Last week saw the meeting of the three male founding members of the Green Carnation Prize – Simon Savidge, Paul Magrs and Nick Campbell – to celebrate the re-launch of the prize for 2011 on Canal Street in Manchester.
The venue was chosen to show that the north of England “and in fact anywhere outside London” hasn’t be forgotten as the prize moves forward into its second year. “There is a tendency with prizes to only focus their attentions on London, or to host their events there” said Simon Savidge, Chair of the Green Carnation 2011, who was between hospital stays hence the attractive bandage “we had a great event in London last year, and have something even bigger planned there for this years prize, however we also want to make sure that we are getting readers up and down the country involved in the prize. As judges three of us live outside London, we all come from different parts of the UK, well in fact with one judge from the other side of the globe and we are aware of readers not just in the London-centric circuit.”
There are currently several events planned as the Green Carnation Prize ‘goes on tour’ later in the year with plans to pop up in various locations up and down the country, more to be announced soon. The three co-founders went on to discuss how they could push the prize globally after it received some coverage in the Canadian and Australian press last year “it’s hard for any prize to get noticed in this current climate, there are lots of them – but rightly so as they celebrate books, its how you manage to do it with absolutely no budget that’s the trick (laughs) but there are ways and we are a very determined team with a great prize we are passionate about, that can be contageous.”
The co-founders also discussed how they are working on two new features aiming to give Green Carnation followers more chance to read wonderful books that could have won the prize in the past, like a Green Carnation Heritage series, and the books by non-LGBT authors which have a real ‘LGBT sensibility’ be it in themes or characters. It seems this year there is lots and lots to come from the Green Carnation Prize indeed.