Prominent writers missing from gay prize shortlist

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The shortlist for an LGBT literary award announced today is missing several of the UK’s most revered gay writers.

Philip Hensher and Ali Smith will not be winning the second annual Green Carnation prize. Alan Hollinghurst, who won Writer of the Year at last week’s Stonewall Awards, also lost out.

Speaking about the decision, Chair of Judges Simon Savidge told The Guardian: “People make the assumption that certain authors, because they are more famous … will be a shoo-in for the prize, but that’s not always the case,” he said. “I personally was a bit disappointed that Ali Smith doesn’t feature, but there are four other judges making the decision as well.

“It was an amazing book, but it was just not everyone’s cup of tea. On Alan Hollinghurst – for me personally it was strikingly beautifully written but it was too long. I ended up being beautifully bored by the end of it – that to me isn’t a winning book.”

Originally an award for gay male writers, this year it has expanded to include lesbian, trans and bisexual authors too.

The panel of judges includes novelists Stella Duffy and Paul Magrs, who wrote 666 Charing Cross Road.

The winner will be announced on 7 December. The short list in full:

– The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge – Patricia Duncker (Bloomsbury)
– The Proof of Love – Catherine Hall (Portobello)
– Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay (Picador)
– Remembrance of Things I Forgot – Bob Smith (Terrace Books)
– Ever Fallen in Love – Zoe Strachan (Sandstone Press)
– The Empty Family – Colm Toibin (Penguin Books)