Polari First Book Prize



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 Tuesday 1 May, 2018.

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 2018.

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 eighth year, the longlist for this yea’s prize will be announced at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday 26 June, followed by a shortlist announcement on Tuesday 24th July.

The final winner will revealed in October at the London Literature Festival. 

Judges for this year’s prize are –

Rachel Holmes – author and former Head of Literature at Southbank

VG Lee – author and comedian

Alexis Gregory – playwright, performer and producer

Karen McLeod – author and performer

Paul Burston (chair) – author and founder of Polari

For further submission info, please email paulburston@btinternet.com


Established in 2011, The Polari First Book Prize is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience, in prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction.

Books must be published in English in the 12 months leading up to the submission date.

Self published books are eligible.

Authors must be born or based in the UK.

Previous winners are –

2011 - ‘AutoFellatio’ by James Maker

2012 - ‘The Frost Fairs’ by John McCullough

2013 - ‘The Murder Wall’ by Mari Hannah

2014 - ‘Fairytales for Lost Children’ by Diriye Osman

2015 - ‘The Rental Heart’ by Kirsty Logan

2016 - ‘The Good Son’ by Paul McVeigh

2017 - ‘Guapa’ by Saleem Haddad

Press contact –

Ashton Bainbridge  

FMcM Associates 


0207 4057422