The Green Carnation Longlist 2010

So yesterday the 31st of August was officially long listing night seeing the judges Paul Magrs, Nick Campbell, Lesley Cookman, Katy Manning and Simon Savidge all get together (one via Skype) to whittle the submissions into ‘The Green Carnation Longlist 2010’.

The Green Carnation Judges Simon Savidge, Lesley Cookman, Paul Magrs and Nick Campbell (Katy Manning joined in via Skype)

After a good few hours of discussion, lively debate and lots of laughter the judges came up with not ten, but eleven, books they felt reflected a really diverse and interesting list of books from 2010 past present and future that they are all looking forward to getting back to and re-reading. And this years ‘Green Carnation Bunch’ are…

The Green Carnation Longlist 2010

  • Generation A by Douglas Coupland (Windmill Books)
  • Bryant and May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
  • Paperboy by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
  • In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut (Atlantic Books)
  • God Says No by James Hannaham (McSweeney’s)
  • London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp (Myriad Editions)
  • Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin (Doubleday)
  • Children of the Sun by Max Schaefer (Granta)
  • Man’s World by Rupert Smith (Arcadia Books)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Tuskar Rock Press)
  • City Boy by Edmund White (Bloomsbury)

The judges decided not to release an official statement about the long list or each and every title and why they were chosen as they feel if people read the list then the books will speak for themselves. The list does contain three debut novelists as well as some well known authors such as Douglas Coupland, Armistead Maupin and Edmund White; it also features two of this years Man Booker long listed titles from Damon Galgut and Christos Tsiolkas. Quite a mixture all in all and we hope you agree? The short list will be announced in exactly two months on November the 1st 2010.

So what are your thoughts on the very first Green Carnation Longlist/Bunch?

Photo of the judges, credit Dom Agius (

This entry was posted in The Green Carnation Bunch 2010, The Green Carnation Prize 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Green Carnation Longlist 2010

  1. There are some fantastic books on that list!

    Generation A was one of my favourite reads of 2009 and I really enjoyed The Slap! I have heard great things about many of the other ones on the list too.

    I had no idea that any of the authors mentioned on your list was gay – shows how little I pay attention to information about authors 🙂

  2. Uli Lenart says:

    The book nerds at Gay’s the Word bookshop are delighted to see such a vibrant range of new gay writing on the long-list! Read them all! Well done Green Carnation for championing a bit of imagination. Good luck to everybody! Uli x

  3. Thanks on behalf of the judges!

  4. amymckie says:

    Great list! I’ll be on the lookout for a few of these to read!

  5. I’m amazed and thrilled to be represented twice over on the longlist, and bloody proud to be in such esteemed company.
    Now I have to head for Gay’s The Word to pick up the ones I haven’t read!

  6. Great list! I’ve posted it on Chroma’s blog along with a couple thoughts. Well done creating this new prize.

  7. I am excited that there are so many that I haven’t heard of. I do think, however, that Edmund White’s City Boy is a poor choice. The whole thing feels like a rather tired exercise in A-crowd naming dropping.

    • Hi Thomas, whatever the long list had been the judges knew some people wouldnt agree with it however in the main people are saying what you started with – they are pleased to hear of so many books and authors they might not have been aware of before.

  8. That looks like an interesting list, may I ask how many book were entered?

    • Unfortunately we cannot state how many we received under an agreement we made with the publishers and between ourselves. Nor will we be discussing the books that didnt make it on here specifically.

      Though if some of the judges loved books that didnt get on the longlist (which was the case but this was all decided through debate and concencus)they may review them on their blogs however not divulging the fact they were submissions.

  9. Pingback: Interesting Things: Alternative Prizes – Not the Booker/Green Carnation Prize and RandJ are back. –

  10. Stephen Henderson says:

    Thanks for this list. How interesting, and hopefully an incentive to get City Boy off my shelf where it has sulked unread since January. Then I think the Galgut…

  11. Roz says:

    Interesting list. I might try and read my way through most of the “bunch” before you announce the shortlist – depending on when the shortlist announcement is coming! Not least because it’s clear I really must stop resisting reading The Slap. But it seems most unfair to have Mary Ann in the Autumn on the list – I’ve been counting down the days till it is published anyway!

    I wonder what a similar longlist for gay female authors would be like… Three obvious candidates would be Stella Duffy’s Theodora, Emma Donoghue’s Room and Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road (co-incidentally three of my favourite books of this year).

    • Roz the short list will be announced on the 1st of November so you have plenty of reading time, and so do the judges to their relief.

      We have been wondering if next year might see a sister award… we will see!!

  12. Jason says:

    As an alternative to the Booker, I am surprised by some of the selected works. Edmund White? Armistead Maupin? Douglas Coupland?

    How about some of the upcoming authors of the last twelve months like Paul Burston? His book has been described as nearest thing the UK has to Armistead Maupin, so why not celebrate our won homegrown talent, instead of traipsing out the same, old, tired faces?

  13. ‘Jason, It’s not their faces we’re judging! We were pleasantly surprised at how many writers involved in the early days of ‘gay writing’ could still produce fresh, provocative stuff. It was equally good to read work by first-time authors that we loved, not knowing at all what to expect, and we’ve long-listed three of them (two of whom are ‘homegrown’).

  14. paul magrs says:


    All I can say is that the judging panel chose the books they thought were the best from all the submissions that were made to us. It was democratically and fairly done. We judged the books on their own merits and took no account of what we knew or didn’t know about the authors. So it didn’t matter to us if someone had been writing for forty years or if it was their first novel, for example, or whatever activities a writer was involved in outside of writing novels. All that mattered to us was whether we liked a book enough to vote it onto our longlist.

    I’m really pleased and proud of our list. I think there’s a broad range of approach and technique, light and shade, popular and challenging writing on display.

    It’s always disappointing when we don’t see our favourites on a prize list, but it shouldn’t mean that we get negative about what *has* been chosen. Read them all and *then* see what you think about our choices.

    paul magrs

    • Toby says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your reply. I agree it is disappointing when we don’t see our favourites on a prize list and also thank you to you and Simon for answering Suzys question about selection.

      I certainly haven’t been negative about what *has* been chosen. I infact support the idea and started my post as such. I have infact read a vast majority of them before the longlist was announced or that i even knew of the Green Carnation Prize. I admit I was surprised by some of the longlist selections and exclusions but each to their own and I respect that.

      I think what needs to be watched is scathing attacks on people as I have seen in a few posts. Freedom of speech is one thing but in a forum such as thing which should be used to congratulate the longlist nominees and embrace what the prize is about is another as is careful moderation.

      Thanks again and I look forward to finding out who wins.

  15. suzi feay says:

    Congratulations on coming up with a new and very worthy prize. Who’s on and who isn’t on the longlist could be debated ad infinitum, and is part of the fun of a prize. However some clarity about the judging and submissions process would be welcome. What is the timespan, for example? The excellent Paperboy came out quite some time ago; the Maupin isn’t out yet. More fundamentally, what is the goal of the prize? Is it simply to celebrate gay men who write, or is it a prize for the gay book of the year? ie should the prizewinning book illuminate some facet of gay life, or simply be anything written by a gay man? How are titles submitted? Are publishers limited to two or three titles, or are all the books called in by the judges? The ‘no discussion’ principle doesn’t serve the prize well in my opinion.
    I hope that just as with the Man Booker the judges will explain and justify their choices when the shortlist is announced.

  16. paul magrs says:

    hi Suzi,

    Thanks for your comments. Let’s see…

    The practical answers to those questions are on our FAQ, I believe. We were looking at books published this calendar year – in trade, hard or paperback – which is how ‘Paperboy’ came to be there. We didn’t put the ‘two only’ limit on to publishers – and were delighted when stuff was submitted by them.

    It’s a prize for books *by* gay men. Subject matter is immaterial. The books don’t have to be about ‘gay life’ at all. We’re not looking for the ‘gayest book’… whatever that might be!

    There isn’t really a ‘no discussion’ policy. I’m happy to talk about any of this. I think we didn’t want to get into discussions about books that were left out – or talking negatively about books that didn’t make it. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

    The idea’s been about talking about things we’ve really liked – and to get them some attention from readers.

    • suzi feay says:

      Thanks paul – hadn’t seen the FAQ only the comments about not wanting to comment! A little controversy is no bad thing for a literary prize – Martin Goff manufactured them year after year for the Man Booker as you probably know.

  17. Simon Savidge says:

    As a judge myself, one of the hardest things for me was the books that didn’t make it. You know any author has spent hours and hours dedicating their time to writing a book. So I know for that reason we all found not putting any of the submissions through hard, we all did because we did had to make a decision.

    Only the judges know what books didnt get through and why – it was nothing to do with who their market was, their genre or how many books they had or hadn’t written. One of my personal favourites didn’t get long listed and I accepted that whilst I got it and loved it there were four other people who didn’t and that was that – I just decided I will by it for lots and lots of people for Christmas instead. I think all the judges had moments like that or vice versa.

    There were however eleven books where we all agreed after a long discussion, therefore of course as a panel we put them through. It isn’t a personal thing if people didn’t get through (and there were lots of authors who didn’t) it’s just the way it was.

    It’s sad to see so many personal comments at authors or us as judges flying around here and all over the shop elsewhere. Especially after dedicating our free time to an award we all think is needed and one we are proud of. I could whittle on forages but instead I will put a link to a blog which sums up my feelings more eloquently than I probably can.

  18. Pingback: The Green Carnation ‘Debate’ « Savidge Reads

  19. I’m very pleased that this award – new as it is – has provoked so much interest and discussion, but disappointed by the negativity displayed in some of the comments.

    Paul has explained how we came to our decisions, and there is nothing personal in the selection of any of the books. Indeed, as I have said elsewhere, I knew very little about any of the authors and had no “agenda”.

    I’m proud to be associated with the award and hope it continues upwards and onwards for many years.

  20. Simon T says:

    Sorry, my comment won’t be remotely literary (as I’m afraid, being buried in the 1930s, the only longlisted book I’ve heard of is The Slap) but just wanted to say what a lovely photo of you all that is!

  21. Dear All,

    At the request of an author we have taken down all negative comments relating to them. We have applied this rule of thumb to all negative comments aimed at the prize and the judges and will continue to do so.

    We had hoped for an enlivened debate on the longlist and discussion that we could all get involved in.

    However these comments have become derogatory to the judges, some authors and indeed the prize itself and so now all comments will need to be approved before being shown on the site.

    In addition the judges have also agreed they will be doing this on their own personal blogs.


    The Green Carnation Team

  22. Pingback: The Man Booker Shortlist 2010 « Savidge Reads

  23. winstonsdad says:

    I really like the scope of the longlist ,have read a few of the writers and pleased to be introduce to some new writers via the longlist ,all the best stu

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