LGBT Literature Latest…

I mentioned earlier in the week that the Green Carnation Shortlist for 2013 had been announced. It is interesting because the most common thing that happens, after all the lovely people have got excited and had a look at the list, is that people then want to know why we actually need an award for LGBT Literature. Well…the Guardian asked me to write something about it and so I thought I would share it with you all so you can have a look (and maybe leave a comment) right here.

It has meant that I have reached one of my (many) aims in life and one that I think Granny Savidge Reads would have been super proud of, my face is on the website as a contributor and everything! Sorry I have to share the thrill with you all…


There that’s better. Now then in other LGBT news, yesterday was the Stonewall Awards and hooray and hoorah, Damian Barr has won an award for Maggie and Me, which I think is a bloody marvellous book and so I did a small cheer and a little boogie in the lounge before raising a glass of Pepsi Max to him. Well done Damian. If you haven’t popped that book on your TBR by now then you are a bit kerazy frankly.

I would be interested in your thoughts on why we need niche prizes and indeed an LGBT one, do you think we do (and that more prizes means more awareness of books in general) need them, or not? All thoughts welcomed. Though if anyone leaves anything vile, like some homophobe on the Guardian site, it will be removed – see there are people out there who still don’t feel comfortable discussing LGBT issues, even books.


Filed under Random Savidgeness

18 responses to “LGBT Literature Latest…

  1. Victoria

    This prize like the women’s prize for fiction is a necessary prize, both for the authors and the wider public, as it enables authors and books that may have been overlooked to be seen. Its very disappointing that you have received negative comments from people concerning the prize.

    • I think alas it is the case with anything that promotes diverse groups, you always get some plonker who wants to say something nasty, and with the internet it is so easy to do. Glad you like the prize though Victoria.

  2. LauraC

    I think niche prizes are fine and often needed to encourage authors that fit the niche and readers that would normally not be aware of them. Eventually it might be that THAT niche prize was no longer needed and another one would begin. At some point there might be too many niche prizes, but the corresponding decline in public interest in a particular prize would signal it’s imminent demise, I would assume.

    • I think you are right. I think if the LAMDA award is anything to go by in the US then the Green Carnation Prize is something we should be having in the UK too. What we don’t want people to think, and I think we are highlighting this well with the Green Carnation, is that LGBT people only write LGBT books.

  3. I read LGBT fiction and so LGBT awards are important to me. I pay attention to the shortlists of the Lammys, the Stonewall, the Ferro-Grumley, and the Green Carnation. They often contain books I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise, or books I’d heard of but didn’t realize had queer content or a queer author.

    • And it is something that people do want to know. I don’t want to read only LGBT authors, as anyone will be able to see from this blog, but I do like to read some, just like I like to read authors from other countries at different points.

  4. I think there should an LGBT book award. Books have a way of reaching out to people who are looking for answers. When I decided to come out I turned to books to for answers but didn’t know what fiction to read so I read autobiographies. Theres nothing wrong with this but I would have liked more high profile LGBT titles. when I look on Amazon they seem to class Gay erotica as Gay fiction and it is not the same. There are great LGBT books out there and people should be made aware of them and a national book award would be a great way to do this. If there is one established and you need a judge I am happy to volunteer.

    • Tim, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for leaving this comment. Firstly because you were so kind to take the time to write such a brilliant and personal comment. Secondly because you totally get it, many people see LGBT books as just those naughty erotic books or like a male version of chick lit, and there is so much more to it than that.

      I will bear you in mind for future judging 😉

  5. I think it’s so cool that you got your picture on the website! Yey! Well done.

  6. I think if everyone in the world were treated equally then we wouldn’t need niche prizes but that sadly isn’t the case. And if we still need a women’s fiction prize (which I think we do) then there’s certainly a case for an LGBT prize inasmuch as attitudes re LGBT issues are generally far worse than attitudes towards women. And there’s some pretty hideous attitudes towards women, even in western, educated, middle-class society.

    Books are so often a way to encounter differences of all kinds for the first time. But it’s not just about promoting books with LGBT issues, is it? Getting LGBT authors out there on the PR circuit when maybe their publisher wouldn’t have pushed for it without the whiff of a prize win, that’s also valuable.

    • You make a brilliant point there with saying “if everyone in the world were treated equally then we wouldn’t need niche prizes but that sadly isn’t the case” it is true and when one day this isn’t the case I will happily call halt to the prize, I can’t see it happening anytime too.

      What you say about not only promoting books with LGBT issues is true too. we want to promote LGBT authors BUT only the ones who write bloody brilliant books.

  7. thanks for sharing simon ,all the best stu

  8. The fact that people leave homophobic comments is exactly the reason why these prizes are needed. I work at a library in a pretty liberal part of Massachusetts and people regularly tear down the flyers for our Queer Book Group, which I think only reinforces the need for such a group. Honestly, I don’t care how many niche awards there are – anything that promotes books and reading is great!

    • Those are exactly my points, it is interesting when we are so used to being told that LGBT people are accepted those of us in the community can see that we still aren’t and that yes we have come quite a distance but there is still a long, long way to go.

  9. Ruthiella

    I like book prizes and their criteria, whether by gender or nationality, or sexual orientation, etc. because the usually introduce me to books I normally wouldn’t read otherwise. I also think it is fantastic that you got a byline on the Guardian’s book website! That is how I found this blog, because of comments you wrote there (I don’t remember anymore what the subject was) a few years ago.

    • I think the whole point of prizes, as you say, whatever their criteria is to get great books noticed and read and I think that is all that matters – well that and that they come from a good place of intent.

      I never knew you found this blog through the Guardian, how thrilling!

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