Submissions Open for the UK’s Polari First Book Prize 2016

In News by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

Polari large Polari First Book Submissions now are open for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize, which honors the best debut books that explore the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) experience in poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction.

Deadline for submissions is May 1.

To be eligible, books must have been published in English by a writer either born or resident in the UK, and have been published in the 12 months up to February 1, 2016. Self-published books in either print or digital formats are also eligible: Works should be submitted by the publisher; self-published works should be submitted along with a letter explaining why the book was self-published.

The longlist for the prize, now in its sixth year, is to be announced on June 1, with the short list announcement scheduled for July 28.

The Polari First Book Prize enjoys a strategic partnership with WH Smith, which supports both the shortlisted titles and winner in their stores throughout the United Kingdom. Award winners are also offered “headline slots” in the Polari Literary Salon event series, including an extensive national tour.

Polari First ‘From Strength to Strength’
Kirsty Logan. Image: Amazon author page Polari First Book

Kirsty Logan. Image: Amazon author page

Last year’s winner was Glasgow-based author Kirsty Logan for her debut short story collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales. Logan will meet with readers and writes on Saturday (March 5) at a “Polari Up North” event at Huddersfield Literature Festival.

Other shortlisted titles included:

Paul Burston, chairing the judges for the award, said in a prepared statement:

“The 2015 shortlist and winner demonstrated the enormous scope of the prize and represented the diverse and unique voices at the heart of the LGBT experience. We couldn’t be more pleased to open submissions for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize; each year the prize goes from strength to strength and we are excited to see where this year’s entries take us.”

For more information on how to submit a book for this year’s prize, email

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.