Wednesday, 30 July 2014

polari book prize longlist & good company

Writing a novel isn't about a craving for success, it's more about a desire for people to take a journey with your narrative and share the fruits of your hard work, tears, laughter and sometimes even moments of exhilaration. Actually, it's not just a desire it's a need, a compulsion to bring your characters to life and tell their story to anyone you can pin down long enough to take the plunge and read it. Finding people who want to read it can be a challenge and to that end whilst Book Prizes aren't everything they open people's eyes - fresh eyes - eyes that one minute were unaware of your existence and then suddenly your novel title is dancing in front of them, asking, no challenging new readers to come forward and, well, read and laugh and cry and take that journey with you.

I'm thrilled therefore, to have made the Longlist for the Polari First Book Prize 2014. It's a fine list and I'm on it, woo hoo! Previous winners have been awesome writing talent and to be in the fray along with people like Pippa Goldschmidt is really exciting. Pippa was also shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012 (she came second in the end) so it's really lovely to see our writing being recognised across the field. Following the competition Pippa was published by Freight, and myself by the lovely ThunderPoint publishing who were keen to take a chance on a wee unknown such as myself. I'm really grateful to them for putting their trust in me and my Birds That Never Flew as they are doing their best to get off the ground and spread their wee wings.

One other exciting thing. Kerry Hudson, whose writing is exquisite and adorable, made the shortlist of the Polari in 2013. How good is that for keeping outrageously talented company. A happy day.

The shortlist will be announced on the 8th of September and the winner on the 8th of October. Exciting times and the best thing is I already feel like a winner.


  1. Great news, Margot! The Birds That Never Flew is one of the best reads I've had recently, so really glad getting on the longlist will open it up to lots more readers.

    1. Thank you so much, very much looking forward to also seeing you in print with the Thunderpoint family!