Gay fiction award for Belfast writer

Belfast author Paul McVeigh
Belfast author Paul McVeigh

Belfast author Paul McVeigh has been awarded the Polari First Book Prize 2016 as part of London Literature Festival.

In an award ceremony at London’s Southbank Centre he won the prize for ‘The Good Son’

The Polari First Book Prize celebrates the best debut books that explore the LGBT experience, through poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction.

McVeigh’s story of a young boy navigating the Troubles of 1980s Northern Ireland triumphed over a shortlist of first books, including Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin; Different for Girls by Jacquie Lawrence; Blood Relatives by Stevan Alcock; Physical by Andrew McMillan and Trans by Juliet Jacques (which was runner up).

Chair of the judges Paul Burston, said the judges “were particularly drawn to the fresh and unique narrative voice of McVeigh’s Mickey Donnelly – we really felt as if we knew him. The author’s handling of the young narrator is expertly done and strikes the perfect balance between comedy and pathos”.

He added: Paul is an incredibly accomplished storyteller and we’re delighted to present him with the Prize for 2016.”

Born in Belfast, Paul McVeigh’s founded a theatre company, which won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival. He has also written comedy shows and stand-up.