The Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award: Three Debuts on a Shortlist Dominated by Women

A chilling dystopia, a ‘property thriller’ and the story of Truman Capote’s downfall are amongst the six titles shortlisted for the 2019 Glass Bell Award, which was announced at midday on Thursday 1st August.

The Glass Bell Award shortlist 2019

The Glass Bell Award shortlist 2019

Leading the shortlist is the international bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, which has sold almost a million copies worldwide, and was last week announced as the UK’s fourth bestselling book for the first six months of 2019.

It is up against three thrillers – the Man Booker longlisted Snap by celebrated crime writer Belinda Bauer, Our House by Louise Candlish, which won the British Book Award Crime & Thriller of the Year, and M.W. Craven’s CWA Gold Dagger-shortlisted The Puppet Show.

Rounding off the shortlist are celebrated debuts Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott and VOX by Christina Dalcher.

The winner of the prize, which rewards ‘compelling storytelling with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised’ will be announced at the bookshop on Monday 16th September. The prize, which is judged by Goldsboro Books founder and MD David Headley and his team at the bookshop, sees the winner awarded £2,000 and a beautiful, handmade, engraved glass bell.

David said: ‘I strongly feel that this is a really topical and relevant shortlist, reflecting a range of modern concerns, from property anxiety and the redemptive power of love to toxic friendships and the erosion of hard-won rights. These utterly incredible stories, all of them eye-opening, gripping and completely absorbing, have prompted much discussion and debate during the judging process, and we have a hard task ahead of us deciding the winner.’

2019 Glass Bell Shortlist

·         Snap by Belinda Bauer (Transworld)

·         Our House by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster)

·         The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven (Little, Brown)

·         VOX by Christina Dalcher (HQ)

·         Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg- Jephcott (Cornerstone)

·         The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Bonnier Zaffre)


For all media enquiries please contact Sophie Goodfellow at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or email SophieG@fmcm.co.uk.

12 titles announced on Polari 2019 shortlists

From teaching same sex relationships in schools to a trans perspective of Victorian London and a moving wildlife memoir, 12 outstanding books have been named on the shortlists for The Polari Prize and Polari First Book Prize, which was announced on Friday evening at London’s Southbank Centre. The Prizes recognise writers whose work explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. New to 2019, The Polari Prize recognises established authors, while the Polari First Book Prize (now in its ninth year) continues to champion work by new writers.

The shortlist for the Polari First Book Prize 2019 is:

XX by Angela Chadwick (Dialogue Books)
Attend by West Camel (Orenda Books)
The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor by Rana Haddad (Hoopoe)
The House On Half-Moon Street by Alex Reeve (Raven)
Soho by Richard Scott (Faber & Faber)
Next Lesson by Chris Woodley (Aurora Metro Books)

The shortlist for The Polari Prize 2019 is:

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Kate Bradbury (Bloomsbury)
Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale (Tinder)
Prodigal by Charles Lambert (Gallic)
A Simple Scale by David Llewellyn (Seren)
Playtime by Andrew McMillan (Cape Poetry)
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (Granta)

Cerys Evans with the Polari First Book Prize shortlist.

Cerys Evans with the Polari First Book Prize shortlist.

Commenting on the Polari First Book Prize, judge and former winner John McCullough said: “The four novels, poetry collection and play on this year’s diverse shortlist include a trans perspective on Victorian London, a probing of Syrian sexualities under Assad and a modern magic realist fable. They explore the politics of shame, a world where lesbian couples can conceive without sperm and the teaching of same-sex relationships in schools. Here are six daring books that redefine the boundaries of queer writing.”

Commenting on The Polari Prize, author and judge Paul McVeigh said: “What a rich and diverse body of LGBT themed work we had to read for this inaugural Polari Book of the Year. It was hard to select just 6 for this shortlist from work of such high quality.”

Bernadine Evaristo with Polari Prize shortlist.

Bernadine Evaristo with Polari Prize shortlist.

Fellow author and judge on The Polari Prize, VG Lee, added: “Six very different and exciting voices make up the shortlist for The Polari Prize, taking us from the English countryside to Soviet Russia and Post 9/11 New York, a Brighton garden to music-making in Berwick-on-Tweed, and a teenage rites of passage towards selfhood. Any one of these books is a potential winner because each is perfect in its own right.”

Judges for the 2019 First Book prize are bestselling novelist Kiki Archer; writer and performer Cerys Evans; author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at Southbank Centre Rachel Holmes; and poet and former Polari First Book Prize winner John McCullough.

Judges for the new prize include critically-acclaimed author Bernardine Evaristo, CEO of the National Centre for Writing Chris Gribble, award-winning author and performer VG Lee, and playwright and former winner of The Polari First Book Prize Paul McVeigh.

The chair for both prizes is author and founder Paul Burston.

The winner will be announced 22 October 2019 at the Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival, in an event headlined by Tracey Thorn.


For all media enquiries please contact Ashton Bainbridge or Charlotte Tuxworth at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or email ashtonb@fmcm.co.uk or charlottet@fmcm.co.uk.

For more information on the Polari Prize, visit https://www.polarisalon.com/.

POLARI PRIZE FOUNDER CHAMPIONS "POWERFUL PURPOSE" OF BOOKS TO SHARE LGBT STORIES AS AWARD ANNOUNCES LONGLIST

Patrick Gale, Andrew McMillan and Sarah Moss amongst names in contention for this year’s prize

The longlists for The Polari Prize and Polari First Book Prize were announced last night at London’s Southbank Centre. Now in its ninth year, the Prize recognises writers whose work explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. New to 2019, The Polari Prize will award established authors, while the Polari Fist Book Prize will continue to champion work by new writers.

The Polari First Book Prize 2019 longlist is:

The House on Half Moon Street - Alex Reeve (Raven)

XX- Angela Chadwick (Dialogue Books)

The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor- Rana Haddad (Hoopoe)

Soho- Richard Scott (Faber & Faber)

Attend- West Camel (Orenda Books)

Disbanded Kingdom- Polis Loizou (Cloud Lodge)

Not Just A Tomboy- Caspar J Baldwin (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Next Lesson- Chris Woodley

Queer Sex- Juno Roche (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Out of the Woods- Luke Turner (Orion)

Visceral- RJ Arkhipov (Zuleika)

Yes You Are Trans Enough- Mia Violet (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

The Polari Prize 2019 longlist is:

Drapetomania - John R Gordon (Team Angelica)

The Other Woman - Sophia Blackwell (Burning Eye)

Take Nothing With You - Patrick Gale (Headline)

The Lion Tamer Who Lost - Louise Beech (Orenda Books)

A Simple Scale - David Llewellyn (Seren)

Making Oscar Wilde - Michéle Mendelsshon (Oxford University Press)

Louis & Louise - Julie Cohen (Orion)

Playtime - Andrew McMillan (Penguin)

Prodigal - Charles Lambert (Gallic)

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway - Kate Bradbury (Bloomsbury)

Ghost Wall - Sarah Moss (Granta)

The AQI - David Tait (Smith / Doorstop)

Announcing the names of the 24 writers in contention for this year’s awards, author, founder and Chair of Judges, Paul Burston said: “The books on this year’s longlists celebrate LGBT lives in their many varieties. At a time when reactionary forces are on the rise and political battles won many years ago are being fought all over again, books that tell the truth about who we really are serve a powerful purpose. Stories about trans lives and gender identities feature heavily. There are also books about the changing landscape of our collective experiences, from gay shame to equal marriage. Together these longlists represent the very best in emerging and established LGBT literary talent today.”

Judges for the 2019 First Book prize are bestselling novelist Kiki Archer; writer and performer Cerys Evans; author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at Southbank Centre Rachel Holmes; and poet and former Polari First Book Prize winner John McCullough.

Judges for the new prize include critically-acclaimed author Bernardine Evaristo, CEO of the National Centre for Writing Chris Gribble, award-winning author and performer VG Lee, and playwright and former winner of The Polari First Book Prize Paul McVeigh.

The shortlists will be announced on July 26th at a special Polari Literary Salon hosted at the Southbank Centre. The winner will be announced in October at the London Literature Festival.

For all press enquiries, please contact Ashton Bainbridge or Charlotte Tuxworth on ashtonb@fmcm.co.uk or charlottet@fmcm.co.uk, or call 02074057422

Pan Macmillan Announce New Shakespeare Anthology from 'Poetry Powerhouse' Allie Esiri on the Bard's 455th Birthday

Marking William Shakespeare’s 455th birthday, Pan Macmillan have today announced that ‘poetry powerhouse’ Allie Esiri will be turning her hand to Shakespeare with her next anthology, Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year (19th September). 

Following the break-out success of her poetry collections A Poem for Every Night of the Year and A Poem for Every Day of the Year, together with her live poetry events at the National Theatre, Allie Esiri has built a reputation for championing the joy and benefits of poetry and making it inspiring, current and accessible for all. And now, her latest anthology will highlight the works of one of the greatest poets and playwrights of all time to a whole new audience of readers. 

From sonnets and soliloquys, to famous quotes and extracts, Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year will present a perfect piece of Shakespeare for every day of the year. Exquisitely curated by Esiri and with expert advice from Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, each of the 365 works comes with an introductory paragraph, historical context, important dates and performances, information about Shakespeare’s sources and rivals, and much more. Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, it is bursting at the seams with familiar favourites and exciting new discoveries.

Allie Esiri, said: “I am thrilled that Macmillan has let me continue the series of anthologies with a book about the greatest poet of all. Shakespeare wrote more poetry than we think, he was a bestselling poet in his lifetime and of course his plays are nearly entirely composed of poetry. It has been a joy (plus two research-intense years) to choose and write the daily intros for Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year. 

Ben Johnson said of Shakespeare, his friend and rival poet, that he was “not of the age, but for all time”.  Shakespeare’s writing abolishes the distances between us. These 365 poems and extracts from the plays stand alone and help us to understand what it is to be human.”

Gaby Morgan, Editorial Director at Macmillan, said: “Allie Esiri is an astonishing, passionate font of ideas and creative energy, and it’s a privilege to be swept along on her journeys through poetry. She continues to play a vital role in bringing people to poetry and making it part of their day, every day. Bringing us daily Shakespeare – our greatest poet and playwright - his world, his characters, his

poetry is inspired, nourishing and fascinating and we know that readers of all ages will love dipping into her new collection.” 

 

Pan Macmillan also revealed the striking new cover for Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year today designed to sit alongside her previous bestselling collections, A Poem for Every Night of the Year and A Poem for Every Day of the Year.

A former actress, Allie Esiri has been described in a Tatler profile as ‘a poetry powerhouse.’ Credited with bringing poetry in to the digital age, her bestselling apps iF Poems and The Love Book feature

readings by Helena Bonham Carter, Harry Enfield, Tom Hiddleston, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Bill Nighy and Emma Watson. Her anthologies include iF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility and later collections A Poem for Every Night of the Year and A Poem for Every Day of the Year were phenomenal successes as The Times and The Observer best [poetry] books of the year. Allie now organises and hosts live poetry events which can draw enormous crowds.

Her next event, produced by and marking the start of a new relationship with Fane Productions , will showcase women poets through history, with the help of special guest actors Helena Bonham Carter, Helen McCrory and Josette Simon at the Bridge Theatre on Sunday 28th April.  A series of festival and theatre events for Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year, produced by Fane, is planned for Autumn 2019.

For all media enquiries please contact Annabel Robinson or Sophie Goodfellow at FMcM on 020 7405 7422

Balham Literary Festival announces 2019 line-up

Balham Literary Festival announces 2019 line-up

Rachel Ama, AC Grayling, Bernadine Evaristo, Mick Herron, Max Porter, Christie Watson

The Balham Literary Festival returns 13-25th June with a spectacular line-up featuring vegan cooking star Rachel Ama, novelist Max Porter, crime writer Mick Herron and esteemed philosopher AC Grayling. A staple of the London literary calendar, this year’s festival will host a dazzling array of events with discussions ranging from climate change to crime fiction, whilst celebrating some of best talent south London has to offer.

Highlights of the festival are set to include an event with AC Grayling who will preview his new book The History of Philosophy, delving into some of the greatest minds in the world from antiquity to present; former Crystal Palace resident Max Porter will discuss his audacious, strange and wonderful new work Lanny, the follow-up to his hugely successful Grief is the Thing with Feathers; and YouTube sensation Rachel Ama will share quick and easy recipes from her new book Vegan Eats.

Addressing pressing social concerns, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Adam Weymouth will discuss his prize-winning book Kings of the Yukon and reflect on the environmental issues we all face; bestselling author Christie Watson will be in discussion with spoken word artist Molly Case to reflect on  the nursing profession and share powerful accounts from their  own  experiences; whilst  Lewisham-born MP Rachel Reeves will mark the inspirational achievements of women in parliament in conversation with renowned broadcaster Cathy Newman.

Hotly-tipped debut writer Sara Collins will be in discussion with celebrated novelist Bernadine Evaristo to chat about their brilliant new work and writing black women into the story of Britain; local author. Yara Rodrigues Fowler will discuss her much acclaimed novel Stubborn Archivist, a lyrical reflection of growing up between cultures; and a special event  with Alex  Wheatle will see  the  Brixton Bard  discuss his life as a writer alongside his latest book Home Girl. The most recent title in his multi-award winning Crongton series follows the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up in the care system and is the author’s most moving and personal novel to date.

The festival will offer two fantastic events for fans of crime fiction. Mick Herron will discuss Joe Country, the latest in his witty and thrilling Jackson Lamb spy series. Parker Bilal (The Divinities) & Bev Thomas (A  Good Enough Mother) will be  in  conversation with bestselling thriller writer Sabine Durrant,  a chance to hear from two gripping chroniclers of London whose characters inhabit settings including Balham and Battersea.

Rounding off this local affair, Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison will delight audiences with a talk about their book, Today South London, Tomorrow South London, a part guide, part travelogue to the south of the city described by comic Jenny Eclair as “the ultimate reprobates handbook to God’s own side of the river.”

For more information and tickets, please go to: https://balhamliteraryfestival.co.uk/

Rathbones Folio Prize 2019 Shortlist Shows Extraordinary Range, Risk and Imagination - and Confirms Quality of International Writing Today

 

Four novels, a novella, one collection of poetry and two works of non-fiction from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and North America are in contention for the £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize, which rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form.

2018 Man Booker Prize Winner Anna Burns, powerful new voice in Native American fiction Tommy Orange, London-born poet Raymond Antrobus and genre-defying memoirist Guy Stagg were among the eight writers found to be writing at the top of their game by the jury, which is drawn exclusively from the Folio Academy of writers.

Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Bloomsbury)

The Crossway by Guy Stagg (Picador)

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly (Unbound)

Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber)

Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Chatto and Windus)

The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus (Penned in the Margins)

There There by Tommy Orange (Harvill Secker)

West by Carys Davies (Granta)

Announcing the shortlist, the 2019 chair of judges Kate Clanchy said: “Judges of literary prizes are supposed to engage in dark arguments, but the words my fellow judges kept saying to each other were ‘joy’ and ‘luck’: a joy to read the fantastically wide ranging list, across geography and literary genres, nominated by the Folio Academy; lucky to be reading at a time when the genres are recreating themselves so rapidly. We chose passionate, singular books, books which we felt took risks and pushed words and often the writer to new limits.

“Among novels, we chose Alice Jolly’s strange and visionary verse narrative Mary Anne Sate, Imbecile, written originally with a dipping ink pen; Carys Davies’ audacious novella about a quixotic early American father, West; There, There, by Tommy Orange, a tender but confronting ‘polyphonic’ novel about the Native American experience. Diana Evans’ Ordinary People, which delicately realises and recognises difference and pain in contemporary Black Londoners, sits next to Anna Burns’ funny, absorbing, terrifying The Milkman.

“In non-fiction, we matched Guy Stagg’s exquisitely written memoir of his modern pilgrimage across Europe, The Crossway with New Zealander Ashleigh Young’s fresh, challenging book of essays, Can You Tolerate This? The Perseverance by Jamaican British poet Raymond Antrobus gave us an D/deaf experience in verse of power, craft and piercing emotional clarity.

Choosing a shortlist may have been a joy but picking a winner will surely be hard work.”

Co-founder of the Rathbones Folio Prize, Andrew Kidd, went on to say:

“The 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize judges, themselves all writers of great renown, have tackled their brief – to identify the single best work of literature published in the English language last year – with amazing energy and flair. The eight, brilliant books now in the running for that distinction cut across all borders and genre, and are a testament to how writers are also the most astute and generous of readers.”

Independent publishing is well represented with five of the shortlisted books coming from smaller houses, including Unbound with their first nomination for the crowd-funded novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly; while prestigious literary imprints Chatto & Windus, Harvill Secker and Picador have one book each.

The eight shortlisted books are now in the running for the overall prize, increased this year to £30,000, and will be awarded at a ceremony at the British Library in London on 20 May 2019. They were chosen from a list of 80 works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, which the Folio Academy deemed to be the best published in the UK in 2018.

The Folio Prize was established in 2013 as the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. It is the only prize in which all the books considered for the prize are selected and judged by an academy of peers. When new sponsors, Rathbone Investment Management, came on board the prize was expanded to include all works of literature, regardless of form.

The Rathbones Folio Prize is the flagship of the Rathbones Folio Programme, which also includes the Rathbones Folio Mentorships for aspiring young writers and Rathbones Folio Prize Sessions at literary festivals across the UK. On the eve of the prize ceremony, May 19th, the shortlisted authors with the judges and chaired by A L Kennedy will take part in a Rathbones Folio Sessions day at the British Library on ‘How To Write a Book in a Day’, alongside a session with this year’s Rathbones Folio mentees.

Academy members Kate Clanchy, Chloe Aridjis and Owen Sheers make up the judging panel for the 2019 award.

Join the conversation via www.rathbonesfolioprize.com | @RathbonesFolio