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.
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.