The Winner of the Green Carnation Prize is…

The Green Carnation Prize today (22 May 2017) announced David France’s insider account of the AIDS epidemic, How To Survive A Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS, as the unanimous winner at a ceremony hosted by Foyles in London, UK.

The third non-fiction winner in the Prize’s seven-year history, France’s book was up against a shortlist that also featured Stella Duffy, Garth Greenwell, Kirsty Logan, and Kei Miller. First released as a film in 2012, How To Survive A Plague was dedicated to France’s partner Doug Gould, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992, and went on to be nominated for best documentary in 2013 Academy Awards.

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Double Emmy-nominee, France, an investigative reporter and a chronicler of AIDS since the early 1980’s, used his unparalleled access to the community to share the story of the AIDS epidemic and the grassroots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection into a manageable disease.

Chair of judges and internationally acclaimed author John Boyne said: ‘In this time of renewed activism in an increasingly uncertain world, France’s definitive account of the AIDS crisis and the activists who changed the fate of so many lives, seems vital and important to inspire everyone, not just the LGBTQ+ community. We couldn’t be prouder to choose this book as the rightful winner.’

Simon Heafield, Head of Marketing at Foyles, said: ‘I’m so glad to have another excuse to recommend David France’s magnificent book to Foyles readers. This essential and inspirational account of one of the darkest periods of recent history is also a breathtakingly riveting read, full of unforgettable characters. This is arguably one of the most important books published in 2016, and a very deserving winner.’

In addition to his trophy, France also received a bottle of champagne and his winning book will receive national in-store promotion across Foyles bookshops. Now in its seventh year, the Prize, with the support of Foyles, seeks to champion the best writing by an LGBTQ author in the UK. It is a vital recognition and celebration for books as diverse as the community it represents and unified by a common thread: sheer quality of writing.

Simon Savidge, Director of the Prize, said: ‘I am delighted that David France has won The Green Carnation Prize with this incredible and important book. We have made many steps forward in the 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, however some of the voices of our history have often been silenced. I hope this book will enlighten people, make them question what they think they know and encourage discussion. That is what every great book does.’

Previous winners have included Patrick Gale, Catherine Hall, and Christopher Fowler. Last year, following the highest number of submissions to date, the Prize was awarded to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Upon winning the prize, James said: “Six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

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The Green Carnation Prize 2016 Shortlist

The Green Carnation Prize today announces the 2016 shortlist featuring: queer magical realism from Kirsty Logan; Stella Duffy’s story set in the South London slums of 1912; an insider account of the AIDS epidemic by David France; a debut novel exploring loneliness and isolation from Garth Greenwell; and Kei Miller’s story of racism and inequality in Jamaica. Two of the five titles are published by Pan Macmillan’s imprint, Picador.

The five shortlisted writers, though at various stages in their careers – from Greenwell’s first novel to Duffy’s 73rd writing credit – already have a broad range of acclaim, including: Logan’s second appearance on the Green Carnation shortlist; Duffy’s OBE for contribution to the arts; Academy Award and double Emmy nominee France; trained Opera singer Greenwell’s debut novel has been nominated for eight literary prizes; and Kei Miller was the winner of the 2014 Forward Prize.

Chair of judges and internationally acclaimed author John Boyne said: ‘These five books combine great storytelling with poetic language and authentic voices. Individually, each one has the power to move the reader while collectively they display the extraordinary diversity at play within the literary work of the LGBTQ community. It’s been difficult to narrow all the books down to five; it will be even harder to choose a winner.”

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The Green Carnation Prize 2016 shortlist in full (in alphabetical order by author):

  • London Lies Beneath, Stella Duffy (Virago)
  • How to Survive a Plague, David France (Picador)
  • What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell (Picador)
  • A Portable Shelter, Kirsty Logan (Random House)
  • Augustown, Kei Miller (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Now in its seventh year, the Prize, with the support of Foyles, seeks to champion the best writing by an LGBTQ author in the UK. It is a vital recognition and celebration for books as diverse as the community it represents and unified by a common thread: sheer quality of writing.

Simon Savidge, Director of the Prize, said: ‘I am thrilled that this years judges have come up with such an incredible and diverse shortlist which shows the breadth that LGBTQ writing is covers in styles, settings and scope.’

Simon Heafield, Head of Marketing at Foyles, said: ‘The judges have selected an inspirational shortlist, each different but notable for the exceptional quality of writing. Foyles is hugely proud to partner with the Green Carnation to champion writing by the diverse and flourishing LGBTQ community in the UK.’

Following 2015’s highest number of submissions to date, the Prize was awarded to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Upon winning the prize, James said: “Six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Foyles’ flagship bookshop 22nd May 2017.

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The Green Carnation Prize Longlist 2016

The ten-strong Green Carnation Prize longlist, announced today, 24 March 2017, features a record three poets – a reflection of the astonishing growth in the poetry market, which ‘last year enjoyed its highest sales ever…selling over a million books’. Will Eaves and John McCullough claim their place on the list and are joined by fellow poet and winner of the 2014 Forward Prize, Kei Miller, who is longlisted for his novel, Augustown.

Two non-fiction titles also feature on the longlist: Academy Award nominee, David France’s story of the AIDS epidemic, How to Survive a Plague; and playwright and former editor of Attitude, Matthew Todd’s Straight Jacket, which explores why a disproportionate number of gay people suffer from mental health problems.

With both established and debut novelists making the longlist, the majority feature contemporary settings, including: Bulgaria in Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You; the north coast of Scotland in A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan; and Australian farmland in Inga Simpson’s Where The Trees Were. Stella Duffy and Edmund White’s novels are set in Edwardian London and eighties New York respectively.

Chair of judges and internationally acclaimed author John Boyne said: ‘By chance rather than design we chose ten books that reflect the diversity of today’s literary world: fiction, non-fiction and poetry, male and female writers, experienced and debut authors. Proving that whilst the Green Carnation rewards LGBTQ authors, this is a list for any reader, regardless of their sexuality, because they’re all important and brilliant books.’

The Green Carnation Prize 2016 longlist in full (in alphabetical order by author):

  • London Lies Beneath, Stella Duffy (Virago)
  • The Inevitable Gift Shop, Will Eaves (CB Editions)
  • How to Survive a Plague, David France (Picador)
  • What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell (Picador)
  • A Portable Shelter, Kirsty Logan (Random House)
  • Spacecraft, John McCullough (Penned in the Margins)
  • Augustown, Kei Miller (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Where The Trees Were, Inga Simpson (Blackfriars)
  • Straight Jacket, Matthew Todd (Transworld)
  • Our Young Man, Edmund White (Bloomsbury)

Simon Savidge, Director of the Prize, said: “I am so proud that the Green Carnation continues to recognise the wealth of LGBTQ writing talent published in the UK. Tackling difficult and important subjects from mental health to AIDS, these brave writers push boundaries and need to be championed.’

The prize, now in its seventh year, and, with the support of Foyles, is a vital recognition for books as diverse as the community it represents and unified by a common thread: sheer quality of writing.

Simon Heafield, Head of Marketing at Foyles, said: “I think this is the strongest Green Carnation longlist we’ve seen in some years, and it’s a testament to the remarkable wealth of great writing by LGBTQ authors published in the last twelve months. I’m very happy to have another reason to put these fabulous, original and important books in front of customers – and even happier not to have the unenviable task of whittling this longlist down to a shortlist (let alone a winner).”

Following 2015’s highest number of submissions to date, the Prize was awarded to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Upon winning the prize, James said: “Six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

The shortlist will be announced 28th April. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Foyles’ flagship bookshop 22nd May 2017.

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John Boyne To Chair Judges For The Green Carnation Prize

Multi-award winning author, John Boyne, will lead this year’s Green Carnation Prize judging panel in the search to find the best written work published in the UK by an LGBTQ author.

The panel of five is completed by: the UK’s leading Queer Black feminist activist, Chardine Taylor-Stone; Andrew McMillan, whose debut publication, Physical, was the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award; journalist and New Statesman columnist Eleanor Margolis; and Assistant Head of Fiction at Foyles, Gary Perry.

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Boyne, author of New York Times bestseller, The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas, is no stranger to literary prizes: he judged the Hennessy Literary Awards and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, as well as chaired the jury for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Boyne has been awarded the Hennessy Literary ‘Hall of Fame’ award, three Irish Book Awards, and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia.

Boyne said: “In these uncertain times for humanity and especially those in minority groups, it is now more vital than ever for us to celebrate and champion talent in all its diverse glory. I am delighted and honoured to chair the judging panel this year.

Fellow judge Chardine Taylor-Stone is the founder of Stop Rainbow Racism, which works to stop racist performances in LGBTQ venues and she also plays drums for Black Feminist punk band Big Joanie; McMillan lectures in creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University; Margolis has written on everything from queer politics to online dating for the Guardian, Sunday Times, and BuzzFeed; and bookseller Gary Perry from prize partner, Foyles, completes the panel.

Founder and Prize Director, Simon Savidge, said: “I am thrilled such a talented and wonderful bunch of people have agreed to judge our prize this year. We are delighted to have them and I can’t wait to see what books they select for readers to engage with. I’m looking forward to being a fly on the wall at those judging meetings already.”

The prize, now in its seventh year, and, with the support of Foyles, is a vital recognition for books as diverse as the community it represents and unified by a common thread: sheer quality of writing. Simon Heafield, Head of Marketing at Foyles, said: “We are thrilled to be working with such a stellar line-up of judges this year. The Green Carnation Prize continues to prove itself as a much-needed celebration of LGBTQ talent, and one that reflects Foyles’ own commitment to championing diverse voices.”

Following 2015’s highest number of submissions to date, the Prize was awarded to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Upon winning the prize, James said: “Six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

The longlist will be announced 24th March and the shortlist 28th  April. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Foyles’ flagship bookshop at the end of May 2017.

The judges are already buried deep in books, you can find out more about them here.

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The Green Carnation Prize 2016… Call For Entries

For the third year, The Green Carnation Prize, an award which recognises lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) writers working in any form, will work in close assocation with Foyles bookshop.

The partnership will see the ‘world-famous bookseller’ support and promote the shortlisted books and winning title in stores and online, as well as host the award ceremony at the flagship store in Spring 2017.

Now, in its seventh year, the Prize is open for entries and welcomes Maura Brickell, Director of Maura PR & Communications, to the board working alongside Prize Director, Simon Savidge, as they look to cement the award as a vital recognition for books as diverse as the community it represents and unified by a common thread: sheer quality of writing.

Simon Heafield, Head of Marketing at Foyles said: “Foyles bookshops are places where readers can encounter a diverse range of stories and we are proud to be working with the The Green Carnation Prize to continue our support of its vital work in showcasing the wealth of writing talent in the LGBT community, and helping these voices to reach the widest audience possible. Recent events have shown that those who support an equal and diverse society cannot afford an ounce of complacency, and I’m proud that in working with the Green Carnation Prize we are able to uphold these ideals, which we hold dear.”

Prize Chair Simon Savidge said: “I am delighted that The Green Carnation Prize is returning, after a small break to catch its breath, for its seventh year both in partnership once more with Foyles and with Maura Brickell joining me at the helm. It seems in uncertain times that diverse voices from all over the world need to be heard just as much as ever before, sharing experiences and opening people’s minds. I am delighted to be continuing the wonderful partnership with Foyles and getting these voices in the hands of the public through the power of the written word and books.”

Following 2015’s highest number of submissions to date, the Prize was awarded to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Upon winning the prize, James said: “Six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

The Prize, which aims to become Britain’s most prestigious literary prize representing the LGBT community, was set-up in 2010 to acknowledge and celebrate great writing from LGBT writers and the inaugural Prize was awarded to Christopher Fowler for his novel Paperboy. Previous winners of the Prize are: Catherine Hall (2011); join-winners Patrick Gayle and Andre Carl Van Der Merwe (2012); Andrew Soloman (2013); and Annaliese Mackintosh (2014). v Each year judges are appointed by the Chair of the Prize. The 2017 panel will be announced in December 2016.

For more information and any additional submission details please contact Maura Brickell on maura@mauracommunications.com or 07915388571.

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The Winner of the Green Carnation Prize 2015

After several hours of deliberation the Green Carnation judges have chosen their winner which has just been announced by the Chair of Judges Niven Govinden at an event in Foyles flagship store. And the winner is…

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Marlon James has won The Green Carnation Prize 2015 with his third novel A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Jamaica, 1976 seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught. From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, one-night stands, drug lords, girlfriends, gunmen, journalists, and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.

Director of the prize, Simon Savidge said “Having been a fly on the wall of many judges meetings I don’t think I have seen any discussions of shortlist to winner that have caused such lively debate. The strength of the shortlist, and indeed the longlist, this year once again shows that there are many, many fantastic books being written by LGBT authors that stretch a whole spectrum of themes, ideas, places and subjects.”

On winning the prize Marlon James said “I am so thankful to the prize, the judges and Foyles to be announced the winner in the prizes sixth year; six years ago I would not have been able to voice that I was LGBT, so to be recognised for that and for work the judges felt was great is fantastic.”

The Green Carnation Prize is a prize awarded to LGBT writers for any form of the written word, from memoir to fiction, poetry to non-fiction between October 2014 and September 2015. This year has seen the growth of the prize, to encompass works of translation, which only can be encouraged by a partnership with Foyles. The partnership sees Foyles offer event space in their new flagship store, with public events celebrating the prize to follow in 2016.

Announcements for the Green Carnation Prize 2016 will also be made in the spring, for updates on the prize please follow @TheGCPrize on Twitter.

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The Green Carnation Prize Shortlist 2015

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.

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