longlists, which range from commercial bestsellers to creative poetry collections, feature a large number of books from independent publishers, and were announced today.
Of the brand new Polari Children’s and YA longlist, chair of the judges Jodie Lancet-Grant said:
“It was a total delight to read so many brilliant, joyous and uplifting queer books for children and young people. It is so important that all children see themselves and their families reflected in the stories they read and how lucky we are that so many talented authors and illustrators are helping us do just that.”
The longlist features an incredible range of Children’s and YA titles from both smaller presses and larger publishers, highlighting picture books from Ian Eagleton and James Mayhew (Nen and the Lonely Fisherman, Owlet Press), novels by Alice Oseman, author of Netflix sensation Heartstopper, with her fourth novel Loveless (Harper Collins) and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Ace of Spades, Usborne), and a mixture of middle-grade books and YA titles. The inaugural longlist also includes two titles by Juno Dawson – her Christmas novel Stay Another Day (Quercus) is longlisted alongside non-fiction guide to being young and transgender or non-binary, What’s the T? (Hachette Wren & Rook).
Notable debuts on the eclectic list of books for the Polari First Book Prize include Sunday Times bestseller Miriam Margolyes’ memoir This Much is True (John Murray) and The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye (Penguin) in addition to laugh-out-loud fiction debut The Split by Laura Kay (Quercus). Also on the longlist are a significant number of poetry collections from both small presses and larger publishers, including These Great Athenians by Valentine Carter (Twenty Seven) and Rotten Days in Late Summer by Ralf Webb (Penguin), as well as popular non-fictionexplorations of lesbian and bisexual culture (All The Things She Said - Daisy Jones (Coronet)) and sexual politics (The Right to Sex - Amia Srinivasan (Bloomsbury)).
The Polari Prize longlist, which celebrates an overall Book of the Year, excluding debuts, this year spotlights a vast array of genres, including memoir from Alan Cumming (Baggage, Canongate Books), fiction from Stella Duffy (Lullaby Beach, Virago) and Beth Lewis (The Origins of Iris, Hodder and Stoughton) and a dazzling selection of poetry, including The Great Good Time by
Roz Kaveney (Team Angelica) and C+nto and Othered Poems by Joelle Taylor (Saqi Books / The Westbourne Press). A definitive biography of Valentine Ackland (Handheld Classics), written by Frances Bingham, also features.
Paul Burston, Polari Salon founder, said:
“Since the launch of the Polari First Book Prize way back in 2011, watching the awards grow year on year has been so encouraging and so rewarding. With the addition of the new prize for books for younger readers, the awards now celebrate LGBTQ+ writing in all its many varieties and send a clear message to the publishing industry and the wider community – we’re here, we’re queer and our stories are worthy of being told.”
The Polari First Book Prize is awarded annually to a debut book that explores the LGBTQ+ experience, and has previously been won by writers including Kirsty Logan, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Diriye Osman, and last year’s winner Mohsin Zaidi for his coming-of-age memoir A Dutiful Boy: A Memoir.
The Polari Prize also awards an overall book of the year, excluding debuts, and previous winners include Andrew McMillan (Playtime), Kate Davies (In At the Deep End) and last year’s winner Diana Souhami for No Modernism Without Lesbians.
In November, to mark the salon’s 15th birthday and the 11th anniversary of the Polari Prize, it will move to its new home at the British Library. The British Library will also collaborate with Polari on upcoming events, including a shortlist showcase on Sep 15.
The Polari First Book Prize and Polari Prize shortlists will be announced on Sep 1 at The Printworks, Hastings.
The Polari Prize for Children's and YA Books shortlist will be announced on Sep 10 at The Book Nook, Hove.
THE POLARI FIRST BOOK PRIZE LONGLIST 2022
• Camp Fear – Tom Bland (Bad Betty Press)
• These Great Athenians – Valentine Carter (Twenty Seven)
• Lessons in Love and other Crimes – Elizabeth Chakrabarty (The Indigo Press)
• The Transgender Issue – Shon Faye (Penguin)
• All The Things She Said – Daisy Jones (Coronet)
• The Split – Laura Kay (Quercus)
• Fetch Your Mother’s Heart – Lisa Luxx (Out-Spoken Press)
• This Much is True – Miriam Margolyes (John Murray)
• The Right to Sex – Amia Srinivasan (Bloomsbury)
• Rotten Days in Late Summer – Ralf Webb (Penguin)
• The Go-Between – Osman Yousefzada (Canongate Books)
• Deep Sniff – Adam Zmith (Repeater Books)
THE POLARI PRIZE LONGLIST 2022
• Address Book – Neil Bartlett (Inkandescent)
• Valentine Ackland – Frances Bingham (Handheld Classics)
• Scent – Isabel Costello (Muswell Press)
• Baggage – Alan Cumming (Canongate Books)
• Lullaby Beach – Stella Duffy (Virago)
• All of You Every Single One – Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail)
• The Great Good Time – Roz Kaveney (Team Angelica)
• The Origins of Iris – Beth Lewis (Hodder)
• Rocksong – Golnoosh Nour (Verve Poetry Press)
• C*nto and Othered Poems – Joelle Taylor (Saqi Books / The Westbourne Press)
• The Dinner Guest – BP Walter (One More Chapter)
• Records of an Incitement to Silence – Gregory Woods (Carcanet Press)
THE POLARI CHILDREN’S AND YA PRIZE LONGLIST 2022
• Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Usborne)
• The Accidental Diary of B.U.G – Jen Carney (Puffin)
• Wranglestone – Darren Charlton (Little Tiger)
• Adam-2 – Alastair Chilsholm (Nosy Crow)
• Stay Another Day – Juno Dawson (Quercus)
• What’s the T? – Juno Dawson (Hachette Wren & Rook)
• Nen and the Lonely Fisherman – Ian Eagleton & James Mayhew (Owlet Press)
• Queerly Autistic – Erin Ekins (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
• Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating – Adiba Jaigirdar (Hodder)
• Loveless – Alice Oseman (Harper Collins)
• Not My Problem – Ciara Smyth (Andersen)
• Grandad’s Camper – Harry Woodgate (Andersen)
Notes to Editors
About the Polari Prize
The award has been covered in a wide range of publications including Metro, the Guardian, the i, Irish Independent, Press Association, Gay Times, Winq and BBC Radio, The London Magazine, Wasafiri and elsewhere.
The Polari First Book Prize was launched in 2011 and previous winners include Fiona Mozley,
Saleem Haddad, Paul McVeigh, Kirsty Logan, Diriye Osman, John McCullough, Mari Hannah, James Maker, Angela Chadwick, Amrou Al-Kadhi and Mohsin Zaidi.
The Polari Prize, founded in 2019, was awarded to Andrew McMillan in its inaugural year, and to Kate Davies in 2020 and Diana Souhami in 2021.
About Paul Burston
Paul Burston is an author and founder of the Polari Literary Salon and Polari Prizes.
A founding editor of Attitude magazine, he has written for many publications including the Guardian, Time Out, The Times and The Sunday Times.
He is the author of several non-fiction books, the editor of two short story collections and the author of six novels, including Lovers and Losers, which was shortlisted for the Stonewall Award.
In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world.”
His latest novel is The Closer You Get, published in 2019 by Orenda Books.
His memoir We Can Be Heroes will be published by Little a in June 2023.
About Jodie Lancet-Grant
Jodie Lancet-Grant is the author of The Pirate Mums and The Marvellous Doctors for Magical Creatures, both published by Oxford University Press Children’s Books. She is also Communications Director for Bluebird and Innovation at Pan Macmillan and a freelance journalist, having written recently for outlets including the Independent and Diva magazine.
She has spoken about the need for better representation of LGBTQ+ themes in children’s culture across the media, including on Virgin Radio, local BBC stations and Radio 2.