Submissions are now open for this year’s Polari First Book Prize, which celebrates the very best debut books that explore the LGBT experience, whether through poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. Deadline for submissions is 1 May, 2017.
Books must have been published in English by a writer born or resident in the UK. Books must have been published in the 12 months up to 1 February 2017. Self-published works in both print and digital formats are also eligible. Works should be submitted by the publisher, while self-published works should be submitted together with a letter explaining why the book was self-published.
Now into its seventh year, the longlist will be announced at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday 6 June, followed by a shortlist announcement on Monday 31 July. The final winner will revealed in October.
Last year’s winner was Belfast-born Paul McVeigh for his debut novel The Good Son. Following the announcement, McVeigh’s publisher recorded a sales spike of 36% for his book.
The prize enjoys a strategic partnership with WH Smiths Travel, who support the shortlisted books and winner throughout their stores UK-wide. Award winners are also offered headline slots in the Polari Literary Salon event series, which includes an expansive national tour, in addition to events with Huddersfield Literature festival, Bradford Literature Festival and Pride in Hull.
Judges for the 2017 prize will include author, journalist and host of Polari literary salon, chair Paul Burston; Rachel Holmes, author and former Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank; literary critic, Suzi Feay; and author and comedian, VG Lee. They will be joined for the first time this year by playwright, actor and producer, Alexis Gregory.
For further details of how to submit a book for this year’s prize, please email