Category Archives: The Green Carnation Prize

The Winner of the Green Carnation Prize 2015 is…

After several months of reading and re-reading, from the highest amount of submissions yet and an incredible shortlist, followed by several hours of discussion the judges of the Green Carnation Prize were unanimous in selecting Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings as the winner for 2015, in association with Foyles.

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Haven’t I been good at keeping a secret, and indeed not discussing my thoughts on any of the shortlisted books, well bar the one that I had reviewed. I have to say having been sat as a fly on the wall at every meeting the judges have had, they have been very torn as the shortlist was so strong. There has been much lively debate. Now is the time to celebrate though, celebrating a corking winner and an equally cracking shortlist. When this goes live I shall be at the party celebrating with the judges, shortlisted authors, previous winners and short and long listed authors along with other bookish bods, at Foyles flagship store. While I am doing that I will leave you with a picture of myself and a rather thrilled Marlon, taken last week when I met him to film his winning speech and have a natter.

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You can find a proper, more serious, post on all things Green Carnation Prize here. Now what I want to know is who has read A Brief History of Seven Killings and what did you make of it? Which of the shortlisted titles have you read and loved?

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The Green Carnation Prize Shortlist 2016

When this news goes live I will be in a  meeting room or restaurant in Soho networking and schmoozing like a demon, ha. So I won’t be able to instantly shout with glee about the shortlist for this years Green Carnation Prize, even though I will be desperate to and have been since the list was decided a week and a bit ago. Anyway here is the official word on it (my unofficial word will follow)…

The six shortlisted titles celebrating LGBT writing have been announced after hours of debates between the judges over an exceptionally strong longlist. Once again with a list including fiction; from debut novelists to well established literary faces, non-fiction; from investigations into the modern drugs world to a memoir of a mother’s illness, from Victorian London to Jamaica, the Green Carnation proves itself as one of the most diverse prizes.

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  • Sophie and the Sibyl – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
  • A Place Called Winter – Patrick Gale (Tinder Press)
  • Chasing the Scream – Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James (OneWorld)
  • Mrs Engels – Gavin McCrea (Scribe)
  • Stammered Songbook – Erwin Mortier (Pushkin Press)

Chair of the judges for 2015, author Niven Govinden said of the shortlist “After a lively and robust debate, we’re proud to unveil our shortlist, which we feel represents the best of the best: books that excel and incite passion in the reader.”

Simon Heafield, Marketing Manager for the prize’s partner Foyles said “We’re very proud to play a part in promoting a shortlist of such quality. Indeed, most are books we’ve been actively promoting instore this year so we’re delighted that readers will again be given good reason to investigate them further.”

The Green Carnation Prize is a prize awarded to LGBT writers for any form of the written word, in any genre, including novels in translation. This year sees the second year of the prize’s partnership with Foyles bookshops. The partnership will see Foyles offer event space in their flagship store to host the award ceremony on Tuesday December the 8th 2015, with public events celebrating the prize to follow around the UK in 2016.

For more information please visit: www.greencarnationprize.com or www.foyles.co.uk

Back to me and my unofficial thoughts… I really like the list. Yes, there is a lack of women on the shortlist but as someone who was sat in the meeting watching (with slight glee) the judges having the nightmare of shortlisting, from a cracking longlist, the discussions went past genre, gender, race and was just about which of the final six books resonated and were the best of the best. I have no idea how they are going to choose the winner in a couple of weeks, poor things.

I have read three of them in full (without being a judge, obviously) and half of two of them and can see why it was so tough as they were corkers. I will be sharing my thoughts after the winner is announced at the start of December. In the interim, have you read any of these books and what did you make of them?

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The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2015

The twelve strong longlist of titles celebrating LGBT writing have been announced after hours of debates between the judges over an exceptional list of submissions, the most the prize has seen in its history to date. Once again with a list including fiction; from debut novelists to well established literary faces, non-fiction; from poetry to investigations into the drugs world, the Green Carnation proves itself as one of the most diverse prizes. I would say all this (and I did as I wrote the press release) because as regular readers of the blog will know, I am one of the founders and now Honorary Directors of the Prize. What some of you might not know is I find out the longlist very last minute and this year (what with never being anywhere long in the last few weeks) I found out a while after the meeting. The list is a very strong one I think…

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  • Blood Relatives – Stevan Alcock (4th Estate)
  • Deep Lane – Mark Doty (Jonathan Cape)
  • Sophie and the Sibyl – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
  • Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts – Mel Evans (Pluto Press)
  • A Place Called Winter – Patrick Gale (Tinder Press)
  • Chasing the Scream – Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James (Oneworld)
  • The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
  • Mrs Engels – Gavin McCrea (Scribe)
  • Stammered Songbook – Erwin Mortier (Pushkin Press)
  • Don’t Let Him Know – Sandip Roy (Bloomsbury)
  • The Curator – Jacques Strauss (Jonathan Cape)

To prove how out of the loop I am with the books, apart from the fact that I chase the submissions, I have only read five of the books and so have rather a lot of wonderful reads in the next month before the shortlist is announced on Thursday the 5th of November. I have shockingly only reviewed two of the five I have read, which I need to sort out sharpish. Yet at the moment book reviews seem like some elusive thing that I dream of doing, or sometimes have nightmares of people screaming down the phone at me for not doing, as I don’t seem to be able to find the time at the moment. But I will, I really will. anyway, you can find out more about the Green Carnation Prize and the longlist on the website.

Do I have any favourites? Were there any I was sad not to see make the list? Well, that would be telling. What I would love to know are your thoughts on the list and which of the books you have read and what you thought of those?

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The Green Carnation Prize 2015 (Book Prize Update #1)

Today is a day of prize updates. Tonight the eight winners, from a stonking longlist (slightly biased but very true), of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize will be announced which I have had the pleasure of judging. Another prize I have the pleasure of working on, as the co-founder and Honorary Director, is The Green Carnation Prize which I am thrilled to announce is back and open for submissions. We have a wonderful new logo (thanks Gav) which I looove…

We also have a new judging panel which I was delighted to reveal yesterday and is an absolute corker of a panel. The judges are Jack Monroe, campaigner, writer, blogger and chef; Sophie Ward, actor and writer; Eric Karl Anderson, writer, blogger and reviewer and Celise Galloway, Local Marketing Manager of Foyles. The judges will be chaired by author Niven Govinden…

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For more information on the judges head here where you can see there may be a bake off amongst them all, as well as some serious reading ahead. The prize is now open for submissions, for more information on the submissions you can visit the guidelines page here.Now it is down to some serious summer reading for our five new judges as the Green Carnation Prize 2015 in association with Foyles starts officially.

Exciting times! Back later for the big reveal of the Fiction Uncovered titles, in the meantime any books you think you might see on the Green Carnation longlist in the next few months? Or any thoughts on the Fiction Uncovered longlist this year?

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Green Carnations & Feeling A Little Proud…

On Friday night I was a bundle of nerves. I had been in London since Wednesday and had been seeing lots of friends and doing loads quite a bit of shopping and just having a break, yet the reason I was down in London was for the Green Carnation Prize Winning Announcement and Party. The bit I was feeling about was giving a speech all about the prize; especially in front of lots of authors, publicists, industry bods and some of my friends. Eek. But I did it…

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And as I did it started to hit me how much the prize had achieved in its five years, especially after the announcement that Anneliese Mackintosh had won. Huge congratulations to her. I had the pleasure of speaking to Anneliese afterwards, who was shaking from genuine shock that she had won (and possibly overdosing on Night Nurse, the poor love) and who said a big thank you. Initially I said ‘ooh don’t thank me, it’s the judges who chose it’ (who did an amazing job) and Anneliese replied ‘but thank you for setting it up’. I have to admit I felt a bit emotional, and I hadn’t even won.

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I then got very quite drunk and as I was talking to people it seemed to finally click how far it had all come. I was in a room with all these people who were saying what a great long and shortlist it has had over the past few years, how pleased they were about the partnership with Foyles and that it was becoming a prize that they could trust would throw them great reads. By the end of the night I was a beaming mess of happiness, which is a nice feeling to have.

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So now Any Other Mouth and Anneliese Mackintosh join the Green Carnation Prize winning family along with Andrew Solomon, Patrick Gale, Andre Carl Van Der Merwe, Catherine Hall and Chrisopher Fowler! So that is all your Christmas stocking lists sorted for this year – oh along with this years corking shortlist. Have you read any of the Green Carnation Prize winners, short listers or long listers and if so what did you think?

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The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2014

Now if you have seen me chuntering on about this on Twitter, you can forgive me, ignore this post or just enjoy the exciting news all over again. Yes, today has been the announcement of the Green Carnation Prize 2014’s longlist. You may or may not know that this prize is very close to my heart as it is one that I co-founded way back in 2010 (I won’t go on you can read all about it here) to celebrate LGBT writing as it is something, that believe it or not, there is still sometimes some stumbling blocks in the way of. The prize has gone from strength to strength in the last five years, with a lot of hard work I won’t lie, and is now in association with Foyles Bookshops and this years judges have come up with this rather wonderful selection of books…

The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2014

  • Through The Woods – Emily Carroll (Faber & Faber)
  • The Absent Therapist – Will Eaves (CB Editions)
  • The Fair Fight – Anna Freeman (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • All The Days and Nights – Niven Govinden (The Friday Project)
  • Vixen – Rosie Garland (Borough Press)
  • Thirst – Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales – Kirsty Logan (Salt)
  • In Search of Solace – Emily Mackie (Sceptre)
  • Any Other Mouth – Anneliese Mackintosh (Freight)
  • The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
  • Unspeakable Things – Laurie Penny (Bloomsbury)
  • Invisible Love – Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (Europa Editions)
  • The Glasgow Coma Scale – Neil D. A. Stewart (Corsair)

What is exciting is that while I do all the admin of the prize and the snaring of judges, I have absolutely no control over what the judges choose as their longlist out of the submissions they get (this year was the most ever). I just make sure they all have them really and sit in on meetings to make sure it is all above board. I have to keep my mouth shut and remain nonchalant throughout even if books I love get culled – after all I haven’t read the whole lot of submission have I? Well, not since I stopped judging. So the longlist is always a surprise to me. Having had a few days to think on this list (a small bonus that almost makes up for all the press release, website and social media scheduling madness that follows the decision) the more and more I have fallen in love with it.

To me, at least, it seems like a really diverse and exciting list of all sorts of writing be it a thick epic novel or a short snappy one, a memoir, a short story collection, memoir, non fiction or graphic novel. Amazing. There is a mix of the big publishers and the smaller indies. There is also a wealth of authors I had and hadn’t heard of, meaning some new exciting voices look to be on my reading horizon… Yes, I am planning on reading all (eight) that I haven’t yet in the next few weeks and I am really excited about it. Though I might not be able to talk to you about them until after the winner, though maybe not being a judge I can? What do you think? Hmmm, I will have a think! Either way is it bad that I feel very proud of the prize, the judges and even a teeny weeny bit proud of myself?

For more info on the prize, the judges, events and more head to the website here. What are your thoughts on the list? Have you read any of them? Will you be reading any of them? As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Foyles & The Green Carnation Partner Up… Hoorah!

I have been sat on this news ever since January, so it might be a bit squished, and been bursting to tell anyone and everyone… The Green Carnation Prize has now partnered up with Foyles bookshops, for the next two years! I am honestly so thrilled that anytime someone has asked me what the latest is with the Green Carnation, or indeed if it is happening this year, I have had to just demurely (a hard look for me to carry off) say that it will be coming back the final details just being decided. Well the cat is out the bag now and I am so excited about what Foyles and I have planned for the prize it makes me go dizzy! Anyway in case I haven’t said it I am thrilled that Foyles are on board and believe in the prize and LGBT writing as much as I do! Hoorah all round! Here is all the news in full…

Foyles, National Bookseller of the Year 2013 and 2012, has today, Thursday 5th June, announced its two year partnership with the Green Carnation Prize for writing…

The Green Carnation Prize is a prize awarded to LGBT writers for any form of the written word, and has a reputation of championing LGBT writers from the UK. This year will see the growth of the prize, to encompass works of translation, which only can be encouraged by a partnership with Foyles. The partnership will see Foyles offer event space in their new flagship shop to host the award ceremony and public events celebrating the prize, with Simon Heafield Communications Manager at Foyles on the judging panel, the full line up of judges will be announced next week. On joining the panel and the prize Simon Heafield said:

“As a bookshop Foyles is very committed to showcasing the wonderfully diverse world of literature, we’re proud to be supporting the Green Carnation Prize. In its short history, the Prize has already established itself as a dependable marque of quality, bringing new readers to books that really deserve to be more widely known. Among the many literary prizes that have done little to move with the times, the Green Carnation stands out as one destined to become one of the highlights of the literary calendar.”

Simon Savidge, Honorary Director and co-founder of the Green Carnation said: “I am beyond delighted that the Green Carnation Prize is to be in association with Foyles in 2014 and 2015 bringing you the best LGBT writing published in the UK. Both parties have a clear vision to bring readers the best published LGBT writing available in the UK both in print and in person, with some great events celebrating long listed authors and winners past and future plus LGBT’s literary history which is sometimes forgotten, it is a very exciting time for the prize.”

For more information please visit: www.foyles.co.uk or www.greencarnationprize.com

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